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My feelings don’t consume me

My feelings don’t consume me

During my whole breast cancer journey I really struggled with entitlement. I felt like I didn’t have the right to feel sad or angry because I was blessed in so many other ways.  It’s the whole “there are starving children in the world” mentality.

But slowly I realized that there will always be people who have it worse or better than me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to my feelings. The trick was to not let those feelings consume me.

At times I also felt I wasn’t entitled to say I had cancer because I did not choose to have chemo and because I didn’t look “sick.”

When people would ask about my diagnosis, it was always followed with “at least you don’t have to have chemo” or “you definitely don’t look sick.” As if to say what I went through wasn’t that bad because I chose a different course of treatment or that I must not be that sick because you have to “look sick to be sick.”

It’s not that simple, it’s not black & white.

I know that people meant no harm by saying that and honestly know that they thought they were making me feel good…but the truth is, it made me feel like I didn’t have a right to say that I had breast cancer.

I’m pretty confident in saying emotionally and mentally it doesn’t matter what course of treatment you choose, the journey is hard and personal for everyone.

What is hard for you might not be hard for me and what is easy for you might not be easy for me.

Anyone that hears the words “you have cancer” is affected in different ways.  There are no rulebooks on how you’re supposed to feel or act.

Being diagnosed with cancer is life-changing and how you choose to handle it is just that, your choice.

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2 Comments

  1. I am a survivor like yourself. Just like you I chose not to be a cancer victim and suffer, and cause others to suffer, due to “victimitis” I understand that everyone goes through trauma of the diagnosis in their ways. I learned that for every cancer victim there is yet another way of going through this,, and I learned to respect my choice not wear my pink flag. I do not have anything against the work to fund and raise awareness, and I am more than thankful for and I do partake but I do not need to be ensconced by the movement.

    I did have surgery and went through chemo. I did look sick, at times, but allowed no one to use it to make themselves feel bad for me. I cried when I felt I had to, then went on. I allowed others to cry for and with me, then I made them go on too. Grieving is part of the process, but I did not allow it to be the focus. We all have problems, but the lesson is how we get through them. I found strength I never knew I could have, I discovered who truly loved me and who I truly loved. For that I am thankful for this journey that found me.

    Sometimes life just throws rocks at us. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it doesn’t look great. However, that’s just sometimes. Most of the time it is GREAT because I discovered that happiness IS a choice. You can choose to be a happy person in an unhappy situation. Life will happen, but what will you do with it? I chose to be HAPPY!

About the Author

Jeannine Canino Bieda
Jeannine Canino Bieda

Jeannine Canino Bieda has worked in the Options industry for the last 14 years and cannot imagine doing anything else; she enjoys all the craziness, the good, the bad & the ugly! She is a breast cancer survivor. She is married to the love of her life and does not have any children but hopefully that will change one day. She is a proud Southsider but lives in Evanston now because it’s where her husband is from; she learned quickly, you can take the girl out of the Southside but you can’t take the Southside out of the girl! She is highly addicted to reality shows & gossip magazines and is not ashamed of it.