My Breast Cancer Journey, Part 1- Your Thoughts are Your Reality

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My breast cancer journey started on March 31st, 2017. I sat in the doctor’s office for my follow-up appointment after my lumpectomy.  Before the lumpectomy, I was told I had less than a 1% chance of the tumor being cancerous by three different doctors. 

I sat there and told my doctor about my workout regime and that the incision was a little tender.  I babbled on and on about how great I felt, while he sat there in complete silence.  I finally shut up and he said words that still haunt me: "The results came back, and they weren't what we were hoping for."

Those first few days are still painful to think about. The hardest part for me and my family were the thoughts of  the unknown.  Will I be able to have more children after this? Has it spread to other parts of my body?  How will my body react to the chemo?  Will surgery be painful?  How will my two young children be affected by this? 

While some of those questions are still unanswered, most are now a thing of the past.  While hard times do pass,  time does not stop.  This thought helps me work through the hard times and helps me pause to enjoy the good ones. 

The choice I made at the beginning of this journey was that I can either go through this feeling every negative emotion or I can go through it constantly looking at the good by acknowledging my blessings and looking for a silver lining, no matter how small.  I do allow myself to be sad, I don't suppress my feelings, sweep them under the rug, or put on a front. When I am having a bad moment I feel those emotions, but I also think them through.  Why am I upset?  Why am I sad?  I think very specifically about the emotions I am feeling. Then I think about what good has come from this.  If you only talk about the bad that is all your mind focuses on.  Perception is reality. 

The way you see a situation will be your experience, so choose to see the good and there will be good in anything.  In those hard days, look for the good and soon it will become easy to see.  It takes practice just like anything.  Train your brain to stay positive not just through this journey but throughout your life.  There is always something positive we can learn from even the worst experiences. 

If we CHOOSE to seek out those beautiful moments in life, we will be much happier.  The wonderful thing about this life is the agency we have to make our own choices.  While many things are handed to us without a choice, we get to choose how we handle them.  When someone is mean to us, we can choose to ignore them and not let that affect us.  I always say I don't like to give anyone that much power over my life.  I’m not going to let cancer have that much power over me, and I will NOT let it win. 

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