Put on a Happy Face

My current happy place. Grand Cayman.

My current happy place. Grand Cayman.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of ups and downs. More ups than downs.

After spending a couple of weeks in January freaked out that I truly had metastatic breast cancer in my lungs, we realized your body can’t handle that much anxiety. It just can’t, and it isn’t fair to do that to it. Stress and anxiety are a horrible thing.

I considered getting a second opinion. Digging through the world of medicine – to find that one person who would just go biopsy the biggest nodule. I needed a definitive answer. I realized later that maybe a few more months of not knowing for sure would be a nice thing if things go down the “worst case scenario” route. A few more months focusing on my job, a few more months of normal, a few more months to just go places and do things with a smaller cloud hanging over my head.

I have two scans indicating that there is a high likelihood I have metastatic cancer, but “likelihood” leaves enough room for doubt. Even if it is cancer, I can’t change it, so why dwell. As I am writing about dwelling… haha, oy. I never truly knew fear before I got cancer. It eats away at you in the world of “watching and waiting” after treatment. You eventually learn to squish that voice down a bit better and put one foot in front of the other, and keep going. I will cross that bridge if it comes to it.

Cancer lives at a more active place in my brain after the recent news about the woman in Australia and the Under the Red Dress Project. It isn’t a bad thing, I appreciate what the woman is doing! It reminds me to tell interested people about the Scar Project. It is about all women under 45 trying to show what happens to your body after treatment and what a “free boob job” looks like. I have been trying to put together a blog post to put my own words to what these women are trying to portray, but it forced me to dig back through the emotions of everything. I sifted through with all of my surgeries and I am in awe of these brave women that participate. I appreciate that they put the reality out there instead of a cute pink ribbon.

I used to fear standing in front of a mirror. I used to think there wasn’t any way I would ever stand in front of the mirror and not think about breast cancer because of the obvious scars on my body.

The end result of all of my soul-searching on the topic:

I realized that I can’t actually remember the last time I stood in front of the mirror, and really noticed my scars….

Author: Mandi

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