“I have never been a great sleeper, so when I really can’t sleep, I grab my phone and search social media. As I was scrolling through, I stopped on my Breast Cancer support group, and there was a long posting being shared. It was from the niece of one of the members in the group telling us her aunt is in hospice.
So then, I scrolled her Aunt’s page and saw that in June, she posted she was given six months to live. A post before that, the woman was offering her friends her clothes, jewelry, and shoes. All the while I’m reading this, my tears kept falling. I don’t know this woman, but my heart breaks for her. When it’s my turn, I don’t want a slow death. Let me go to sleep at night after watching a Hallmark movie and eating popcorn and never wake up.
While I know men get breast cancer too, I’m writing about the women I have gotten to know either in person or virtually. They are strong bada**es. They have kids or a job or both. They get their treatments many times in between their work schedule despite feeling nauseous from chemo or tired from radiation. Many of them show the world they are strong while, in reality, they are scared — scared of the future and scared of not knowing. People tell them they are strong. They really have no other choice than to be strong. People tell them they are praying for them. I’m not religious and don’t pray, but I truly wish all those prayers would work.
Last year, I met another woman going through breast cancer; her cancer had spread, and she is Stage 4. We have become friends due to our cancer bond. I feel useless in our friendship. I check in on her, and she knows I care. My empathy actually is hurting me. I think of her, her husband, and her kids. I want to take away her pain. I want to take away her negative feelings about herself due to hair loss and bloating. I want her to get good news from the doctors. Again, I want to take away her pain.
A friend’s teenage son is also fighting cancer now. Not breast cancer. But he has been in and out of the hospital for months and months. I won’t go into his details, but it feels especially unfair when cancer affects a child.
When these people hurt, I truly hurt too. I feel like one of the lucky ones. I feel all kinds of emotions ranging from guilt that their cancer is a much harder road than my cancer was to overwhelming sadness. I wish I prayed and I believed in it. I’m so glad others have faith in prayers. All I can say is, ‘F*ck cancer.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jodi Whoriskey. Visit her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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