Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

“Don’t let cancer define you” – yeah, right!!

Two years with MBC and still here to talk about it. My first thought, after having my pity party, was to start checking things off my bucket list. Israel trip: Check! Learn how to salsa dance: Check! Learn how to knit: Check! Attend an Eagles concert: Check! Dance like no one is watching: Check!

Cancer patients’ story

I haven’t always been this happy. My family had to learn to live with a psycho – that would be me… aka cancer patient. A cancer patient who can’t always put on a happy face – a cancer patient who gets depressed and mad at the entire world because of this demon living inside.

Introducing my social worker: Dory

Dory is my social worker at the oncologist’s office. We have met a few times. Dory tends to like this phrase… “Don’t let cancer define you”. I think its textbook shrink talk for people that have cancer. Don’t let cancer define you. Easy for you to say when you are sitting on the other side of the table.

Cancer has defined me in every way possible

Well, cancer has defined me, Dory. Cancer defines me every single time I look in the mirror and I see someone who has aged 10 years. Cancer defines me every time I take a shower and look at the hair in the drain that is falling out of my head. Cancer defines me when I am out in public and someone just coughed or sneezed and immediately, I cover my nose so I don’t breathe in their germs. Cancer defines me when I have to wear a mask on the plane. Cancer defines me when I have to leave work early once a month for my oncologist visit. Cancer defines me and it will until the day I die. I think I need more sessions with Dory.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Laura
    2 weeks ago

    Wow, I totally relate to this! Cancer totally defines me. I feel torn. Part of me is like my life ever “normal” but now I miss that normal and not sure of this “new normal”.

  • longleg author
    2 weeks ago

    I totally can relate to what the new normal should be. I have been been on Ibrance and faslodex and xgeva for 2 years – the first year was hard – lots of side effects. they have since worn off and body has adjusted but this is the new norm for any of us with MBC – it’s how you look at the glass half full or half empty. I chose to look at positive things in my life and when my mind goes to the dark spot, I quickly talk myself out of it and it seems to work for me. I hope you can find your new normal.

  • Amani Abdallah moderator
    2 weeks ago

    @longleg, I’m so happy you are able to reframe your thinking to keep a positive attitude. I always tell our community members that its also okay to wake up angry and be upset that day and then work on being positive the next day. I’m glad the side effects have subsided for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us! Best, Amani ( team)

  • Poll