The True Meaning of Love

After I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, I knew my life would change. I had no idea how drastic the changes were going to be. You hear different horror stories; everyone’s body is different so the reaction to chemotherapy and radiation will differ. Things that I expected to happen had the opposite effect on me. My doctors called me “highly sensitive.”

Through everything: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, my husband was there through it all. It was just him and me on this journey. He cooked and cleaned, worked, and brought me to some of my chemotherapy treatments, all with a supportive attitude. He has helped me out of bed and to walk more times than I can possibly count. On my weak days, he has listened patiently and held me when I cried. He always told me I was the strong one. I drew from my inner strength, but he was a great source of my strength as well. He was my rock when my mom passed away in January from breast cancer. She fought the fight for over twenty years.

Be proactive, get your mammograms and do your self-exams. Technology has changed; doctors work together on your treatment plan. Attitude is everything! Get out of bed when you don’t feel like it; your body needs the circulation. Focus on one positive thing and carry that thought with you throughout the day. Write in a journal — it helps get all your feelings out.

Cancer patients have such passion for life, and especially for each other. There is a bond; there are tears, but mostly hugs. My love was my husband; it might be different for you. It could be a family member, a friend, etc. But one thing is for sure, they will be in your heart forever.

Tami Principe
Manteno, IL

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