Friday, March 14, 2014

You're Doing Cancer Right

Pink RibbonA while ago, in a span of a few days, I read on-line and heard some pretty disheartening comments, both from people who had/have breast cancer and those who have not. Comments like "Who would do that?" upon learning someone made a different choice from them. The worst of the comments I read I won't even repeat here - they were just plain mean and do not need to be repeated.

The people who think these things, who say these things, they won't be here reading. But maybe you've been subjected to these comments. Maybe you've had someone say it directly to you, or you read it somewhere, or you overheard it. And even though you knew it didn't matter, it still stung and hurt. Because this cancer journey sucks. It's full of choices - choices you put a lot of thought into, choices that you made because it was the best decision for you and at the end of the day that's all that counts. And the last thing you need is someone, who may or may not have been on the same journey and may or may not have made the same decision as you, looking at you with a look of disbelief and going "Oh. Why would you do that?" or saying something hurtful.

So, let me just tell you. You are doing it right.

Lumpectomy? Mastectomy? Double mastectomy? You made the right decision for you.

Reconstruction? No reconstruction? You made the right decision for you.

Tissue Expanders? TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) Flap? DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator)? Latissimus dorsi flap? You made the right decision for you.

Nipple reconstruction? Areola tattoo? 3D Nipple tattoo? No nipple? No tattoo?  You made the right decision for you.

Hormone therapy? Deciding not to do it? Stopping it early? Switching what med you take? You made the right decision for you.

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or says, trust that you made the right decision for you. Because you did. Even if someone else did something else. Even if someone else thinks it's not the right choice. Trust yourself. You made the right decision. You are doing what is best for you. You are doing cancer right, because at the end of the day there are about a million ways to do cancer "right". And "right" will look different for different people.

And if you are going around telling people how they aren't doing cancer right, well then you are doing it wrong.


  1. :) x 2 . . . I always worry I'm doing it all wrong. So, thank you for this.


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)