Breast cancer affects one in eight women, and the diagnosis is often life-altering for both patients and their loved ones. In 2012 at the age of 31, I too sat across from my doctor and heard the words I would never forget “you have breast cancer”. The word “Cancer” carries so much weight in itself that it was hard for me in that moment to see beyond it. But when I could finally process what was happening, I realized I had a choice; I could either curl up in a ball and fall fast in to depression or I could pull myself together and make cancer wish it never knew me. I chose to pull myself together and fight and that is exactly what I did with my loving family and friends supporting me every step of the way. I can’t tell you that it was always easy, I had many bumps in the road but after countless doctor appointments and eleven surgeries I am here today and cancer free.
Whether you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or know someone who has, know that there are countless who have been in this situation. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are words of encouragement, wisdom, and hope from some celebrities who’ve beaten breast cancer.
“Having had cancer, one important thing to know is you’re still the same person at the end, you are the same person during it. You’re stripped down to near zero. But it seems that most people come out at the other end feeling more like themselves than ever before.” –Kylie Minogue
“I made my decision because I love life and I know I’m blessed…My scars? I barely see them. I feel whole; I really do. Because every day, I get to say, “There’s no cancer.” I’m healthy, and that’s beautiful.” – Wanda Sykes on having a mastectomy
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So, the only thing to really be afraid of is if you don’t get your mammograms.” – Cynthia Nixon
“When you get diagnosed with cancer, there’s such a sense of loneliness, but we need to know as people going through this is that you’re not alone”. – Christina Applegate
“The cancer served a real purpose, making me a little bit more conscious of time.” – Gloria Steinem
“I’ve changed my lifestyle….I have taken what I consider poisonous things out of my life. Out of my food, out of my work, out of my social circle, out of everything. Because I want a clean, cancer-free life. And I believe I can have that.” – Melissa Etheridge
“I think encouragement always goes a long way…It is so scary … but having the positive support of loved ones is invaluable.”– Sheryl Crow
“I feel stronger and more vital than ever. I’ve always thought of myself as a warrior. When you actually have a battle, it’s better than when you don’t know who to fight.” – Carly Simon
“Cancer survivors are blessed with two lives. There is your life before cancer, and your life after. I am here to tell you your second life is going to be so much better than the first.” – Hoda Kotb
“Yes, I am living with cancer. But don’t go ‘woe is me.’ I don’t want it. Don’t need it. I’m still in the game. I don’t want to say ‘survivor.’ I want to thrive.” – Robin Roberts
Sarah Snyder is the Practice Manager at Chrysalis Center and oversees the administrative and front office functions of our organization.