Living beyond breast cancer, Living with Breast Cancer, Survivor & Caregiver

Love Notes: words of wisdom from a 13-year survivor

By The Edith Sanford team

February 28, 2014

It’s time to say farewell to February, and bring our Love Notes from the Journey campaign to an end.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share a few words of advice or encouragement to support others on their breast cancer journey. Truly, it’s been a privilege to read through the hundreds of Love Notes that have poured in from all over the country (and the world!). Your words of compassion have touched our hearts, and we know they will make a difference for others who are facing breast breast cancer.

On this final day of February, we’d like to leave you with one final Love Note. Here’s a beautiful one from Kathleen, a 13-year survivor in Albuquerque…

“These are some things that helped me during my breast cancer journey:

  • Laugh. Allow yourself to see things in a funny way. There is so much that is serious, so make the best of the odd things that happen.
  • Take one day at a time. I kept thinking ahead to surgery, chemo, radiation, etc… I needed to just focus on TODAY. Sometimes “today” was overwhelming, so why worry about the next phase of my journey?
  • You do not have to be brave and tough for everyone else. It’s OK to cry, be afraid, worry, and cry some more. I thought I had to be tough for my husband, so I would wait until the middle of the night to go to the couch and quietly sob. We should have been crying together.
  • People will all react differently to your diagnosis. The people that I expected to be supportive were not, and there were many unexpected people that were amazing. They all cope in different ways, too.
  • Allow people to help you. If you don’t, you are robbing them of their joy.
  • The more you talk about your diagnosis, the more comfortable other people will feel being around you. This isn’t a secret club. You need all the support you can get. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people.Save all of the cards that you receive. You can re-read them later when you are having a difficult day.Try to find a breast cancer survivor and talk to them. They can give you insight about the things that you are worried about.

DON’T FORGET, YOU ARE ALREADY A SURVIVOR!
-Support from a 13-year survivor! Best wishes!”