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.
About the Author
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.