My name is Sharon and I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37, shortly after I returned to work from maternity leave. I'd vaguely noticed that my left breast was feeling firmer, but I thought things were just returning to normal after finishing breastfeeding. I was actually excited! Until the day I was applying deodorant, caught my reflection in the mirror and saw a super weird "dent" in my left breast when that arm was raised. Everything happened so quickly after my diagnosis, chemo began within two weeks and I was on my journey.
I'm Canadian (Kitchener, Ontario) so I'm super fortunate the financial impact has been minimal. No health care system is perfect, but it was 100 percent there for me when I needed it the most.
My friends and family were the best at keeping my spirits up. The night before my mastectomy, I anxiously asked my partner if he would miss that breast. "No! It has cancer in it!" he replied, aghast, and I burst out laughing. Such a perspective switch!
I've gotten many so many giggles through my hair regrowth. I was always a long hair gal, and now that it's finally at a stage where it could be just a short haircut, it's amusing how others interpret it. I was picking out new glasses recently and the sales rep suggested all sorts of "fun and funky!" frames, I guess to go with my "fun and funky" hair. But I'm legit not fun or funky at all! Direct me towards your most boring frames please! Now I'm in "Richard Simmons" hair stage, thank you very much chemo curls!
As part of my cancer journey, I've become way more comfortable (too comfortable?) being topless around anybody really. I recently had my reconstruction, and during a visit from my boyfriend's father, he naturally asked how I was recovering.
"Great, let me just..." I responded, already tugging down the shoulder of my top. "No, I don't need to see!" he almost yelled. And that's how I tried to flash my boyfriend's dad. I guess I need to relearn boundaries.
In the end though, cancer has given me so much more self-confidence than before. If I can get through this, I feel I can get through anything!
Hugs to everyone going through this. Following along with the "cancer community" online has provided comfort and reassurance every step of the way. You got this!!