Recently, I moderated a discussion with some dear friends about October and the experience of those of us with breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness/Action Month (BCAM). You can find that live discussion here: https://fb.watch/gvxHX_dG27/. We’d hosted a similar panel at the beginning of October last year and wanted to do something a little different this year. Always thankful for Laura and the team at SurvivingBreastCancer.org for their continuing and ongoing support of the MBC Community.
After experiencing this SIXTH Pinktober since I was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC), I can honestly say that my predominant emotion is bone deep fatigue. It’s not just because of all the treatment over the last five years and the sepsis that recently had me hospitalized, but also because advocacy for a health issue that is 24/7 365 is just draining. Yes, there are often different and novel opportunities for advocacy during a time period that is set aside for something specific and I’ve often taken advantage of those opportunities; just not this year.
This year, I took a big step back and a much needed break. Some of that was my body forcing me to do so since recovering from sepsis has been a much harder road than I’d anticipated and some of that was out of necessity for my own emotional and mental health. I’ve done a lot of things over the years, raised money, spoken at events, posted daily blogs, etc.
I found benefits from doing those advocacy “extras” during Pinktober in previous years. I believe my efforts helped our community overall and it helped me individually to be able to do something to help shift the focus to MBC from all the pink fluffy celebrations that have often become synonymous with BCAM.
But sometimes it is time to allow others to take center stage and protect my heart and energy. Here’s another article I wrote about this experience: https://advancedbreastcancer.net/living/mbc-during-pinktober. It’s so very important to take care of ourselves while living with such a serious illness. Many times our energy just has to go to dealing with all the doctor appointments and side effects and just getting up in the morning.
Self care is hard, but self care is oh so important.