SIX YEAR CANCERVERSARY
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend! Today is my Six Year Cancerversary and I am so grateful to be here! I have been looking forward to writing and publishing this post for a while. I cannot believe that six years ago today, I was having an eight-plus hour mastectomy surgery. It seems like a blur in a lot of ways but is still at the forefront of my mind every single day. I had my six-month checkup a few weeks ago, and my oncologist said, “six years is a great sign.”
Six Year Cancerversary
If you are new to the blog and don’t know my story, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. TNBC is when the tumor test negative for three of the main things — the hormones estrogen and progesterone and a protein called HER2, that drive other forms of the disease. Triple–negative breast cancer is more aggressive than other types. I believe with all of my being that this cancer is environmental. It does not discriminate in age. There have been women as young as their early 20’s diagnosed with this particular kind. I cannot stress how important it is to do self-checks and get your mammograms!!! Early detection is critical with any cancer, especially this kind.
Statistically, making it to five years is a feat with TNBC and each year after that is the icing on the cake. When I hit five years last year, my survival rate went up to those of hormonal breast cancer. Each year is a gift that I am truly grateful for! I have talked to and heard about so many women who have been diagnosed this year, and it does make me think that the environment has a huge role to play in this. We have to make good choices in how we live our lives, but with some kind of cancers, it’s just the luck (or not) of the draw. That being said, I am a huge believer in living your life to the fullest, because you never know what tomorrow holds. I don’t want to miss out on anything!
Being a cancer survivor puts a lot of things into perspective that may not have been as important before.
Do cancer survivors think about cancer returning all of the time? It is a fear but one that I choose not to dwell on, but if you have had cancer, it’s hard not to. I wanted to share something with you that I recently read. If you or someone you know has had cancer, this is what daily life feels like:
Imagine you are going about your day, minding your own business, when someone sneaks up behind you…You feel something press up against the back of your head, as someone whispers in your ear. “Sssshhhh…don’t turn around. Just listen. I am holding a gun against the back of your head. I’m going to keep it there; I am going to follow you around like this every day, for the rest of your life.”
“I’m going to press a bit harder, every so often, just to remind you I’m here, but you need to try your best to ignore me, to move on with your life. Act like I’m not here, but don’t you ever forget…one day I may just pull the trigger, or maybe I won’t. Isn’t this going to be a fun game?”
This is what it is like to be diagnosed with cancer. Any stage or kind of cancer. Remission does NOT change constant fear. It never goes away. It’s ALWAYS in the back of your mind. If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed or is in remission, remember this. They may never voice it, but this is what it feels like.
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Side note…these earrings are amazing! See Chefanie’s other pieces here!
Today is a day that I celebrate more than my birthday because this is the day that I was given a second chance. I am truly blessed and grateful and know without a doubt that God has healed my body. Fashion and beauty is so much fun, but being hope and inspiration for anyone going through breast cancer is my greatest privilege. I hope no one reading this will ever be diagnosed but if you are or know someone who is, please, please, please, contact me. I would love to be of help!
Thank you all for reading the blog and for being part of my journey through all of this! xx
Photos: Danielle Sabol
Blazer, old (similar) // Tee // Jeans // Earrings // Wedges // Belt
July 1, 2019 @ 8:53 am
I hear you 1000%. Just celebrated five years clear but have developed something they THINK is Radiation Fibrosis. Not much known about it. Appeared five years after radiation. WTH? Seeing Radiologist next week to see what, if anything, can be done.
Congratulation on six years!!! May it long continue.
July 1, 2019 @ 9:13 am
Congrats on living everyday to its fullest and celebrating 6 years!
What lip gloss are you wearing , it’s lovely too!
Cheers to many, many more!
July 1, 2019 @ 9:14 am
So happy for your 6 year mark Cathy❤️ The Lord has blessed you richly.
You are an inspiration in so many ways to so many people. I look most forward to your posts. Keep on keeping on girl‼️😘
July 1, 2019 @ 9:31 am
Wishing you continued good health.
July 1, 2019 @ 9:34 am
Congratulations to you! Hope you have a wonderful day! Also, love the blog and your style.
Janis Lyn johnson
July 1, 2019 @ 9:36 am
Gos bless you, Cathy. Wishing you a long, healthy and happy life. ~ Janis
Janis Lyn Johnson
July 1, 2019 @ 9:45 am
Ugh…Not “Gos bless”… “God bless”…Sorry for my typo.☺️
Hope your day is a sweet one💕
July 1, 2019 @ 9:52 am
Wahoo!!! 6 years! I just celebrated 10 and you are so right – it’s always in the back of your mind and sometimes in the forefront but I think that’s a blessing in disguise to remind us to live every day to the fullest! And to be kind.
July 1, 2019 @ 10:35 am
CONGRATULATIONS My Friend!! Such a great post! You have meant so very much to me through my journey – so grateful for you lady!!
July 1, 2019 @ 10:06 am
This is totally true! I had cancer in 2009 when My daughter was two years old.
They told me after the first ct that maybe i have only a few month left.
I will never forget that day!
But it turned pur later, that the tumor which was in the breast area was not breast cancer, it was a bulk from morbus hodgkin, which is also cancer but with better prognosis.
