You are so strong and brave!

Anne B | Patient |

When I was going through treatment, people would tell “you are so strong and brave!” Although I was complimented by their comment, at the same time I thought, “What do you expect me to do? Sit back and let the cancer take over? Leave my kids here while I head off to another world without them? Leave my husband to raise them?” This was a scene that was too familiar to me (my mom died of cancer when I was two), and the idea of repeating history was something that we wanted to stop in its tracks. The definition of strength has come to me gradually: the ability to handle all of life’s traumas—the little and the big—and to make it to the other side with a smile.


  1. Anne B. I’m so sorry you lost your Mom at 2 years old. I can’t imagine a loss like that at the age of 2. My Mom passed away from breast cancer too. I was an adult when it happened it was hard to deal with then let alone being a child. I know how devastating it can be to lose the person who gives you unconditional love. The person you mean the world to. Nothing replaces that. I too like you have had to deal with breast cancer and worry about what impact it would have on my kids. People say and do a lot of kind and stupid things when they know your dealing with breast cancer. The fact your looking forward and the determination you have to not let history repeat itself is strength. Doing what you have to do regardless if it’s by choice or not. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Here’s to not letting history repeat itself and sharing that smile. Take Care

    M | | 5:19pm

  2. When I think of strength in regards to cancer it means to me different things depending on what stage in the process you are. First strength to face the diagnosis. Strength to deal with people disappointing you at a time when your most vulnerable. Strength to find and go with the appropriate doctors. The strength to get through surgery and treatment. The strength to let go of any illusion of control you had over life in general. The strength to learn to live with uncertainty and not let it rob you of your joy. The strength to face yet another doctors appointment, another biopsy, another test. The strength to deal with moving forward and hoping to not have family history repeat itself. The strength to not let people’s judgment of you in a weak moment crush you or feel the need to defend it’s just a moment. The strength to take in all the lessons you learn along the way that ultimately make you a better person.

    M | | 6:12pm

  3. I am neither strong nor brave. Treatment takes its toll. At this point I am afraid of dying, as I now face this possibility which I had never faced before. So I am human after all. Everyone dies, but not everyone thinks of it on a daily basis. I am turned into a cancer fighting machine. But unlike a machine, I am still human enough to feel the pain and the sorrow and the loss and the despair of a grim prognosis. Oh to be brave and strong. That would be a wonderful gift which I would gladly welcome.

    angela dilger | | 8:02pm

  4. Angela say your not strong or brave. I disagree. The way you shared your feelings is brave. That takes strength to allow yourself to be that open and vulnerable. I can’t imagine all the things and feelings your dealing with right now. Please know I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your surrounded by love and support. I hope all the people you have touched have the gift of sharing that with you. I hope your given the gift of being allowed to deal and process your feelings the way you need to. I hope your reminded every day how special you truly are. You are strong and thank you for sharing your bravery on this site. Your honesty is respected and appreciated. Take Care, M

    M | | 5:10pm

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