The Mighty Logo

It’s Not Easy Being Green When You're Now Part of a Pink World

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

A breast cancer diagnosis is a life-altering moment. I got the call on my husband’s birthday.

March is usually a lovely greening time for me. All the new spring buds and trees leafing out inspire me like sap running through my veins.

That afternoon it all went blank and I felt my joy dry up and turn brown.

Self detection and early treatment meant a great prognosis but I found my life in a tailspin with little time to think about what would come next.

Being “green about the gills” was an understatement, but I took all the prophylactic pills and nostrums available at the time and found being drugged and despondent was easier than being draped over the toilet.

I’m not one of those courageous women sporting their beautiful bald heads with ease. I opted for wigs and hiding.

I read lots of books and felt lost from myself.

I wasn’t sure who I was anymore or how I felt about anything.

My last chemo was in July and my last radiation was in September. October with its fall colors and that favorite Halloween holiday to dress up is usually a time of mystery and delight for me.

That year I wasn’t sure I could rise to the occasion.

I found an electric green wig at a costume shop. When I put it on, although I forced a smile, I was dismayed at seeing myself as the lost soul I had become.

I’m usually the proverbial optimist and rarely even a little bit down. Down was my new normal.

Over the ensuing months I grappled with this new state of inertia and depression. Eventually I discovered the post treatment drug I was on was responsible for this truly chemical depression I was experiencing and was able to seek treatment for that discouraging side effect.

The return to my former self has been a climb, but my personality is no longer in the bottom of a black bag. I feel the green returning and it’s not even spring!

However, Halloween is on the horizon and I’m beginning to feel the old excitement as the season approaches.

It’s not easy being green… but this year I just may sprout!

Thinkstock photo by Nupurdasguptaphotography

Originally published: October 7, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home