I never really understood what anxiety was or the effects it has on everyday life until I was diagnosed with cancer. At 27, I was overseas in Europe and I noticed a lump in my right breast. When I returned from overseas I had it checked out by my GP. I didn’t have a family history of breast cancer and given my age thought it couldn’t be cancer.
But before I knew it I was having scans and biopsies done and it was confirmed that the lump was cancerous. After fertility treatment and egg retrieval I underwent 6 months of chemotherapy.
I lost my hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and my confidence.
Unfortunately at the same time I was going through issues in a relationship. Previous to my diagnosis I was seeing someone who when I returned from my trip decided they no longer wanted to pursue a relationship with me. However once I was diagnosed he came back into my life offering me support though it was limited, physical intimacy and hope that he wanted to pursue something with me eventually. Unfortunately this ended up doing me more worse than good.
I was with him the night my hair started falling out. At the time he was there for me telling me he’d offer me support and offering to come and see me the next day. He didn’t. That night he was lying with me and asked me if I had felt fake breasts before as there was a possibility I was going to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction with breast implants. I told him I hadn’t. He told me he had and that he didn’t like the feel of them and preferred real breasts. Well that made me feel so great and played with me head even till this day. Being intimate with him he told me we should make the most of my breasts before they get cut off.
At this point you’re probably wondering why I was still seeking comfort from this person.
Well I was vulnerable, he knew my situation and I thought who else would want to be with someone going through cancer. It was a couple weeks later I decided to end it completely. The anxiety I felt during that time kept me up a night, made me a nervous wreck and made me feel even more insecure and unwell. Unfortunately I couldn’t escape this guy as he worked at the same place as me. First rule - don’t date someone you work with. I had to see him frequently which didn’t help with my feelings for him and he kept sending me mixed messages saying I looked stunning and that he missed me.
Eventually I blocked him on social media and stopped all contact. That was hard.
I was at my most vulnerable, still having treatment and surgery and I’d just ended something with someone that I think at the time I loved. Still to this day his words affect me and I do worry being with guys that they will feel the same way about fake breasts as I did have to undergo surgery on one breast and reconstruction with a breast implant.
Now a year later I still suffer from anxiety but it’s more controllable and I’m happy to say I’m healthy and cancer free. As for him, he’s now dating a girl who also used to work at our workplace. Go figure. But he’s no longer in my life and I’m super grateful and proud of that.
Cutting toxic people out of your life is the best thing you can do for your mental health.
And if you are going through health issues or scares keep people around you that you know are going to be there for you unconditionally. Coming up to my 29th birthday I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve been in a long time. And I have hair! Winning!!
Love Sarah x