Felicia Mitchell is a poet and writer who makes her home in southwestern Virginia, where she teaches at Emory & Henry College. She was diagnosed with Stage 2b HER2-positive breast cancer in 2010. Website: www.feliciamitchell.net
It is hard for me to have regrets, especially when it comes to cancer treatment. I am thankful for every step of my journey. At the same time, voicing a few of my regrets after all this time might help others. A cancer patient needs as much information as possible to make the journey work.
As a breast cancer survivor, I have become more active in my efforts to call attention to problems with secondhand smoke in my community. Since I know that exposure is not healthy, lobbying for changes in attitudes, as well as policies, makes me feel more empowered.
Breast cancer treatment is a life-saver but also can have side effects, including some related to shoulder pain. It is good to start doing the exercises as soon as the doctor recommends it. After that, a regular tune-up with a physical therapist can help.