Acknowledging How Cancer Has Affected My Feelings About Myself

I must confess this story has been difficult to write. I have walked through life, up to this point, as a fairly confident human being. Cancer has changed that for me. Here is my truth: I hate how cancer has affected my self-worth. I dislike worrying about whether it could come back. I dislike how it has changed my body. I am worried about the constant low level pain I am experiencing. Most of all, I am unhappy that I have such a negative take on who and what I am right now.

Having written all that, I am not wallowing in this, though I know it might appear otherwise. I’m just being brutally honest. I don’t want anyone in my life telling me, “But you look beautiful” or “You are just crying out for attention” or “There are other more pressing problems in this world.” I know, I’m not, and no freaking kidding.

Right now, for me, there is a real disconnect between my self-worth (which like everyone’s, should ideally be high) and how horrible I feel emotionally and physically. I am struggling with how I feel about myself right now. I’m not in a healthy place. I do expect my self-worth will bounce right back. I have every expectation this will happen. But it will take time. Time and patience. I utterly comprehend this intellectually. However, I am someone who lives in the moment. I can’t live in the past, so I should try not to dwell on it, only learn from it. I can’t live in the future because I will miss today’s moments. I’m not luxuriating in my situation right now, but I am trying my hardest to get through it — and I can’t get through something if I don’t acknowledge it.

In the meantime, I will be seeing a psychologist to help me through this. I need to let it all go, but I can’t do this alone. It’s hard for me to talk about this to friends and family because I fear the dreaded eye roll. It is hard to verbalize what I am going through without worrying about sounding needy or whiny. But it is much easier to write about it. I can imagine everyone being supportive and helpful as they read my story.

A version of this post originally appeared on Capable Fitness.

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