Aspects of Cancer

| October 27, 2013 | 4 Comments

If you are famil­iar with the work of Andrew Lloyd Weber, then you are prob­a­bly famil­iar with his musi­cal, Aspects of Love. One of the biggest songs to come out of this ven­ture is, “Love Changes Every­thing” by Don Black and Charles Hart.  As I was play­ing this today, I changed the lyrics a tad to see where it would take me. This is where I landed.

Can­cer, changes every thing:   hands and faces, earth and sky.

  Breast can­cer, changes every­thing:  how you live and how you die.

  Can­cer can make the sum­mer fly or a night seem like a lifetime.

  Yes breast can­cer, changes every­thing:  Now I trem­ble at your name.

  Noth­ing in the world will ever be the same.

  Off into the world we go; plan­ning futures, shap­ing years.

  Can­cer bursts in and sud­denly, all our wis­dom disappears.

  Can­cer makes fools of every­one; all the rules we make are broken.

  Yes, breast can­cer changes every­one; live or per­ish in its’ flame.

  Can­cer will never let you be the same.

  Can­cer will never, never let you be the same.

Those who have bat­tled “the beast” will tell you breast can­cer is a life changer.  We are told that as we tran­si­tion out of treat­ment (assum­ing that is pos­si­ble), it is now time to define a new nor­mal.  For some, that may mean settling.

A bout with breast can­cer does not mean I will die of breast can­cer.  It may or may not rear its ugly head again.  Med­i­cine is a soft sci­ence and no one knows for sure.  One would think by now, this dis­ease would be bet­ter understood.

I have a good friend who has Stage IV breast can­cer.  She told me last night that her fin­ger­nails are begin­ning to grow back.  No hair, no eye­brows, no fin­ger­nails nor toe­nails and only one breast.  This is part of her new nor­mal.  As it stands now, my friend’s life is ephemeral as there is no cure for Stage IV.

The diag­no­sis and treat­ment of breast can­cer is unpleas­ant regard­less of what stage it is at.  This is just the begin­ning.  This may be where the change begins but it is not where the change ends.

Basi­cally, we have two choices.  We can hide under the cov­ers or in the cor­ner wait­ing for breast can­cer to envelop us.  Our essence and spirit can wither away to noth­ing­ness.  Or, we can grab life by the balls and go for the gusto.  We can take risks, make changes we have always wanted to make, and not care what oth­ers think.   Hav­ing breast can­cer does not nec­es­sar­ily mean we are rel­e­gated to a live that is fragile.

We can take breast can­cer and incor­po­rate a health­ier style of liv­ing.  Healthy nutri­tion, exer­cise, med­i­ta­tion for stress reduc­tion are some ways we can enhance our life.  We can engage in pur­pose­ful hob­bies by spend­ing our free time doing things that make us happy.

Breast can­cer can empower our spirit if we let it.  It is a golden oppor­tu­nity to let go of that which is toxic in our life.  Once the neg­a­tiv­ity has been removed, we can sur­round our­selves with nutri­tious people.

Most likely can­cer will never, never let us be the same.  It is our choice as to if  we will let it grow us, define us, or devour us.
















Category: Breast Cancer Wellness

Comments (4)

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  1. Vera says:

    Wendy, this cap­tures the expe­ri­ence of a metasta­tic breast can­cer patient very well. We grow accus­tomed to the uncer­tainty, steeled against the con­stant prob­ing and pain, and ever-aware that once this day ends, it’s one less that we may not have fully used or appre­ci­ated. It’s a def­i­nite game-changer; but we do still have choices, and some­times we for­get that when so many choices are no longer ours. Thank you for putting words to our experience.

    • Wendy Doherty says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Vera. As can­cer patients, we have a golden oppor­tu­nity to teach oth­ers about living.

  2. Jeanne Sarnicola says:

    One of my all time favorite musi­cals is ‘Phan­tom of the Opera’ , Your ren­di­tion of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s song is a per­fect way to express your method of heal­ing your soul after going through a very dif­fi­cult and fright­en­ing diag­no­sis. Your blog helps oth­ers who have got­ten the same news, real­ize that they are not alone and there is hope, and also, some­one out there who truly under­stands and cares. Keep up the good work.

    • Wendy Doherty says:

      Jeanne, thank you for your kind words. As a nurse, I know you appre­ci­ate alter­na­tive meth­ods of healing.

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