The Positive Things about Breast Cancer

I received a touching note from a woman whose 33 year old sister was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  She was having difficulty finding positives about Breast Cancer to pass along to her sister until she got to my Blog and was able to find a few.  This woman gave me inspiration to think about the past year in positives.  I am in the midst of  all of my one-year anniversaries of tests and diagnosis – September 25, October 3, October 10, October 17th – cancerversaries as they are called.   Looking back over the past year, these are some very positive things I have learned:

1)  Discovering the fragility of my own life.  This has been a great gift to me because it makes me rethink everything I believed in from family, friends, God and how I live and have lived my life.

2)  Family and friends are amazing and their love shines through.  In some ways it is like one year of being able to attend your own funeral to see what is said about you, how it is said, and what your friends and family truly think about you!   Words escape me to describe the outpouring of love and friendship I have had.  You definitely learn who your friends are which is such a great gift!

3)  The medical profession is full of compassionate, amazing and incredible people.  My medical exposure was very limited as I had always been healthy up until Breast Cancer.  The passion and care I have had from my Oncologist, Nurse Practitioners, Surgeons, Chemo Nurses, Office Staff, Cardiologists and others have overwhelmed me.  Where do they get that kind of love, compassion and dedication?  It certainly helped heal me!

4) Losing your breast, your hair, your coloring, your eyebrows and eyelashes makes you dig really deep as a woman.  It is a tremendous gift to realize how superficial our culture is about beauty and women.  Beauty definitely does come from the inside.  Breast Cancer allows that inner beauty to shine forth.  I won’t say that part isn’t about one of the hardest things you go through, however, once you start to recover you have an amazing gift to see beauty in yourself and beauty in others in a completely new way.

5)  With suffering comes wisdom.  I’ve said this before, but it is worth repeating.  In the past one year, I have gained more wisdom about life, love, health, God, relationships than I had in years and years of living.  You cannot put a price on the wisdom you gain from Breast Cancer.

6)  You definitely learn to toughen up through medical tests and procedures. Before Breast Cancer, I had an anxiety attack to have a blood test.  Now someone will be explaining some new test I have to have done and it is like “whatever!”

7)  Every day I open my eyes and am grateful for life.  I know I didn’t do that before as I took so much for granted.  Now I don’t.

8)  I now know my life matters and makes a difference to those around me.  Somehow I always hoped that was true, but now I know for sure!

9)  The weather doesn’t matter so much!  I used to let the weather dictate my moods.  Think how much power I gave away because of a little rain, heat or cold!  I have a deeper ability to see beauty no matter what the weather!

10)  Clarity is the greatest gift I received through Breast Cancer.  No matter what the situation, there is definitely more clarity.  You immediately know what is important and what is not.

If you are in the midst of Breast Cancer treatments, be encouraged.  It does get better.  You will smile again and you will feel hopeful!


  1. You are certainly a breathe of fresh air…I Love receiving these In my email..
    And really take heart to what you say to other woman..I’m still pushing thru treatment and all that it comes with..:) thank you….

    • Keri, thank you so much for your encouragement! Good for you for pushing through treatment and all that comes with it! It is SO DIFFICULT, but proud of you that you are making it!! Denise

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I’m incredibly inspired and in awe of your ability to find the silver lining in what must be one hell–‘scuse the language–of a challenge.

  3. Thank YOU Denise..Your posts have been such a blessing to me over the past year..your journey with breast cancer has helped me appreciate and experience life in a whole new way with a traumatic brain injury. Today I am leaving the isolation and embarking on a much healthier and happier journey. I will update you after I arrive in TN maybe next week.

    God Bless You Always,

  4. Denise, your words are so powerful for everyone to live by. Thank you for sharing such positive thoughts!!

  5. Thank you for your blog. I can relate to you since my diagnosis was very similar . I was diagnosised Aug 2011 so this last year has been an eye opening journey!
    I appreciate so much more now! My motto- Faith, Family & Friends–has helped me so much. Also staying Positive helped tremendously !

  6. I read your story in Ladies’ Home Journal magazine and it was great. I can relate to you since I was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 24th 2007 and had surgery on October 31st. I had six months of chemotherapy and radiation. It changed my outlook for a healthier and happy journey. It’s been 5 years this month and I enjoy every moment of my life. You’re such a great inspiration to all the survivors! Thanks for sharing your positive thoughts!
    Take care and God Bless from Ohio!

    • Hi Polly, thank you so much for taking the time to tell me you read my story in Ladies’ Home Journal
      and your breast cancer journey! You give me hope by being a 5 years survivor! I am celebrating with you!
      And we live in Ohio. It certainly is different being on the other side. I totally understand what you
      mean about enjoying every moment of life. It is all so different now! Love and thanks to you, Denise

  7. Denise,
    Thank you so much for your blog! I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer last week and will begin chemo next week. I have every emotion raging through me. I am having trouble finding hope, contentment and a sense of calm through this storm that has begun. I am looking for words of encouragement, wisdom and comfort anywhere and everywhere. YOU, have given me all of that along with a sense of love and compassion for me and everyone else who lives your have touched. We don’t even know one other but I feel a connection with you. Thank you for “being there” when I needed it most. I will continue to look for courage and inspiration through your blog. God Bless you and your family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s