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Sick, Yet Not Sick

Last updated: August 2023

So you’ve been diagnosed with mets. Now what?

At first, it’s terrifying (and honestly, it might still be terrifying). It’s all so new, and scary, and there are so many words being thrown around. There’s talk about palliative care, and there’s talk about surgeries and treatment options. All of a sudden, normal life stops, and this new life kicks into high gear.

Everything in this phase of diagnosis is INTENSE. It all happens quickly, and you’re being pulled in all kinds of different directions. For me, it was notifying my job, lining up meal trains for big surgeries, figuring out child care, and lining up how bills will be paid. It felt like everything stopped really fast, and hit reverse all at the same time.

Stuck in the middle

Next, the dust starts to settle. This phase of diagnosis is pretty weird, in my opinion. Everything feels stuck in the middle. I had dried up my family leave benefits, and my job let me go shortly after that. People stopped showing up, and I finished up the last classes I needed for my certification in project management.

My wife and I weren’t sure what we wanted to do with our house quite yet, and we couldn’t go back to working normal jobs due to our new schedule. Everything just feels kind of weird in this phase.

This next phase, and the phase that I myself am in now, is the phase of diagnosis where you are sick but not sick. This one is extra strange. I have appointments, yes, but they are normal for me. Scans come and go, and bloodwork gets scheduled.

I am in touch with my team regularly, but I have no urgent need to see them at this time. We sold our house, and now we travel a lot, but we only have a certain amount of "free time" before we have to be back.

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Advice for those diganosed with MBC

I think my biggest piece of advice during the sick but not sick phase is to make sure you are taking time for yourself. In the moment, it might not seem like it is worth it, but I promise you, it is worth it.

I have done more for myself in the years after I was diagnosed than I have before I ever dealt with cancer.

I have listened to my body more than ever before, and I have done things I probably wouldn’t have done before. I’ve lived more in the moment than I ever have, and I have been ticking things off my bucket list when I can.

Finding the silver lining

It can be bittersweet jumping into life after a terminal cancer diagnosis. I am a big believer in "if not now, when?" and I know that it isn’t the same for everyone. I was the most depressed I have ever been after getting diagnosed again.

I was an absolute mess, but now that I can kind of see the silver linings again, I am slowly picking up the pieces, and figuring out what works best for me.

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