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Dear Cancer,


Love, Vanessa


Feeling all the Feels

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

For more content, follow me on Instagram! @dearcancer

Dear Cancer,

You’ve really made my head spin. For the last two years my emotions have been all over the place. When I first heard the words “you have cancer” I couldn’t stop crying. I felt sorry for myself and couldn’t believe that this was happening to me ... again. I was in shock, because I really didn’t think this was going to happen. Especially since I just got married and I was only 29 years old. My husband and I had just bought a new house and we were just getting settled into our new family. This was not a part of our plan. There was a time when I would cry a lot and guess what? That was okay. It’s okay to be sad and to feel sorry for yourself.

Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself I became really angry. When I found out that I needed to do chemotherapy I was so frustrated and couldn’t believe I had to go through that awful treatment … again. I started taking my anger out on my family and I know that wasn’t nice but thankfully, they were there to support me no matter what. They all understood that this anger was a part of the process. I don’t think it would be normal if I never felt angry. But guess what? Being angry was okay. It’s okay to be angry.

I also felt very blah for quite some time. I was no longer sad and no longer angry. I was just making it through day by day. Constant visits to the hospital with appointments just took over my life and I was just getting by. I was exhausted. The treatments were taking a toll on me and I was doing a lot of resting and relaxing at home. I needed to remind myself that this was okay. I’m not a person that likes to stay home and do nothing too often, so this felt very strange for me. But in order for my body to heal, I had to do this. Feeling blah was okay. It’s okay to feel blah!

After treatment was done I didn’t know how to feel. I was lost. I didn’t feel like myself in my body anymore. I knew I had changed but didn’t know how to live my new “normal” life. I felt very alone in regards to not being able to relate to anyone. Guess what? It’s not okay to feel alone. Thankfully, I had different people to reach out to. I was involved with a few different programs and met some wonderful women this way (I will get into more detail in a later post). It was amazing because they understood exactly what I was going through. I've made some great new friendships this way. In the past I’ve been a very private person with my cancer diagnosis, but this time I didn’t want to be this way. I knew that by reaching out to others would definitely help me throughout the process. I also followed a lot of different women who shared their stories on Instagram which was so helpful to see. If I can give some advice, it’s to talk to other people who are in the same situation as you. This was one of the best things I ever did and still do. Yes, family and friends are great for support but nobody understands like someone who’s also going through the same thing.

I really think that healing happens when you experience many different emotions and when you acknowledge them and realize that it’s okay to feel these different ways. It’s taken a lot of hard work and time, but now I feel acceptance. I have had cancer two times and I’m okay. It’s played a big part in my life and I would say it is a part of who I am, but it’s not the only part of me. I am still working on finding my new normal, but I am definitely on the right path. I no longer choose to look at my journey as a negative one. Cancer has changed me and I am honestly thankful for it. I feel like I am a better person. I also feel blessed to wake up every single day and live a beautiful life. I am so thankful for all of my blessings and I choose happiness every day.

I am not perfect, obviously far from it, and this doesn’t mean I’m never angry or irritated, but with my experience I know that life is too short and I try my best to live each day to the fullest. I think by sharing my story with other people has helped me a lot in my healing journey and it will continue to do so. I hope it helps you too!



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Amanda Varrasso
Amanda Varrasso
Nov 10, 2019

Such a touching piece Vanessa. I am so glad you have conquered yet another battle and please know you are that much stronger of; not only a woman but a human being. I have never experienced cancer but have been around people who have and the emotions do take a toll on everyone around you! Community can be the best form of healing! Sending so much love to you and your family!

The Varrasso Family

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