My Letter to You: You Are Alive, Brave and Triumphant

My Letter to You: You Are Alive, Brave and Triumphant
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

I don’t want this to be one more letter of encouragement. My intention isn’t to say all those things that people say that end up being meaningless and empty.

It’s my deepest desire to really help and support you. My wish is that every word I say will rustle something in you. I want to inspire you.

Without a doubt, breast cancer isn’t fair. But I’m sure that you’re capable of facing it, taking it on, and overcoming it.

Do you remember the day your body betrayed you? Yes, I know you feel like it’s a betrayal, because you don’t know why it’s happening. It’s impossible to understand why breast cancer appears, when its only function is to frighten, destroy and take away. 

Your life changed overnight. All of the sudden, you find yourself fighting a war you never imagined, with weapons you don’t know how to use. And you have no idea how long the battle will last…

It’s hard. It’s a path that no one wants to walk down. And here you are. How can you take it all in. It’s breast cancer.

Thousands of men and women face this disease, while millions of others never have to. There are days when you ask yourself if it’s even worth the fight – if you’ll come out victorious – or if you should just let nature take its course…

My Letter to You: You Are Alive, Brave and Triumphant

I want to tell you what you are

I don’t want you to have to face this struggle. Finding the will to forge ahead is so hard when you feel like all your strength is gone. But I want to tell you that everything you need is right inside you. And the rest of us are here to remind you of that.

You are brave. Of course you are! Being brave is getting lost on the road, running into your worst fear, but knowing you can overcome it because it’s part of you. You’ve been given a hard blow from the inside, but you’re still here. You and your body can face one another and face this attack.

You are strong. Often you find yourself believing just the opposite. It feels like your body is fragile and weakened because of the treatment, and that’s true. But you still have plenty of strength within you.

Never forget that each difficult moment you get through is another small victory. Give yourself some recognition. You deserve it.

You are able. Of anything and everything. The challenges are there – they exist. This is breast cancer. It’s big, and you need to accept that. But it doesn’t define you.

You know it will be part of your story, but it’s not your whole story. You are so much more than this.

“Having had cancer, one important thing to know is you’re still the same person at the end”

–Kylie Minogue–

I want to tell you what you have

You know we’re here for youYou know our names and why we love you so much. We have so much to give you, and we ask for nothing in return:

  • Support. There are so, so many of us that want to give you a hand and accompany you on this scary path. We’re capable of it, too, so please put your trust in us.
  • Shelter. We want to embrace you when you need comfort. It’s your right to feel like your world has gone dark. You’re allowed to cry as often as you want. But we’re here, and it’s our right to comfort you. Let us be your little confessional. You need an emotional refuge, a safehouse, and we know how to build it.
My Letter to You: You Are Alive, Brave and Triumphant
  • Tools. We are your sword and your shield. Let us be your armor. Take us in like a magic potion. We know we can’t go through this for you. But we can at least go through this with you.
  • An army. There are thousands like you that are dealing with breast cancer. We don’t want you to be on the front line. We want to surround you like an army protecting its captain
  • Memory. Breast cancer isn’t what you are. No. You’re a mother, friend, doctor, economist, sister, daughter… You have hobbies, interests, anecdotes. You have a past and, most importantly, you have a future. We want to remind you of everything you were and still are. Breast cancer doesn’t define you – we won’t allow it to.

I want to tell you what breast cancer hasn’t taken away from you

Breast cancer hasn’t taken away your womanhood. Being a woman isn’t just about your body. There’s more to it than that. Breast cancer affects both men and women – the disease has no gender.

Breast cancer hasn’t taken away your beauty. Your body has changed – it’s fighting an attack from the inside. It may never be the same again, but your beauty is still there. If someone can’t see it, it’s their loss.

Breast cancer hasn’t taken away your smile. At any moment of your life, something can make you smile. Use that to your advantage.

The little things that surround you may also surprise you. It’s often those small details that bring out a smile when we least expect it.

Look to us any time you need a reminder of how brave you are and of all you have. We’ll help you remember that it’s so much more than what you’ve lost.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Marrone, M., Diamond, N., Juri, L., & Bleichmar, H. (2001). La teoría del apego: un enfoque actual. Madrid: Psimática.
  • Moneta, M. (2003). El Apego. Aspectos clínicos y psicobiológicos de la díada madre-hijo. Santiago: Cuatro Vientos.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.