So i had a chemo for 6 month and then everything was „Fine“.
I am still alive and it is 10 years ago now.
But, as you said, it is always in the back of the mind.
All the best for you! 6 years is really a great sign!
Greatings from Germany.
Kind regards, Martina
July 1, 2019 @ 10:06 am
I am so happy for you. Congratulations.
July 1, 2019 @ 10:33 am
July 1, 2019 @ 10:44 am
Congratulations! I am coming up on 7 years. Your description about what living after cancer feels like is right on. Thank you for all you do!
July 1, 2019 @ 10:59 am
Love you so much. You are such an inspiration and am so thankful for our friendship. I love how you have navigated this part of your life. You bring energy and love into each room you enter. So, so glad those darling boys introduced us. Happy 6th! Love, Deeb
July 1, 2019 @ 11:13 am
Congratulations! Great post Thanks for being such a bright light and sharing this part of your life!
July 1, 2019 @ 11:35 am
Big congratulations and continued blessings. I too, am wondering what your lipstick/gloss is. Very summery.
Sara Innes Davis
July 1, 2019 @ 11:46 am
Teary eyed every year you make this post!
It still seems like yesterday. What an honor to have walked it with you. And remember your first walk around the block following your surgery and treatments! What a day of celebration. You kept the faith and have encouraged hundreds of women. Many know you as the fashion queen but I know your amazing heart that’s always willing to help others! Wish Adele and I were with you today! Congratulations Kitty! 💜U
July 1, 2019 @ 11:51 am
Grateful for you Cathy and that you have shared this journey with so many!
Happy 6th Cancerversary!
July 1, 2019 @ 9:10 pm
Congratulations! It so heart warming to read what you have posted. Thank god for the grace he has given to you and you are an inspiration to many. Much love
July 1, 2019 @ 12:05 pm
Heading for surgery next week followed by all the poison potions to hopefully kill the beast. This post made me so sad to realize that stranger with the gun will never leave…………..
July 1, 2019 @ 8:08 pm
You can beat it! Don’t dwell on what it might feel like, but instead on how great you will feel every year as you celebrate another year with no cancer. Hugs and good luck with your surgery and treatments.
July 1, 2019 @ 12:19 pm
Congratulations Cathy! Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us! I have so many family members and friends battling cancer today it feels like it’s just everywhere. Your analogy of what it feels like to get that diagnosis and to live with cancer is so helpful. Thank you for giving me a better understanding.
July 1, 2019 @ 1:03 pm
Congratulations on your 6th cancerversary!! I was diagnosed with breast cancer less than 2 years ago, and am praising God for his mercy, healing and presence. I strongly disagree with the example you gave on what it feels like to live with cancer. The gun pressed against the back is creepy and disturbing, and I don’t live under the threat that somebody is going to pull a trigger on my life. Cancer survivors also have the choice to refuse a life of fear, doubt and punishment. I do sometimes wonder if I will face cancer again, but my ongoing thoughts are on gratitude, for my healing and for all of the relationships and friendships that have been strengthened through the process. My faith is in God, whom I know will always walk alongside me in whatever trials and crisis I will face in life. Celebrate and enjoy this time! I look forward to seeing your annual cancerversary posts and all of your fashion styling tips in the meantime.
July 1, 2019 @ 1:44 pm
Hi, Bonnie! Thank you! I am so grateful for your survivorship! You are a badass!!! I also am praising God every single day for HIM healing me! I only put what I read in the post because it is in the back of my brain, but I don’t dwell on it. I am 100 % sure that I am healed but wanted others to know what some of us might feel like on a daily basis. I think once you are through with treatment friends and family think you are through. They don’t understand what your thoughts might be and I wanted to share that. I am very glad that you don’t feel that way!
I am in agreement with you that God will walk beside me in whatever trials come my way. Thank you so much for the comment and blessings to you for the best health! xx
July 1, 2019 @ 3:53 pm
God bless you Cathy. Thanks for sharing.
July 1, 2019 @ 6:03 pm
Your post brought tears to my eyes- your description of silent terror was spot on & well articulated. God bless you & your beautiful family that you have to support you
July 1, 2019 @ 8:42 pm
I loved reading your post and i must say you are a true inspiration. You kindly reached out to me when I was diagnosed last September. I am now through with my treatments and trying to get my stamina back. I go back for my first 3-month check next week, and try as I might, I can’t help but feel the anxiety growing as that day approaches. I try to make the effort not to dwell on the scary possibilities of a recurrence but it definitely pops into my mind often. I expect it will always be a source of anxiety, but hopefully it will lessen if I am blessed To remain healthy. Thank you for your honest portrayal of what it might feel like to be a cancer (or former) cancer patient.
July 1, 2019 @ 9:01 pm
Congratulations on your 6 years!!! You are such an inspiration to me. I just started my breast cancer journey. Trying to make decisions on the path forward which is difficult and frustrating. Hearing what others have been through is helpful.
July 2, 2019 @ 7:17 am
So thankful you’re alive and well. May your family and friends enjoy your presence for MANY years to come!
July 3, 2019 @ 4:55 pm
Way to go Cathy!
July 5, 2019 @ 7:28 am
Wishing you continued good health and many more years. Thanks for sharing your story.