I am currently 36 years old, and I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at the age of 25. Although, I would turn 26 ,before I every had my first Chemo. This year I celebrated my 10 year cancerversary in July. It was a milestone for sure, wish I could have really treated myself, if my finances had allowed!!!
I often wonder what my life would be like, if I had never been diagnosed, its nonsense really, as there is no going back. But I see people, family, friends, living what we would call normal lives, with their boyfriends, husbands, kids all very traditional. I will never have this, not in this sense anyhow. I have had to come up with my new normal. I am not going to lie, dating is difficult. When do I need to tell them, as if you want kids, I’m probably not your girl! But in summer both my port scar and stomach scar, are very apparent. So depending on what time of year we meet it would not take long to have that conversation.
I have through my Cancer, tried to stop comparing myself to other people, as I am not like other people.
I am an ovarian cancer survivor.
I am a proud Aunt, to 2 nieces, and one nephew .
I am a sister.
I am a daughter.
I am a runner. Or I try to be !
Running is one thing I have found post cancer, although I ran track in High School, I had not run since.
It started with having a team walk in Raleigh during 2008 that benefited ovarian cancer, www.ovarianawareness.org, from there I kept with it and have found running to be when I just get to have me / Haley time. I do not win these races, but it’s still a sense of accomplishment when I cross over the finish line. I have had several friends join me in races, from time to time, but for the majority I run solo. I am not sure why running found me, but it’s definitely been an important outlet. And as we know, physical activity is important for cancer survivors and everyone alike.
My knees however are not, what they once were, and not sure how long I will keep up running. But if not running, I will find another outlet/activity, as I am not one to be still.
I think my take away, is your journey is your journey. Don’t Compare. Life does not begin or end at your cancer diagnosis, it is just different. But does not mean it cannot be wonderful!!! Life goes on.
Take advantage of the days you have, celebrate the little things, and always always love your BIRTHDAY!