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This is the Reality of Breast Cancer, and Those Google Search Results

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How do you deal with cancer when you feel so far from being yourself?

You google “feeling ugly after breast cancer.” Then you sit and say to yourself, “Self, look at that — 1,820,000 results.”

At least 1,815,000 of the results will of course tell you that cancer should not define you. That your (lack of) hair and breasts is not what makes you you.

Of course I know this. But 10 months into this crap disease I feel so far from myself that it’s often hard to reach deep with in to know that I’m still there.

The mirror is my total enemy.

I didn’t ever think I was a vain person. Then you lose your hair and gain weight and lose a boob and my god — it’s all about your looks.

Vanity at its finest.

I’ve treated myself to massages and pedicures. Facials and retail therapy.

I take walks and hug my dog and watch HGTV to dream about beach bargain homes.

The foot-long scar and the lack of hair though — it’s still there making me feel not me.

The kicker is I’m done with what was supposedly the hardest part. Chemo and radiation are in the books and I’m nearing the end of the race.

I gotta tell you, sometimes I feel like I’m just beginning.

During treatment I had to keep going. There was no option to stop or slow down. Your emotions are so all over the place you just kind of walk the walk.

But now all of that is in my rearview mirror and I’m driving back to… what walk do I walk now?

Cancer made me different, whether I chose for it to or not. I see, look and feel different.

And now it’s October.

Because if I wasn’t reminded daily about breast cancer I now have pink ribbons and pink colored newspapers and yes, my friends, I just found out there are pink colored windshield wipers.

I cannot wait to find out how many lives are being saved by a trip to Pep Boys.

I do realize there will be a time when my hair will grow longer and a breast will miraculously appear after surgery and I will be done trekking to the cancer center.

And maybe if I stop eating chocolate and crap there will even be a time I will stop complaining about my 20 pounds.

Wait — no cancer or weight. Then what would I blog about?

Not to worry. I still have tween boys.

But for now, I think me and 1,820,000 other women hate the mirror.

This post was previously published on Eat the Frosting First.

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Thinkstock photo by Poike

Originally published: October 27, 2017
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