My name is Mary.
June 2015 marked my 17th year cancer free. That same month I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, a result of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for Hodgkin’s Disease when I was 16.
Nobody expects to have cancer twice, not even me. This second diagnosis inspired this blog: Tougher Than TWOmurs.
Society tries to empower cancer patients and survivors to “not let cancer define them.” The saying should really be, don’t let cancer DEFEAT you. Cancer didn’t take me down as a teenager, and it sure as hell won’t take me down now, but the truth is, cancer changes everything. Forever. For anyone who’s had it, and for their loved ones. So it may not define me, but it has certainly shaped me.
I may have been “cured” 17 years ago, but I’ve spent my whole adult life dealing with the long-term effects of my experience, including long-term side effects of chemo and radiation. I’ve also had all of that time to learn how people react when you tell them you have cancer. It’s difficult enough to tell people that you HAD cancer almost two decades ago. No matter what, the conversation is always shocking and awkward. That’s where this blog comes in…
I’ve always been a storyteller, and I hope this particular story will help a lot of people, in one way or another. I hope you are inspired to be tough in crazy, unnecessary, unpredictable situations.
This blog reeks of realness and humor. It is intended to guide, not to treat.
I hope you laugh while you’re learning. ❤
You can find me on Instagram @missmary213 and on Twitter @marylewis213