An Update from Anna

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It’s that time of year when everything starts turning pink and the boobs come out for a very good cause – reminding women to be vigilant and look for signs of changes in their breasts. It’s the cheapest and best way of getting an early diagnosis if breast cancer does arise. This was how I discovered all four of my occurrences of breast cancer, and I was able to take immediate action.

This month of pink for those of us already diagnosed and treated is a time of reminders of what it was like for us, and a time of reflection on how it has changed our lives.  So what does that mean for me?

Initially for me I went into denial, and my first surgery was just a “glitch” in my life. Something to be treated like a cut and then resuming life at full force again. I avoided those who associated breast cancer with dying.  I know it is the very sad tragic reality for some women.  However, my seven year journey has now introduced me to lots of survivors who are living long healthy lives despite their initial diagnosis.  The research and commitment to finding ways to prevent and treat breast cancer is humbling, and increasing in effectiveness.

But, there is also a group of us who live with secondary breast cancer.  Everyone of us is unique in our diagnosis and treatment, but we are united in our desire to just get on and live. For myself personally, cancer is not about dying, it’s about living too.  I’ve made changes to my life that make my life richer. I have a far greater enjoyment of the simplicity I now live within, the friendships I share, the food I eat, the environment I experience, and the space I have to stop and just be. It is sad I had to develop cancer to reach this point, but in reflection I am also grateful it stopped me in my tracks and made me look in the mirror, and make the changes.  I’d like to think I’m also a nicer person too, but that’s really a matter of opinion.

So during this month of pink I will continue to reflect on the beauty and hope that has emerged in my life.