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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Cancer Sucks, and That’s Okay

By Molly Gaynor

I’m two years post active treatment for breast cancer. 

I have eight more years of pills. 

People tell me, “I can’t wait for you to be able to put this behind you.” 

I’ve heard a lot of responses to my cancer that I did not appreciate, but it’s always been from someone who hasn’t been through cancer, so I tell myself that they just don’t understand, and they don’t know what to say. 

It’s an uncomfortable topic. 

When I hear this from someone who has also been through this journey, I wonder how you can say that. 

Is cancer something that you can just put behind you

Maybe it is for some people. Maybe that’s healthy. 

I think we all cope differently, and that’s okay. 

I think we should normalize talking about life after cancer, though. 

I expected chemo, a double mastectomy, and radiation to be miserable, so I didn’t complain much except to those closest to me. Once it was all over, after a few months I listed some complaints to my oncologist and he said, “This is the first time I’ve heard you complain.” 

I explained that I expected everything to be miserable up until this point. I viewed it as a small portion of my life in the grand scheme of things. 

I did not expect, however, that I would still feel miserable, and in some ways even worse after it was all over. 

I didn’t expect to not recognize myself. I didn’t expect to feel foreign in my body. I didn’t expect that movement would continue to be difficult. I didn’t expect the weight gain. I didn’t expect the joint pain. I didn’t expect the hot flashes. I didn’t expect the worry. 

Now, when I think about retirement, I sometimes wonder what the point is. Am I going to make it that long? How do I get ahead with medical bills coming at me all the time? 

Cancer sucks. I think we need to normalize acknowledging that. That it’s okay to be miserable sometimes. Just don’t stay there. 

Your feelings are valid, and it’s healthy to feel them and work through them. 

You move through the negative emotions more quickly when you allow them and move on from them. 

Find a support system online or in person. Feed the love more than you feed the fear. You’ve got this. 

Connect with Molly: @mindsetmolly

Learn More:

On the Podcast, Breast Cancer Conversations:

Finding Your Voice With Brenda Denzler & Elaine Schattner


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Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


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