I occasionally get asked about having had cancer, and how it has changed me. That’s kind of a hard question but it’s definitely not an experience you go through and remain unchanged. The scariest part was really those first few weeks, when I found the lump, called the doctor, and waited for additional testing to be done to determine what was going on. After having an ultrasound, and a mammogram I went in for a biopsy. The radiologist said something like “well we’re here today to determine what kind of cancer you have.” That was really a shocking moment. Up until that point, all of the people that I had talked with had said that there were a lot of different things it could be, it’s highly unlikely to be cancer etc. Almost everyone had some sort of breast lump story that turned out to be nothing, and that’s what I was banking on. Suddenly that was no longer an option and I had very little information at that point. Once we had a treatment plan figured out and something to “do” I felt a lot better.
Now I find that I’m easily annoyed (I’m not sure that’s really the right word) when I hear people moaning and groaning about things in their life that are actually not as big of a deal as they are made out to be. Things like their weekend plans being ruined, or their horse being a bit naughty, or their car being in the shop. I realize those things are definitely inconvenient/frustrating/disappointing etc. but in the scheme of things they aren’t that big of a deal. I feel like this has really become more apparent to me because of the experience that I have had. I’m normally a positive person and having had cancer, it has actually made me even more positive by really putting things in to perspective. I don’t consider a crazy day at work, or things not going as planned, a bad day. I consider getting a phone call that you have cancer as being a bad day, or your uncle being in ICU on life support, or being hit by the bomb at the Boston Marathon, or having someone die. I hope that I don’t ever lose that perspective and am able to appreciate every day that I am given. We never know when it might be our last, or when we wil get life changing news. We are truly very blessed, and I want to be thankful for all I have, and enjoy every day to the fullest.