"She passed away in August 2016, but you will NEVER convince me that she lost the battle. She won."
My sister was diagnosed with stage II after finding a lump. She went through radiation, chemo and a double mastectomy. Less than a year later she was declared cancer free! That was a great day. She and her husband went on a celebration trip. On the plane ride home, she developed a cough. Two days before Thanksgiving, she was given the news that the cancer was back and it was metastatic breast cancer.
There is one important thing that I would stress; the entire time, my sister never let cancer define her. She continued to live her life and love on her boys and husband. The cancer did not terrorize her. This is the important battle. I always hear people discussing cancer as a battle, saying, “Fight like a girl.” This is great motivation for the first few stages, but in stage IV, you enter a different way of doing things – living WITH cancer.
Being told that you will live with cancer for the rest of your life makes you have to define your status as someone who lost. When someone passes away from breast cancer, I often see people say, “They lost the battle.” THIS IS SO WRONG! The true battle is not letting the cancer change who you are and not letting it terrorize you by occupying your every thought.
My sister’s nickname was Sparkle. This was given to her at a very young age by my aunt, but the attitude carried throughout her life – even after her diagnosis. She passed away in August 2016, but you will NEVER convince me that she lost the battle. She won. She kept sparkling. Never use the phrase “lost the battle” ever again! #SparkleOn
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