I don't want cancer to define my life. How do I cope with this without losing myself?
I’m 33 years old with Stage 4 breast cancer, I’m 18 months into remission. I get a Zoladex shot once a month. I have scans every 6 months. I take aromatase inhibitors everyday. I feel like cancer is a monkey on my back, constantly picking at me in the back of my mind.
My question is for people who have lived with cancer for an extended period of time. How do I find myself again? How do I cope with the constant fear of recurrence and constant reminders of my incurable disease? How do I live with this without letting it control my life?
I was a 10 year survivor and got the surprise of a new and different cancer on my remaining breast. It shook my confidence and belief that I can ever be free of cancer again.
I am trying to face this newest challenge by being active, spending time with family, eating better, and working at improving my artistic skills. All the rest depends on my oncologist to help me fight this sneaky invader that wants to kill me.
I was diagnosed almost 1 year ago with stage 4C Medullary Thyroid, there’s no chemo or treatment that will help me. I try and enjoy my life and whatever time I have (about 20% chance for 10+years) and not let it control me. It’s not been easy but it’s really not that bad anymore.
FYI if there is a ‘god’ he gave this to you, so why would you thank him?
I know that there are so many unanswered questions. We live in a broken world. I’m sure God’s heart breaks seeing his children in pain because he loves us so much. He will give you peace and comfort if you draw near to him. Peace to you❤️
Your question is one we all struggle with: how to live in the face of death. For me, it’s been the evolving notion of radical acceptance; the idea that I cannot control my cancer or it’s effects and cannot will myself back to the way I used to be. I accept that I may die in the near future and yet try to maintain hope that new treatments may extend my life. I also try to focus on the present moment – how am I doing right now?
It’s also been helpful to explore, rather than run away from, what it means to die. A number of books explore this subject and I encourage you to seek out those that may be meaningful to you.
I am not a religious person and I don’t believe in any of the pre-baked notions of God’s will, afterlife, etc. but I do believe it’s incumbent upon all or any of us to define and ultimately accept our lives as they are rather than as we wished them to be.
I wish you well