My battle with breast cancer: Staying positive

A positive attitude helps tremendously when you are battling breast cancer. However, it is sometimes difficult, if not impossible to keep an upbeat mood. Chemo makes you feel like crap, and so do the medications they give you to help ward off chemotherapy's side effects. Being chronically uncomfortable is not easy to deal with. I have several ways to help stay positive.

This is not permanent

Chemo and most of the drugs I am taking are short term. This is where most of my discomfort comes from. I keep my eye on the fact that there are just two more chemotherapy sessions left. Once the chemo is done, I will feel better.

Reconstruction is a third of the way done. It will be just a couple of months before the tissue expanders are swapped out for implants. That will end the issues I am having with the expanders. Once chemotherapy and the expanders are done with--90 percent of my pain and discomfort issues will disappear. Soon, I will have put breast cancer behind me.

Faith

Getting through the day can be tough. Sometimes you just have to have faith that it will turn out okay. This quote from Chabad.org helps me:

"I am a mystery, G-d confesses. I am strange, infinitely strange. My script of history is quite unfathomable to the human mind and heart. Yet you ought to know one thing: I am not a detached G-d, residing in the heavens and objectively governing the destiny of each human being the way I see fit. I am present with you in your anguish. I am in the groan of a beaten slave, the wail of a bereaved mother, the spilled blood of a murdered child. You are crying? I am weeping with you. You feel crushed? I am crushed with you. No matter how deep your darkness, I am deeper still. I do not orchestrate human suffering from some distant planet, removed from your existential distress. I am there with you, suffering with you, sobbing with you, praying for redemption together with you."

Failure is not an option

I am not in this alone. My family needs me. Curling up in a ball and deciding to check out from life is not an option for me. I have kids to homeschool, a house to take care of and a husband who is counting on me to be around for a while.

Reaching out

When it all crashes down and I have an awful day, I have learned that reaching out to friends and family helps. No one expects me to be Miss Mary Sunshine all of the time. I was always the strong one and I never asked for help--until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. If I learned one thing from cancer, it is that I have an amazing network of caring people who are willing to help me get through this. For this, I am truly thankful.

Soon, my breast cancer treatments will be in the past and I will be able to go forward with my life. For now, I take one day at a time, knowing that I will be okay. Staying positive helps, and when I remember to stay positive, I feel better.