By Robyn Goldman
Adapted from posts originally shared on Robyn’s Instagram which were written as diary entries to herself and to her followers as she documented her experiences after being diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer at 33 years old. This is part 2.
Day 42: December 1, 2021
I’m still scared and I’m still nervous, but I’m okay. I’m finding a sense of peace and calmness in all of this chaos. These past 42 days have been life changing. Being diagnosed and the end of a relationship has really tested my ability to find acceptance in everything. I continue to smile and laugh; life is truly incredible. The universe works in ways that I’ll never fully understand and in the darkest moments there is still light to be found.
At first, I was on a different journey, and I didn’t feel safe. I had no answers to the questions I had and there was no one to guide me. That’s when everything changed. It’s true what they say about people coming into your life for reasons that we may never know. My angel, Ada, who I owe so much to, encouraged me to ask questions. This led to me, just days before I was supposed to have surgery, getting a second opinion. Besides being one of my dearest friends, Esmée is my sister for life, and she introduced me to my new team at North York General where I will be getting treatment moving forward. Never having faced anything like this before, you don’t know where to start, what to ask, and how to navigate the situation. All the advice from friends and groups are great, but you just don’t how to filter it all. The team at North York General helped me with this as they took me from my lowest point and have now given me hope. My heart is full of gratitude for the people who have shown me love and support. I literally owe my life to so many people. I feel safe now. I feel calm. I have answers. My future is bright. I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I am motivated and stronger than ever. I feel empowered to get up every day, to put on my damn lipstick and to do what needs to be done, regardless. I have no choice and I have to show up for myself. Because this is it. I’m here and I have nowhere else to go, I can’t run or hide from it. Cancer has not taken my life away from me. In fact, it is the opposite; cancer has shown me what life truly is.
Day 47: December 6, 2021
Chemotherapy. Besides the unknown, this is what I anticipated to be the most dreaded part of cancer. So many questions about chemo ran through my mind when I found out that I was positive for breast cancer. How will I feel? Will it hurt? What will be the side effects? What will the chemo room look like?
Now, the silence in the room is masked by the beeping of the machines and the rain hitting the windows. The weather seemed appropriate, given the circumstances. However, there’s still brightness and I am one step closer to finishing treatment and getting to ring the bell.
Day 55: December 14, 2021
It’s been 8 days since the dreaded Red Devil. That is the nickname for the first part of the chemotherapy that I am receiving. What a terrible nickname for a treatment that is supposed to save your life. Cancer has garbage PR in my opinion.
Current check-in – I feel good. I didn’t know what to expect and I was hit hard after my first round. I’m a warrior, but I’m not a superhero. I am going to take the meds that my healthcare team has told me to take, and I will listen to my body, while still pushing myself a little. I feel pretty freaking good. Bring it on, but please be gentle. I have a big bark, but a very little bite.
Today I packed my hair stuff away. That was hard. I know people say, “it’s just hair” but is it? Really?
Everyday we wake up and look in the mirror, we see a reflection of ourselves, of who we are. For me, my hair is more than just hair, it’s part of my identity and part of the reflection I see, and I don’t think admitting that is a bad thing. I’m going to miss it a lot. I’m going to miss spending time in the shower while my conditioner sits for 10 minutes, way past the recommended 3-5 minutes. I’m going to miss going to the salon for 6 hours and swapping stories about love (and betrayal), work and family. I’m going to miss walking out of the salon feeling like the sexiest woman out there. Right now, no one knows I’m sick. I don’t wear a badge or a button that says I have cancer but once that hair goes, it’s like you’re branded. You now have cancer, and everyone knows it. I’ve been holding my own, but this is when cancer and I will go toe-to-toe. I’m going to have to really give it my all, but I’m scared and I’m sad. What will I see in that new reflection? Will I recognize her?
One last blow dry for now.
Day 63: December 22, 2021
It had to go.
It was time.
I don’t completely recognize the girl in the mirror. She seems familiar. She seems a little sad and scared. We have so much to learn from each other. I showered today for the first time since shaving my head, letting the water run over me where my hair once was and down my body. My powerful body. My strong and resilient body. Then I got out and continued the rest of my routine as I normally would. I take the body aches, muscle pain, hair loss, and fatigue to mean that my treatment is working. I am so close I can see it. I’ve started manifesting what my life will look like after all this is done. It’s a bright and simple life filled with love and gratitude.
Day 71: December 30, 2021
Today is my birthday; 34 years young. To be honest, I’ve never really been much of a fan of my birthday, but this year is different. This year I am going to think about why I love my birthday and reflect on the past year. This year has been one for the books, arguably the hardest one yet, from love and betrayal to a diagnosis that will forever change my life. Despite all this, I am still finding so much beauty around me and I’m finding so much to be grateful for.
This year for my birthday I am celebrating my life, my journey, and the people in my life.
To my family and my friends, you continued to pick me up when I was down. You helped me see my worth when I was blind. You were my legs when I couldn’t stand. You were my voice when I didn’t know what to say. Today, I am celebrating you as much as I am celebrating me. You have given me my light back and you have shown me unconditional love and support.
To my pink sisters, I am celebrating for us today. I am celebrating those who can continue to celebrate, but mostly, I am celebrating and honoring those who can longer celebrate. You’ll always be celebrated. One birthday wish of mine is that we all see the beauty in our journey and our legacy.
To me, today is a day of rebirth. It’s also the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. Today is the day where I choose to be celebrate me, recognize how far I have come, remember the challenges I have faced, and acknowledge what motivates me. While I have come a long way, I have a lot left in my journey and my light will only get brighter. Today I woke up and had cake for breakfast, received beautiful flowers from a friend I haven’t seen in a long time, logged onto work, and simply just smiled.
I am exactly where I am meant to be.
I am proud of Robyn vol. 33 but really excited to see Robyn vol. 34.
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