To live with depression is one thing and to be diagnosed with cancer is another – but to deal with them simultaneously is a whole other ballgame.
My name is Lindsey Finkelstein and at twenty-two years old I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Now, I’m sure you thinking: how the heck is she finding it possible to balance both her mental health and having cancer. Well, let me tell you that it is not easy, but I have made it a priority to accept and learn how to deal with the two of them together.
Don’t get me wrong, I often find myself questioning if it’s truly worth it – is this life truly worth living? Yet, no matter how discouraged I get or how gloomy I feel, I always find myself coming back to the conclusion that it is.
Yes, this diagnosis took me by surprise and yes, chemotherapy is no walk in the park, however, I was handed these cards and it is my obligation to make the best of it.
With that in mind, I have decided to educate those who I surround myself with. I have taken it upon myself to take the time to practice self-love and comfort myself during those days when I just can’t get out of bed.
Living with depression is hard but not impossible.
When life threw me cancer, the only thing to do in order to protect my mental health was to laugh. For my own well being, I refuse to let my misfortune get the best of me.
Instead, I decided to live by my hashtag #howtohavefunwithcancer and everyday I try to find comedy and beauty in everything and anything: I made extracting my eggs amusing and hosted a goodbye party to my breasts.
I want other people to understand that although it may seem like I am going through hell, I do my very best to walk with my head held high.
Here are five tips that have helped me have fun with cancer and reduce symptoms of my depression:
1. Celebrate milestones: pre/post surgery, pre/post chemo, biopsy results, having a good day and/or week
2. Find the lightness of every situation: be silly, find humor in all things, use props
3. Take on a hobby: blogging, makeup, cooking, volunteer
4. Surround yourself with family and friends: kick the bad ones off to the curb
5. Be loud and proud: be open and share your experience
Read more from Lindsey's blog, How to Have Fun with Cancer.