26 Parts of a Breast Cancer Diagnosis That ‘Shocked’ People the Most

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the . Each year an estimated 230,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to (NBCF).

And though October is famous for pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness galore, it is difficult to fully understand what comes along with a diagnosis if you haven’t been affected. So The Mighty teamed up with NBCF to ask their community in their family. NBCF offers a free online community to help breast cancer patients and their loved ones move

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Cancer doesn’t discriminate.”

2. “All the great stories from people who beat this.”

3. “It just totally turns everything upside down and [it takes a long time] to start to feel like you have some kind of control.”

4. “Women’s strength and unity.”

5. “I was the fourth of eight sisters to get breast cancer. The 1-in-8 theory doesn’t ring true for my family. It’s 1 of every 2.”

6. “I got it with no family history!”

7. “It shocked me that this is the third time I’ve had breast cancer.”

8. “When my little sister was diagnosed it was shocking that it was happening in our family. You go along blithely thinking it happens to other people. The reality is most shocking of all.”

9. “What shocked me? I think for me my life changed in an instant. I no longer felt invincible. I thought differently, I felt differently… And wondered what was in store for me.”

10. “The fact that I thought I was healthy! And the biggest shocker was the lack of support I got from certain family and friends. Some so-called friends and family pretty much disappeared.”

11. “It can happen to anyone.”

12. “It impacts your every thought, and you will never again have peace of mind.”

13. “I thought I could still be the strong person I always was. Wrong. I suffered depression horribly after my double mastectomy. I think it was because I didn’t have the physical and emotional strength I was used to. It was a long road to feeling ‘normal’ again. I still am not sure what normal is. But as of today I have returned to what I think is normal. I no longer worry about the little things and focus on the important things in life. I am much more at peace with myself.”

14. “It turns you upside down and sends you on a roller coaster of emotions and pain.”

15. “Being diagnosed at 28 years old…”

16. “What shocked me the most was learning that my mom would be bald (and beautiful) on my wedding day, and how neither of us or anyone else could have imagined it being that way. Watching her first cut her hair short, and then have it shaved off completely, really moved me. It forced her to be so strong (amidst many other things happening); it was infectious. I donated 12 inches of my hair in honor of her, in hopes that it would change the life of someone going through the same thing. The whole process has altered my life forever. You truly never know what people are going through.”

17. “Having breast cancer twice was a wake up call for me. The first time I was in shock, went into treatment and thought I was done. Then six months later it appeared again and I wondered why me and what am I doing wrong in my life? Breast cancer brought me closer to my son and made me fight harder than anything in my life because I wanted to live and had unfinished business.”

18. “How absolutely terrified I would be but how much love I would find myself surrounded by from family, friends and neighbors. How much having cancer becomes like a full time job with all the research, doctors appointments, etc., and realizing how many people were there to help.”

19. “Telling my family.”

20. “What has surprised me the most is that my life has changed in many positive ways. Don’t get me wrong, a breast cancer diagnosis is shocking and scary. However, I have learned so much along the way and look at life very differently now. I liken it to getting a one-way ticket someplace, with no return available. I have embraced the journey this one-way ticket has taken me on.”

21. “It changes your life in an instant. One day you’re living life normally and the next day you are completely overwhelmed with various emotions. I discovered that I was much stronger than I thought.”

22. “What has shocked me the most is how it changed me forever for the better. I cherish life more and it brought our family closer. I had wonderful support, I am cancer free and a bonus is we had a major wake up and love each other more and cherish our lives that God gave us in a higher dimension.”

23. “How hard it has been on my family.”

24. “The relatives who were not so friendly to me have become great friends of mine and the relatives I thought would be great friends to me have abandoned me.”

25. “How much it can change your life forever. You read glowing stories of people who run marathons and become motivational speakers and somehow, they all seem to have such wonderful and much better lives because they had cancer. Then you find out that it’s not necessarily the way things will turn out for the majority of us. I knew I would do anything I had to do to still be here, but I believed my life would eventually return to normal and I’d be back to the ‘old me.’ It bothered me a lot when I discovered that wasn’t so and that no one had bothered to let any of us survivors know.”

26. “Life goes on. Although I felt like mine ended, I soon realized it goes on with or without you. So get up each day and live!”