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The Unspoken Struggle

Surviving cancer is a blessing, but life after cancer can be incredibly difficult. The challenges faced by cancer survivors are often overlooked, leaving many feeling alone and unheard. As a black woman with a triple negative diagnosis, my journey has been especially tough. In this document, I share my experience with honesty and detail.

Life after cancer treatment is not what you think it would be. It's not all unicorns and rainbows. It's a struggle. Still going through treatment means you feel like you never got a break from the disease. Every day is a reminder that cancer is still a reality.

Cancer Is Not Over

Surviving cancer does not necessarily mean that cancer is over. The fear of recurrence is real. The constant visits to the doctor will keep the cancer journey alive.

Impact of Triple Negative Diagnosis

Being diagnosed as triple negative is a tough pill to swallow. The side effects from treatment are intensified, and the chance of recurrence is higher. It means 5 years of constant worry.The same chair where chemo was infused, is where cancer patients sit and wait for their next treatment. That room becomes a second home, yet it is the last place anyone wants to be.

"I can vividly remember every second I spent in that chair. The room was always cold. I always felt alone and scared." - Anonymous


Life Never Gets Back to Normal

For many cancer survivors, going back to normal is not an option. Side effects of treatment can linger long after the battle is won.

Physical Side Effects

Emotional Side Effects

Chemo Brain

Depression

Fatigue

PTSD

Body Aches

Intense Anxiety

Peripheral Neuropathy

Insomnia

Side effects of chemotherapy vary from person to person.

Dealing with Insensitive Comments

Going through cancer is hard enough without someone saying something unintentionally hurtful. Unfortunately, many people just don't know how to respond or support a person dealing with a serious illness.

Insensitivity from Loved Ones

Sometimes, the people closest to you say things that hurt the most. They may not know what to say, or they believe they are being supportive, but their words can have a lasting impact.

  • "But you look great!"
  • "At least you got a boob job out of it!"
  • "I knew someone who had the same thing as you and died."

Social Stigma

There is a stigma surrounding cancer survivors. Some people may view them as weak, unable to perform tasks they could before or incapable of completing certain tasks at all.

  • "You're too dramatic."
  • "You're not disabled, stop acting like it."
  • "Just get over it."

    Stay Hopeful

    The power to remain positive is the key to winning any battle, especially cancer. Staying hopeful and having a positive outlook can make all the difference.

    Surround Yourself with Positivity

    Spending time with positive people can help alleviate anxiety and reduce stress - key factors in the battle against cancer. Support is key.

    Be an Advocate

    Advocating for oneself and for others, as well as spreading awareness and knowledge, empowers others to fight their own battles and helps to prevent cancer in the future.

    Cancer is a difficult journey to navigate, and life after cancer is equally as challenging. It's important to support cancer survivors and acknowledge the struggles they face. Life may never get back to the way it was, but with support and advocacy, life can be beautiful.

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