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Never Give Up: Rach DiMare's Brave Fight with Cancer

Never Give Up: Rach DiMare's Brave Fight with Cancer

As you all know from this post, I promised that I would be more real about my cancer journey. It’s been just over a year since I was diagnosed, and there is definitely a lot more to share as I am on the road to recovery. To be honest, I contemplated sharing my journey now. I wasn’t sure how you all would react. I initially created this blog to share fashion outfits, but now I want this space to be something more and it just so happens that cancer is a big part of my life. I’m not ashamed of it. I do hope that documenting my journey helps some of you out there. Helping others is without a doubt one of my biggest passions in life. I also hope to share more brands that raise cancer awareness and promote funding for cancer research. Because I know in my heart we can definitely find a cure.

Milestones

I shared a few weeks ago on Instagram that I completed one of my chemo drugs. YAY! What a big milestone to check off. Now I go in for IV treatments every 6 months and I still take my quarterly shots.  Another milestone soon to be checked off is removal of my port. Since I don’t have to go in for treatments as often, my surgeons find it unnecessary for me to have this device in my body. Guess when they scheduled the removal of my port?! …. My birthday! I couldn’t believe the physician assistant called me to notify me that March 21 is when I’ll be in surgery. Granted, this should only be an hour procedure (more time will be spent in the recovery room), however, I was hoping I would be ‘out n about’ on my birthday. Unfortunately, when I tried to reschedule, my surgeon wasn’t available and I don’t see the point in waiting much longer.

 

How do I feel about this?!  Bittersweet. I’m excited that this is a sign that things are going well for me. That I can tell cancer to ‘F off’ and I know I am kicking cancer’s butt. However, strange as this may sound, my port was a sense of comfort. My port made the whole cancer process a lot easier. Prior to my port, my arm was pretty much a pincushion to the point that my arms were blue from bruises. The port became a part of me.

 

Fight after the Fight

When I was first diagnosed, I heard from cancer survivors that coming back to the real world was an adjustment. I thought I ‘got it’, but I didn’t until now. I’m sure many of you have noticed based on some of my Instagram posts (I love sharing inspirational quotes!), that I have shown signs of struggling. I have been ever since my mastectomy.  When I went back to work and most of my restrictions were lifted, I finally understood what it meant to fight after the fight.

Shirt: c/o Sevenly (7% gets donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation) Headband: c/o Headbands of Hope (buy 1 headband, & 1 gets donated to a child with cancer) Boyfriend Jeans: Gap Belt: Asos Bracelet: My Intent Project

Shirt: c/o Sevenly (7% gets donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation)
Headband: c/o Headbands of Hope (buy 1 headband, & 1 gets donated to a child with cancer)
Boyfriend Jeans: Gap
Belt: Asos
Bracelet: My Intent Project

Not every cancer survivor/fighter goes through this. To me, I couldn’t adjust ‘back to the world’. I had a new norm and I got accustomed to it. But when I started to get back to the things I used to do, it was as if everyone else was stuck in time and didn’t progress with me. I couldn’t connect with everything around me. 

Everyone assumed that because my treatments weren’t as ‘harsh’ (I was able to go back to work without worrying about my immunity), that I could keep up with the pace of a normal human being. Chemo takes a toll on your body and one of my nurses said it well, “Chemo is like getting hit by an 18-wheeler. It takes a lot of time until your body is recovered”. Just because I am walking and back to work doesn’t mean I no longer have the chemo effects. I am currently going through some of the long term side effects from chemo. My left foot has neuropathy. My joints, especially my wrist and fingers, are always in pain to the point that I can’t type, pick up things, or all of a sudden gets weak that I drop whatever I am holding. All while my entire body feels so foreign to me. I don’t even recognize it.

I did eventually talk to my bosses about cutting down my work. My oncologist was worried that it was affecting my health and may regress my progression. It is definitely getting better now, but it is not perfect. I know that this adjustment is a work in progress and I just have to take it each day at a time. 

I don’t want this post to sound depressing at all. Overall, I am happy and I am happy with my life. My husband and I are talking and starting to plan all the traveling we will be doing in the next few years and I am so excited about that! There are a lot of good things coming my way. As long as I never give up, I know in the end I will be okay. I know I am not the only one going through this and I am so blessed to have wonderful people in my life to step in whenever I need them.

Everyone assumed that because my treatments weren’t as ‘harsh’ (I was able to go back to work without worrying about my immunity), that I could keep up with the pace of a normal human being. Chemo takes a toll on your body and one of my nurses said it well, “Chemo is like getting hit by an 18-wheeler. It takes a lot of time until your body is recovered”. Just because I am walking and back to work doesn’t mean I no longer have the chemo effects. I am currently going through some of the long term side effects from chemo. My left foot has neuropathy. My joints, especially my wrist and fingers, are always in pain to the point that I can’t type, pick up things, or all of a sudden gets weak that I drop whatever I am holding. All while my entire body feels so foreign to me. I don’t even recognize it.

This weekend, I am in Oakland for the Young SurvivorsCoalition Summit. It is a weekend dedicated to young breast cancer fighters and breast cancer survivors on understanding the effects of cancers, adjusting to life, and connecting with other cancer fighters and survivors. It’ll be nice to be able to meet others who are and went through what I am going through. Sometimes a conversation with someone who can relate can make the situation a lot less worse than what it is. 

Thank you all for taking the time to continue to follow, support, and read about my journey. I really do appreciate it!  <3

xo Rach DiMare

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