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I Have Cancer, But Cancer Doesn’t Have Me

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Article

Cancer is a dark place, but we can bring light to it.

Metastatic breast cancer survivor, Laura Orange.

Metastatic breast cancer survivor, Laura Orange.

Cancer is the one diagnosis that no one on this planet ever wants to hear. The whirlwind that follows that diagnosis is debilitating and turns your world upside down.

A year out from my de novo metastatic breast cancer diagnosis at age 36, I am living proof that there is hope!

I was in a daze of confusion – why, how, what if, constantly flooded my mind day after day. I was told many times to have a positive attitude; I wondered how would this save me? I couldn’t just find a way to be happy or hopeful.

My oncology team set me up with a therapist at my cancer center, this was life changing and really helped me navigate and adjust to my new life. Not only are we taking on a new diagnosis, but we are taking on a lot of mental and emotional burdens. My mental health really stood in my own way. I had to learn that cancer will rob you of everything if you let it! It will take our physical appearance and the medications will age our bodies far beyond what we once knew.

I refuse to allow this diagnosis to define me and my purpose. I have an amazing oncology team and support system that plays a vital role in my cancer journey. Once I got my mental health in order, I felt everything else became lighter. Yes, I have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me. We all have a story to tell and one we hope resonates far beyond our time here on earth. God didn’t forsake me; he knew I was strong enough to take on this task.

I have participated in cancer walks, support groups, cancer camps and even did an interview with a news station. Talking about it has helped me find my purpose within my diagnosis. My mission and hope are to help educate young women on being their own advocate and having education on early detection, this could be lifesaving. I didn’t get that chance; we are told no mammograms until 40. If I had waited, I wouldn’t be here to write this story. I want to help uplift and shine a light on all women/ men that are affected by cancer, it’s a dark place to be but together we can all bring a bright light to it.

This post was written and submitted by a CURE reader. The article reflects the views the author and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.

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