One of those days

Today was one of those days.

One of those days where I painted on my eyebrow gel to fill in the sparse areas between the stray hairs that managed to grow back after chemo.

One of those days where I sat in a breast cancer clinic waiting room, and received the typical “sad eyes” and confused stares from the others patients in the room.

One of those days where I filled out the standard self-assessment survey and rated my pain on a scale and realized I’ve never been able to fill in “zero – no pain at all” since this whole ordeal began and maybe never will.

One of those days where I wondered if I’ll ever not know my hospital patient ID number by heart, as if it’s my phone number.

One of those days where I changed into a gown five sizes too large for me.

One of those days where I met with my radiation oncologist and discussed bone pain and the possibility of that pain being cancer pain.

One of those days where my oncologist validated all my anxiety and confusion and empathized deeply with how difficult life can be for young people who’ve had cancer and how most people will never understand what that’s like.

One of those days where I had to think about balancing the effects of radiation from potentially needless scans with the mental effects of worrying that my cancer might have spread.

One of those days where I attempted to go shopping and try on cute dresses, only to have none of them fit my chest properly.

One of those days where I tried not to cry in a change-room for the umpteenth time.

One of those days where I saw pink ribbons in all the windows, on all the products, and pinned to salespeople’s shirts in department stores shouting out at me, begging to be noticed, forbidding me to ignore them.

One of those days where I unintentionally, while browsing greeting cards, picked up a birthday card that had a message inside that said something dumb about grandkids and reminded me that I don’t have a kid right now because I had cancer instead.

One of those days where I felt angry, and then angry at myself for feeling angry.

One of those days where I remembered I had breast cancer and it was hard, and it’s still hard.

Today was one of those days.


13 thoughts on “One of those days

  1. Hello Steph,

    I have been following your blog since December of last year, when I (at 28 years old) was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. I have never commented on your blog before, but I felt compelled to when I read this post. It is so rare (as you know) to find people our age who have had to go through this. Your blogs are very often carbon copies of the things I’m thinking/feeling/experiencing. I read this blog post and nodded along as I did so, thinking – oh my gosh, this is exactly how I feel. I just want to go food shop without looking at a damn pink ribbon. I hate pink ribbons.

    I’m sure you hear this often, but you’re not alone. And I mean literally not alone in this case. I get the looks. The tilted heads when people hear that I’ve had cancer. “But you’re so young!” My hair has grown back now and I get comments all the time from people who don’t know that I’ve had cancer about “what a big adjustment!” it must have been to go from long hair to uber short. I’ve stopped correcting them that my hairstyle was not my decision. I spent the winter having a mastectomy and reconstruction instead of travelling to Iceland like I had planned. Once I recovered from that, I experienced the torture of seven chemos. I’m currently trying not to count down the days until my second mastectomy/reconstruction that is taking place this fall. It just doesn’t seem to end. But I have experienced such incredible love and support that, to this day, I am humbled.

    I could make this comment go on and on, but I’ll keep it short. I just wanted to let you know that although I hate that we’re both going through this, I have found comfort in reading your posts. Thank you for sharing.


  2. HI Steph,We’ve never met, but I read your blog. Just wanted to send some virtual love… I’m really sorry you are going through this.

  3. Thinking of you. I have been reading your blog and many of the past entries for over a year now. I finished chemo a year ago radiation six months ago. Thought I would finally write something now that I am half way around the world in Greece. A half moon fresh night over Delphi. Bon courage and thinking of you.

  4. ugh….. that soup….. makes me so mad.
    I hope the pain is just pain and nothing else. but i would get the scan too, just to know for sure.

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