I Radically Accepted My Breast Cancer

Breast most cancers put my physique by way of A LOT:

  • Eight rounds of chemotherapy
  • One lumpectomy
  • 9 lymph nodes eliminated
  • Six weeks of radiation
  • A 12 months of medicine to assist maintain the most cancers from coming again

In any case of that, my physique was totally different.

There was the dip of my proper nipple from my lumpectomy, numbness in my higher proper arm, a round scar the place the lymph nodes had come out, and the truth that my left breast will at all times be greater than my proper breast — and never by somewhat bit.

I acquired to some extent the place I accepted all of it. I even blogged about it for a breast most cancers help group.

“I see a physique that has triumphed. I see a physique that has declared victory over most cancers. I see an extremely fortunate girl who loves her life and loves the physique she lives it in,” I wrote again then.

It was all true. Or “fairly all true,” to cite Olivia, the imaginative pig within the books my children beloved.

However 10 years later, I see it somewhat otherwise.

I’ve realized that radical self-acceptance of something — not solely breast most cancers — isn’t a vacation spot you arrive at, get the trophy, and take your victory lap. It’s a course of.

I’m nonetheless engaged on it. And I feel my most cancers helped me, oddly sufficient.

What Does Radical Acceptance Even Imply?

Radical acceptance is about totally accepting one thing. You don’t have to love it and even really feel OK about it, however you settle for that it’s actual.

It’s, “That is the place I’m now” or “That is what’s taking place on this second,” even for those who hate it.

For example, for those who’re caught exterior in a downpour and are getting drenched, you settle for the fact of the rain whereas operating for shelter. Radical acceptance doesn’t imply, “This doesn’t matter” or “I’m superb with this.”

I now go complete days and weeks with out ever fascinated about having had breast most cancers. I by no means may have imagined that within the first few years after my prognosis.

It’s change into simply one other a part of who I’m and have been, like having brown hair and brown eyes and being so ridiculously short-waisted that I appear to be a Despicable Me minion if I attempt to put on overalls.

However though breast most cancers is sort of at all times in my rear-view mirror, there’s one thing else I haven’t totally accepted: growing old.

Most cancers Scars? OK. Grey Roots? Noooo.

I come down the steps within the morning muttering, “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch” because the in a single day stiffness in my ankles works itself out. And the place the heck did that bizarre line in the midst of my neck come from?

I’m positively not on board with all of that.

I get it: I’m fortunate I’ve lived lengthy sufficient see indicators that I’m getting older.

However I can’t say I’ve totally accepted it.

I coloration my grays. I desire a cream that may do one thing about my neck.

I work out day by day to get more healthy and stronger — but additionally for the way I look in denims and a tank high.

Do I stress about these issues the way in which I did after I was in my 20s? No. I’ve extra perspective now.

However do I settle for my physique 100% if I’m nonetheless attempting to alter it? Most likely not.

Proof I Can See

The longer it’s been since my “Most cancers Yr,” the extra it fades. Typically it nearly feels prefer it occurred to another person.

However my scars say, “Nope, that was all actual, that was you. You endured that. You made it by way of that.” They inform me each that I’m susceptible and that I’m robust.

And that’s price way over simply accepting.


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