I invited Ms. Nancy Alterman, LCSW to write this week's blog. Ms. Alterman is a geriatric social worker and clinical instructor at Rowan University.
The day after my first chemotherapy treatment, I had an epiphany. I was overcome with relief. I was going to be sick and not feel ashamed. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about how different having breast cancer was going to be from the experience I had eight years earlier when I developed a major clinical depression.
Now, after 4 courses of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments, I’m on my way to recovery from breast cancer.
Here are 7 reasons why breast cancer is better than depression:
Being treated for breast cancer wasn’t a day at the beach. Often I was weary. Sometimes I was in pain. Almost daily, my stomach was upset. But I never lost my sense of humor or my ability to spend good-natured time with my family or friends. I remained capable of making decisions about my health care because I could absorb the information provided and often was motivated to research more.
I will live with both breast cancer and depression for years. I’ll be vigilant about monitoring myself for potential relapses and will continue to take my medications as prescribed.
But yes, having breast cancer was better than having a major clinical depression.
*The American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures 2014
*Image used with permission from Haejin Park for Buzzfeed