Mentally, it’s been a rough couple of months. I’ve dealt with things that have tried my patience, trust and confidence. I’ve struggled with various emotions that vary from angry to upset to anxious. And looking back on all of it, I can’t believe it’s all due to other people’s actions.
As a cervical cancer survivor of three years, I was always looking for support and friendship from other women who’d had similar experiences both during and after cancer treatment. I’d made some friends through various Facebook groups and then came upon an organization that would help me use my cancer story to possibly help others. For almost two years the organization meant the world to me. I put it and its founder on a pedestal, holding in high regard every person I met, befriended and learned from. A few months ago I was removed from the group completely for reasons I still don’t understand (feel free to read about that here) and it truly hurt and angered me. Not only was I removed from the organization (along with a few other remarkable cancer survivors), but the founder, who I’d considered a friend and confidant, completely cut ties with me as did a few other women I’d met, shared feelings with, and called friends. I have happy smiling photos with my fellow cervical cancer “sisters” that I now know were all filled with false care and emotion. Being dropped, being thrown away, without question (and without answers) was extraordinarily painful on many levels. It made me question who my friends were, who I could trust. And it also made me question how fellow cancer survivors could treat one another so horribly. Women who’ve all been through such similar stories, such scary life events, so willing to shit on each other so easily. It’s taken me months to move completely past this, though it still bothers me even though those who hurt me probably never gave it a second thought. But my revelation for today is, in the long run: It Doesn’t Matter.
Recently at work I’ve dealt with some difficult situations. I’m fairly calm at work. I do my job to the best of my ability, get things done on time, and go home to my family. My work is not my life, but I do my best with each project and take pride in what I do. But these last few issues at work have gotten me fired up, which doesn’t happen easily. I was bringing my anger home with me, letting colleagues I didn’t agree with or who were making me feel threatened affect my daily attitude. But yet again, I reminded myself today, the arguments and what others think of me, they just don’t matter.
I don’t like to think about my time going through cancer. It was not an easy thing for me to cope with (when is it ever?). I was unhappy, depressed and terrified. But three years later I am alive, healthy and surrounded by family who love me, a husband who adores me, a child who looks up to me. I AM LUCKY.
These issues that have come into my life are mere hiccups in comparison to what I went through when I found out I had cancer in 2014. These people, these conflicts, are mere tests of life put in front of me to remind me of what’s important in life: my child, my family, and my true friends. I don’t need people who don’t respect me. And I don’t need to do anything to make people like me. If you don’t like me, it doesn’t matter. I was doing just fine before you, and I’ll to just fine without you.
I don’t wish anyone whose hurt or angered me any ill-will (not anymore at least). I do hope they eventually realize how hurtful they were, especially those in the cancer community. Calling yourself a cancer advocate and then adding stress and hurt to a fellow cancer survivor’s life is seriously despicable. It’s those people who should know better about what stress can do to a person’s health and well-being. But I urge anyone dealing with people like this to step back for a few minutes, look at those who’ve hurt them without second thought, and say, “It doesn’t matter, I don’t need you.”
You are a better person without them. Keep moving forward.