Is Cancer a Journey or a Destination?

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I’m really good at asking questions and then trying to answer them. You’ll notice that if you read this blog. But this is one question I can’t yet answer. Perhaps cancer is a journey–I don’t really know. Life is a journey and a destination, because in the end, you die. So maybe cancer is both as well. Once you’re a survivor, it has become a journey. But if remission is just outside of your grasp, perhaps, it’s a destination.

In this blog, I’ve chronicled some of my experiences with cancer. It’s not so much a calendar of events, like my timeline.  It’s more an unfolding of the experiences, emotions, and feelings I’ve had during this illness. Sure, there are tips here and there, but that’s not the real purpose of the blog. Its purpose is simply to help as many people as possible–by saying the unsaid; going deeper than most people would ever dare; and showing a vulnerability that I didn’t even know I had. Until now. 

I am sharing my story in hopes that it will help you or someone close to you who is being/has been touched by cancer. I focus a lot on post-treatment and what it means for the rest of your life. What’s the process for getting back to your old self? (Spoiler alert: You’ll never be your old self again.)  So then, how do you learn to accept your new self?  

When I was diagnosed in February 2017, I felt like I was at the top of my game–work was going really well; my girls were making their way into the “Adulting” phase of their lives; Greg (my husband) and I were on the same wave-length; and I was spending quality time with my friends. Things weren’t perfect of course, but things were good. But, I was tired–really tired. I was stressed out. I was the thinnest I had been in years. Looking back, I knew something was wrong. Your body tells you when it’s had enough.  Mine certainly did.

So I decided to start this blog, to talk about life after breast cancer. A blog that shares my journey from ignorant bliss, to cancer, to finding strength in weakness, and learning to live my best life.  I don’t have all, or maybe even some, of the answers, but my commitment to you is that I will be honest, authentic, and vulnerable.

2Charliegirrl_o1@3x-100

P.S. Left photo credit Heather Philbin Photography; Dress by Akris Punto; Sleeve courtesy of lymph node removal.

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“Let Your Purpose be Greater Than Your Fear”–Charlene Wheeless, 2018

*Watch my first blog post (which is a video) and it will all start to make sense.

8 Comments

  1. You are an absolutely amazing women and have accepted the diagnosis with such grace and bravery! As a fellow survivor I share your acceptance and agree it is one of the hardest things we have to do.Blessings!

    1. Thank you Rita. You have been such a blessing! And that knuckleheaded daughter of yours that I love so much!

  2. After reading your blog I loved how you openly shared your agony and triumph. It must be wonderful to be called a survivor.

    1. It is, but I must admit, until my 7 years of medication are over, I don’t quite feel the triumph. I’m working on it though.

  3. I absolutely love you Charlene! You’re authentic as they come.

    This blog is one everyone—woman And man—should read and share…

    Kim

  4. As the husband of a breast cancer survivor, your words of advice are spot on. This helpful information also indicates how things have changed since my wife was treated more than 25 years ago. Blessings to you and for you AND your family.

  5. Char,
    You will and have inspire many. The journey of healing , as I have learned and continue to learn, is ongoing with the mind , body and soul. Our ego or identity will trick is into believing that we are our disease. Selfove is a daily discipline and the best medicine to take. Thank you for being vulnerable and share your journey with us. You are love and loved!
    I love you!
    Big HUG!
    DGForLife😇

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