When I told my team of people at work that I had breast cancer, I didn’t want to be treated differently. Right? I didn’t want, if I didn’t feel good, if I was showing signs of weakness or something, then yeah, you know, maybe help me out, but I’m just going to power through this. This is just who I am and I don’t want it to be the only topic of conversation. Right? This is something I’m going through. This too shall pass. I will keep you informed but don’t tiptoe around me. Treat me like you normally would treat me. I didn’t even get a pass on Christmas. I think I was told to bring this, that and the other thing, I’m like, I can barely walk. I just had surgery. But you know, it was just…
My family was great. My husband was outstanding, my friends, and my coworkers. I was really lucky. In my church, everybody was so amazing. But I think that they will take their cue from you if you are acting, you know, if you’re really sick from the treatment and you want to be left alone, people will give you that space and that it’s kind of up to you to let them know when they can come back in. People will take their cue from you if they see that are acting a certain way or being a certain way, they’ll kind of mirror that. So I had a lot of people send me beautiful cards and do really nice things for me. I had friends that got together for bringing my husband and me for meals, and it got to the point where we had so much food that I had to ask them to please stop doing that because my husband’s gaining weight because he’s eating like a pie every night.
I had just outpourings of generosity. So you’ll see the best part of people. The thing that I would caution anybody on is everybody wants to tell you their cancer story. My aunt had breast cancer and she died. But you’ll be okay. I know you’ll be okay. Those are things that I think people are so well-intended and they are trying to find some common ground to have a conversation with you, but you don’t really want to hear that. So don’t Google it. You know, find a site where people are talking about being positive and positive outcomes because you need that. Because you have to have your brain right. And I really think that a positive attitude is going to get you through a lot of stuff. You can curl up into a ball and be a victim and that’s going to impact your outcome and how you feel about everything.
To find the group that you can tell things to and have those people and carry on the best that you can of course. But don’t surround yourself with anybody that’s negative. Don’t let them in. Don’t settle for vague answers. Even though the truth is hard to hear, at least then you can… Knowledge is something that you can use to prevent your brain from filling in the gaps. Because your brain will fill in the gaps and it’s not pretty. So at least have the knowledge and just kind of live in the moment. I mean, nobody has a crystal ball. Nobody knows what their future holds, and there’s some weird comfort in all of that. You know, like you could be hit by a car, you could, anything could happen to anybody anytime. So don’t make yourself a victim in all of it.
It’s not going to help you to be a victim. It happens to people and people are cured every single day. And so you just have to do it, When you’re going through treatment, be nice to yourself. Do what makes you happy. If you know you want to go do something and you feel up to it, just do it. I think people will try to tell you, oh, you should stay home or you should rest. But if you don’t overdo it, but if you feel like you want to do something that gives you joy, then you should do it. Make yourself feel better, be nice to yourself during this phase.