My name is Mary.
Just shy of my 16th birthday, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. For six months, I underwent chemo and radiation, rocked my bald head like a boss and successfully went into remission.
June 2015 marked my 17th year cancer-free. That same month, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, a result of chemo and radiation treatments I’d had 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’ve spent my whole adult life dealing with the long-term effects of my teenage cancer treatment. I’ve also had all of that time to learn how people react when you tell them you have cancer. It’s tough 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 my story will help a lot of people, in one way or another. I hope you are inspired to be tough when faced with crazy, unnecessary, unpredictable situations.
This blog is intended to guide, not to treat. It’s full of raw realness, education, humor and potty language… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you for reading and following.