Identity Theft

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was fortunate enough to get short term disability and didn’t have to work during my chemo and surgeries (thank you, Impact Broward!).  I was out of work for 6 months and remember vividly the first few weeks after I went back.  I was lost.  Completely lost.  I felt so out of place and utterly useless.  I couldn’t wait for my next doctor’s appointment because that’s where I felt most comfortable those days.  A waiting room was more home to me than my own home.  I had become Sonia, the breast cancer patient, and nothing else.  When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see myself anymore, having lost my long hair and eyebrows to chemo.  My diet had  changed – after being a vegetarian for 21 years, I had to start eating meat for protein because I could no longer have any soy products (I had estrogen positive cancer).  I felt I had lost my place in my household as a parent as well,  because my partner had taken over total care and discipline of our girls.  When I tried to step back into a parenting role, I felt ineffective and weak.  Finally, any romantic feelings for my partner were dulled by the trauma to my body and the meds I had to take.  My identity had been stolen and I wasn’t sure how to get it back.  They say that after you finish treatment,  you have to find your “new normal”.  Well, nothing felt normal in my life.  And it didn’t for a very long time.  But, eventually, with time, love and support, things did shift back to normal – or the new normal.  Now, I think of myself as Sonia the mom, the partner, the daughter, the friend, the social worker,  the writer.  Oh yeah, and a former breast cancer patient. 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lupolympics
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 05:16:36

    Thanks so much for posting this. I am kind of at this juncture in my life, too, and it is confusing and a bit scary.

    Reply

    • romie3
      Mar 25, 2015 @ 04:10:18

      I agree, it is scary. But, have faith that it will get better. And it can even be kind of a good thing because you get to reinvent yourself 🙂 Thank you for your comments and know that you are not alone

      Reply

  2. That Girl
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 05:45:58

    Are you sure you didn’t swap identities with an author? Because you are such an amazing writer! I love your posts so much. You write it, and I’m there with you. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s nice to read things like this and remember there’s a sister/brotherhood out there.

    Reply

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