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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

What No One Tells You

By Jessie Woodyard

No one tells you

That the first place someone looks

Someone who hasn't seen you 

since you were diagnosed

is your chest.

Eyes straight to your breasts.

Are they still there? 

Which one is gone? 

Do they look the same to you? 

How about my eyes?

How do they look? 

Do they look through tears 

at you

stealing your glance?

Or are they clear and wide, 

aware and sad?

No one tells you about the drain.

How it's the worst part

until just before it's the worst part of you.

The drain of this illness

It is a metaphor and it is real

and it sucks, like a vacuum 

and in every sense of the word.

No one tells you

That immediate isn't immediately

But in fact drawn out

Like the word YES written on my chest

in ink that takes weeks

to remove.

No one tells you

No one tells you about the return

The blood return that you want to see

The return of the cancer, malignancy

That fear....

No one tells you it's permanent.

No one tells you about the fights

Miscommunication, misunderstanding

Nothing feels right.

No one tells you 

That you may beat it this time

but this fear is for life.

An uninvited partner 

for as long as you all shall live. 

In sickness and even in health

No one tells you. 

I guess no one knows.


Share your poetry: Resources & Support:



Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


The Caregiver Huddle

Third Tuesday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month



July 19,  10:00 a.m. ET


Restorative Yoga:

Unearthing Opportunities

July 15 ,  5:30 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

July 22,  6:00 p.m. ET


Art Therapy

August 5, 6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

August 13, 11:30 a.m. ET


Forest Bathing

August 13,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

August 20,  6:00 p.m. ET


Más eventos en español


Upcoming Events


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. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


Después de un Diagnóstico

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