Cancer Made Me Sad

I was diagnosed at age 40 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  I was devastated.  Cancer made me unhappy.  Cancer made me sad.  Cancer made me withdrawal from my life.  At least that’s what I thought…

I was one chemo dose into my cancer treatment and I had “a quantum moment.”  I was in the shower.  My doctor told me I couldn’t take a bath, because chemo kills all your fast-growing cells and the cells that hold your fingernails and toe nails on are somewhat fast growing cells.  If you soak in water, you can soak off your nails.  Gross, I know.

So, I was in the shower and feeling very unhappy and sad.  I sat down in the shower and started to cry.  My hair had just started to fall out that morning.  I’m not sure how long I was there but long enough that a bunch of hair had found its way to the drain.  The water had backed up and was a couple of inches deep.  I started to laugh.  I was technically having a bath!  My fingers and toes were out of the water yet I was sitting in water.  The very thing that I was told that I couldn’t do, I was doing.  It was the first step in changing how I felt about my cancer (there were many more to come)!

I had all these preconceived notions about how a cancer patient should feel, should act, should be.  Most of them were negative.  I gained my power back when I decided that cancer wasn’t making me unhappy.  My thoughts were.  Cancer wasn’t making me sad.  I was.  Cancer wasn’t making me withdraw from life.  I decided to do that.  It was a terrible and wonderful discovery.  Terrible because I had caused my own pain.  Wonderful because now I controlled the power to make myself feel better.

One of my favorite phrases during cancer treatment was “It is what it is.”  I said it over and over, and it was true.  Circumstances are what they are.  The power comes from the meaning we give it.

I was not able to change the fact that I had cancer and you may not be able to change a situation in your life.  You do however, have the power to give it meaning.

What circumstance can you not change, but if you changed the meaning, you would be happier?

Feel free to comment below.

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Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, cancer survivor, author, teacher, connected, authentic, bold.

3 thoughts on “Cancer Made Me Sad

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