How Has Life Changed Since My Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

“Cancer changes people.  It sculpts us into someone who understands more deeply, hurts more often, appreciates more quickly, cries more easily, hopes more desperately, loves more openly, and lives more passionately.”

I pinned the above quote on one of my Pinterest boards many moons ago.  I came across it recently when I was searching for something else.  I read and reread this quote numerous times, and each time I thought, “THIS IS MY LIFE!

The one trait that sticks out the most to me is the phrase “cries more easily.”  In years past, I was that kid who was emotional, hands down.  However, I had a huge speech impediment.  Years of classmates and other kids making fun of me toughened me up; at least that’s what I want to believe.  I still had my emotional moments, like most kids, but I know I was able to control those emotions more often than not.


I reflect on my life since my breast cancer diagnosis in 2012 and I see a big sap.  The amount of tears I shed on a weekly basis is just insane.  My right eye ball is just a weak flood gate (because rarely does the left eye get involved – it’s on a tear strike.)  Sometimes it truly is just watering, but most of the time it is me causing that water.  I may easily cry at a commercial while watching the one-eyed monster, while reading a book I am completely enthralled in, or watching someone I barely know leave church to head off for a new job.  In fact, it seems to happen more frequently than I care to admit; the amount of tears I have been shedding is just ridiculous.  I really should look into buying stock in a tissue company.

I have been wearing my feelings on my sleeve more often than I ever have.  I tend to internalize others’ emotions resulting in my feelings to increase ten-fold.  I can certainly sympathize with them because I can just as easily put those feelings into my own life and story – hence why I cry so effortlessly while reading a book.

I hope and dream more too.  These hopes and dreams are not just for me, they are for others and the greater good.  Although, I could easily make a list of my own selfish wants in life, I won’t.  Since my diagnosis, I have dreamt of a world that comes together to support those fighting cancer and other diseases.  I have dreamt of a future for my daughter to be cancer free.  I hope to see cancer be just an astrological sign, not a death sentence.  Those are the three big dreams I have of the future.  One day they all may be true.  Fingers crossed!

As a cancer survivor, to say life has changed is an understatement.  I have changed both physically and emotionally.  The physical I see and feel on a daily basis.  I have limits I have never had to have before and I try to test those every so often.  Emotionally, I am a walking time bomb.  Tears can come pouring out of my right eye at any moment.  I have learned to love and cherish every moment because, let’s face it, I might not be here tomorrow.  Life can change at the blink of an eye and every moment I am here to witness my daughter become an amazing young woman is worth it.

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