fucking cancer....

May 1, 2019

 

I am a cancer survivor.  Breast cancer specifically.  Diagnosed as a surprise after a standard mammogram...non smoker, no genetic markers; but a drinker and a bit of a stress pot.  My experience was unique....but hated every second of it.  The biopsies, the needles, the MRI's, surgery, treatment...but I got through it; and it frankly taught me that not every cancer is the same....some are WAY worse than others (clearly) and living with cancer is not only a possibility it is a reality for many.  I pitched with cancer; applied for jobs with cancer (always sharing); and talk about it openly...the reality is that it is now a part of my story...and to a certain degree has helped me gain perspective (cliches are omnipresent).  what I learned...you can get through it; talking about it is healthy; employers need to understand that this is not a death sentence; and more needs to be done about employment options (i was afraid to share at first....massive impact to my career).    I still drink but was surprised to find that the correlation between alcohol and bc is SO significant ( A higher rate of regular alcohol consumption plays a role. Studies have shown that women who consume more than 3 drinks a day have a 1.5 times higher risk.)  Not all treatment is exhausting...i worked through my full radiation treatment - no issues.  Not sure if this is rare but I assumed I would be "wiped".   No shame it that...but that was not my experience.  Hormone therapy sucks....especially if the benefit is small (in my case < 2% benefit but still strongly advised to take it)    

 

Few things I wish i knew...the evidence is clear: Drinking Alcohol can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.    And one thing I will offer as advice...make no assumptions, all experiences can vary.  Being an advocate and learning about your disease is critical....be prepared to ask the tough questions.  For me, it helped me maintain some control.

 

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