I am done hiding. I am done being ashamed. Yes it sounds so cliche but I was ashamed for having been diagnosed with cancer.
I am done apologizing for myself. I am who I am and I did the best I could. There are things I would have liked the chance to "do over" but life does not work that way.
I was diagnosed right before my 40 birthday, the birthday I was so looking forward to for so long. It changed my life and although it sucks more than anything I can see the "good" in it.
Before I can move on though, I do need to apologize to myself for some things I have done wrong to me - sounds corny but I think it is important that I recognize I have neglected me, Lisa, for many many years.
I am sorry for having always been a control freak and never knowing how to let go. I am sorry for running running running and never having a moment to myself for the last 12+ years.
I am sorry for having ignored my friends and my own needs for so long. For being the "martyr" in my marriage and my home and for never stopping to try to put myself first. I had heard all the reports about taking care of yourself first, putting on your own oxygen mask kind of stuff and I thought it was bullshit. I thought because I was a mom and a caretaker that I had to just do that - all the time.
I am sorry for giving up on my small business during this time and "hiding" away when I could have maybe helped someone else through this.
And most of all, I am sorry for my children that they had to see me broken and ill.
But I am done saying I am sorry to myself now and I forgive those who ran away, who shunned me, who could not give me the simple grace of acceptance when I tried to work hard and still be a functioning member of society.
I am here now, I am unapologetic. If you don't like how I look all shorn and lopsided with my prosthetic boob, that is your problem. I am not the person I was before, I am better, I am stronger. I still wish it never had to be but I am accepting of it because I cannot change it.
Cancer sucks but it taught me I have to be open I have to be the face and do what I can to help others - because that is a huge part of what life should be about and I won't miss the lessons anymore.
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