This post is sponsored by Biotheranostics, Inc. (Breast Cancer Index®). Thoughts and opinions are my own.
What is it like living with breast cancer?
I asked a friend of mine this when she was fighting breast cancer and this was her answer: “Living with breast cancer is like living with a silent bomb that could explode or detonate at any minute. It could also be defused and subdued before it makes a sound. You don’t know which one of those options your body is going to choose, so it is hard to not be fearful.”
Her answer, which she so poignantly and elegantly shared rocked me to the core. I could not imagine what it would be like having something in your body that could potentially kill you. I think about my aunt and my cousin, two women in two different age groups fighting their way through a breast cancer diagnosis, all the while not knowing what the outcome would be. I think about the way they went through it, their heads held high, and their faith moving in action as they went through their diagnosis and treatments, a lot which was painful physically and mentally.
I feel close to tears when I think about what they went through, or what my friend experienced, or what so many other women and men living with breast cancer endure. I could not even begin to imagine.
As a partner with the maker of Breast Cancer Index, I am sharing stories and content for breast cancer survivors and those fighting it currently as a mission to use my platform to encourage and inform.
I wanted to write a letter to a woman who is going through the fight of her life. This letter may be for you, or a friend, or a family member, or a neighbor. Please read it and share it with someone who you feel needs it:
Dear Woman Living With Breast Cancer:
My heart is going out to you.
I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through. The uncertainty. The sadness. The fear. I have had two family members fight breast cancer, and they are both now in remission. My aunt and cousin both fought the battle and came out stronger than ever. I am so thankful for their love and for their continued presence in my life.
Someone else is thankful for you and your presence in their life, too. They admire your strength and your spirit and resiliency. I admire that as well. You are not your breast cancer diagnosis. You are so much more than that. You may be a wife, a mom, a partner, a friend, a daughter, a niece, a neighbor, a community leader, a professional—you are a remarkable person.
Yes, your life will change somewhat, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. Your glow, your laugh, your smile—those are yours and they cannot be taken away from you.
Use them during your battle.
You are going to have good days and bad days. You will experience all types of feelings–allow yourself to feel them and live through them and breathe through them.
Tap into your support system and don’t feel like you have to be in this alone. They want to be there for you. They want to love you and help you and go through this with you.
There are so many reasons why you are an amazing woman—your light shines each and every time someone looks at you.
It is that light that we need. Don’t ever forget that you are loved and needed and supported.
There is life after a breast cancer diagnosis.
You also have options.
Breast Cancer Index helps patients learn if they are likely to benefit from anti-estrogen treatment after five years. This is important because before Breast Cancer Index, oncologists had limited tools to determine if anti-estrogen therapy beyond 5 years would aid women with HR+, early-stage breast cancer.
About 95% of women with HR+ early-stage breast cancer do not benefit from anti-estrogen therapy after 5 years, which makes Breast Cancer Index an important tool that helps patients and their oncologists avoid treatment that may not be necessary.
What would your letter to a woman living with breast cancer say?