Twenty-nine. Single. No kids. Certainly not the stage of my life where I ever expected to be diagnosed with any kind of serious illness, and especially not breast cancer, which I naively viewed as an ‘older lady’ disease.
One of the many struggles I faced as a young, single woman was wondering how on earth I would tackle dating post treatment. The additional challenge of knowing when to mention my breast cancer diagnosis and all that comes with it was overwhelming.
Would anyone be attracted to someone who has lost a breast? I might never have kids; would my future partner be okay with that? Would anyone be attracted to me again?
Something that I tried to continually do through my treatment was to not think too much about the things I couldn’t control. It helped to keep me positive and allowed me to focus on the things I needed to.
Someone else’s thoughts and opinions of me are one of those things I have no control over. If I am true to myself, and share what I feel comfortable sharing, when I feel comfortable sharing it, the result won’t matter.
I’m so grateful to my friends and family, and especially my brother for putting this in perspective for me. He told me, ‘Boobs are not the most important things to guys. If someone has an issue with the stuff you’ve been through, then that says a lot about their character doesn’t it?’
A diagnosis like this, at any age, certainly puts life in perspective, and helps you to realise that worrying about little things is a waste of your time. Be grateful for what you have, stay positive and spread that joy wherever you go.