The phrase “cancer survivor” entered our vernacular in 1985, in a poignant essay in the New England Journal of Medicine. The author, Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, wrote of his own cancer and what it was like for cancer patients to pass through what he called “the seasons of survival.” Dr. Mullan stated, “Survival…begins at the point of diagnosis because that is the time when cancer patients are forced to confront their own mortality and begin to make adjustments that will be part of their immediate, and to some extent, long-term future.”
A diagnosis of breast cancer stays with you your entire life -- just ask
anyone who is a survivor. The moment you find out you have breast cancer
everything changes. Emotions and thoughts race through you. After the
initial shock wears off, you start to navigate toward your new normal,
redefining many areas of your life and making adjustments to reflect your
new physical and emotional state. I am, of course, still navigating my way
through this journey!