**Warning this post is meant to show that if you want you can see the good in even the worst of situations. This is in no means a post to say that getting cancer is a good thing or that you should try to go out and get cancer (because that’s crazy!).**
When I got cancer I thought my world was over…Am I going to die? Am I going to be so sick I can’t work or be a good mom? Will I ever be cured? What will my family do if I die? … on and on and on my mind raced. However, once I got into my treatments and realized that I was pretty dang strong, both physically and mentally, and that I had an amazing support system, I was able to quiet most of those thoughts with positivity and humor. The great thing is no one expects you to be positive or funny when you are going through cancer treatments and to be honest sometimes I felt like people were put off by it.
But guess what…I don’t really care if people are put off by it because it’s exactly what I needed to get through my treatments and what I still do to get through the PTSD that invades your life after you are done with active treatments. So here it goes…my list of #cancerperks (not ranked just a list):
- No more shaving or waxing – Yes going through chemo sucks, yes losing your hair is awful (we’ve already talked about this), BUT, guess what, you also don’t have to shave your legs, get bikini waxes (if that’s your thing), eyebrow waxes, or shave your underarms #cancerperk. It’s glorious! My treatments started in June and I literally did not have to shave or get waxes until December!!! That’s an entire summer and holiday season with zero need to shave my legs!!!
- No expensive hair appointments – Along the same lines as above I would on average spend $120 every 6-8 weeks to get my hair cut, colored & styled. BUT, not having hair, or enough hair to warrant a trip to the salon saved me roughly $800 over the last year (happy bank account and husband!) #cancerperk.
- Menopause – Okay so this one is a #cancerperk for me but everyone has different experiences so let me explain…the hot flashes are terrible and losing weight is a bear, BUT, my skin is flawless (bye bye pimples!), I don’t have to deal with my monthly cycle (her and I never really got along anyways) and my mood is fairly stable (no more PMS!). Overall menopause has been pretty good to me.
- No need for a bra – This one is my favorite comeback story. Boobs are something that most women want, and getting a new bras is almost a sport, so having them chopped off and replaced by god awful tissue expanders was not, and is still not, something I’m in love with. BUT, I haven’t put on a bra since I had my mastectomy #cancerperk. At this point there is zero reason for one…my foboobs aren’t going anywhere. They don’t move when I run, they don’t move when I bend over, they don’t even move when I try to lay on my side. Yes this is actually fairly uncomfortable but I do not miss underwire (also this is another money saving perk…I won’t even try to calculate what I’d spend each year on bras, sports bras and cami’s with built in shelf bras)!
- New lease on life – Facing a life threatening disease is definitely not a #cancerperk, BUT, coming out the other side and looking back on your experience knowing you have basically been given a second chance is a #cancerperk. Before cancer I was still fairly introverted and agonized over what others thought of me. Now I feel more confident, self-assured and I no longer find myself agonizing over what other people might think of me. This has benefitted me not only in my personal life but in my professional life as well.
- Camaraderie – No one wants to be a part of Team Cancer, BUT, finding people who have experienced the same crap I have and can help me find my way through this mess is definitely a #cancerperk. The relationships I’ve been able to build with other cancer survivors and women going through active treatments have been invaluable. They’ve given me the confidence I needed to do things like write this blog, stand up for what I need from my healthcare team and to make peace with this awful disease.
- Family & Friends – I’ve always had a lot of support from my family, husband, friends and my husband’s family, BUT, getting cancer changed things…I didn’t have to ask for help, help is just there. Just like #cancerperk new lease on life, you find that you hold your family a little closer, you cherish the small things and you stop taking them for granted. These individuals have been so amazing during my treatments and after that I tear up just thinking about it. They are the true rockstars in my life and deserve a major THANK YOU, though to be honest that’s not even enough!
I’m always finding new, small, #cancerperks but these are some of my favorites, and are appropriate to share with the world. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional #cancerperks you’d like to share!! Thank you for reading!