Breast cancer: after the illness I blossomed again reader Simone (30) leads a life in the fast lane. Then the diagnosis of breast cancer changes everything: Simone loses her job, friends and partner. But instead of despair, she rediscovers herself.

My tree of life

The tree is the symbol of my fate: If it wants to survive the winter, it throws off everything it no longer needs. It withdraws into itself, only to bloom again in spring and unfold its full splendor.

Hair, fingernails, parts of my life – I too have thrown everything off so that I can concentrate on my inner being and develop anew. Being diagnosed with breast cancer uprooted my life, my boyfriend and I split up, I lost my job. Every branch of my previous life was cut off by this disease.

It might sound silly, but today I’m very grateful to my breast cancer for that.

Trees feel changes

I am a successful manager in the fashion industry and am happily in a relationship when I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was only 30 years old. I owe my life to my intuition and my self-confidence towards an arrogant professor who just wanted to send me home again. But I insist on a punch biopsy and so assert myself against his harsh rejection. The devastating result “breast cancer” reached me a few days later while on vacation.

My friend promises to always be there for me. He doesn’t yet know what to expect – unlike me, because I lost my mother to cancer.


It’s a hormone-related breast cancer. When I was young, I was given the pill without hesitation, and I also lacked awareness and knowledge about the harmful effects of hormonal stress in foods and cosmetics.

While the doctors think the results of my breast-conserving surgery are wonderful, I can’t share their enthusiasm – but that’s probably in the eye of the beholder. I am gradually getting used to the sight of my “new” breasts, they now belong to me.

When I visit my boyfriend on a weekend, with scars on his body, weak and without hair, he doesn’t even manage to hug me. I feel infinitely empty, hurt and robbed of my femininity.

Listen to the whispering leaves

Due to the diagnosis, I have to take time for myself and change a few things in my life. Above all, I am changing myself. I used to know my professional goals, but I never really felt inside myself. Now I start to open my soul and listen to myself. They are very soft tones, like the whisper of leaves in the trees.

My life in the fast lane with a 60 to 80 hour week and the corresponding lifestyle of a career woman no longer exists. As difficult as it is for me at the beginning, I gradually realize that I am enjoying the new peace and quiet and that I don’t want to miss it anymore, even if my life picks up a little more speed again.

Put new roots

Despite my scars, the loss of my beautiful long hair and all other profound changes, I have learned one thing above all: to love myself. It was only during my therapy that I became really aware of how little my previous life had to do with self-care, how many of my actions were rather self-destructive and not good for me.

Since the diagnosis, I have been eating anything that promotes healthy cell growth and going outdoors every day to fill my cells with fresh oxygen.

Slowly the awareness of the beauty of life is returning, and my strength is also coming back. Before I was diagnosed, I wasn’t even aware of the seasons and certainly didn’t feel any happiness for the small and large gifts of nature. Now I see everything differently: the scenery has come to life.

The beauty of my tree of life

My most valuable insight is that it makes me happy and fulfilling to spend time with myself. I realized that taking care of myself is not selfishness but self-love.

Cancer will always be there. But it is not he who determines my life, but myself, because now I know that I am stronger. Sure, I have visible spots on my body, water retention and scars – but they are scars that tell my life story and redefine my beauty. For a few months now I have had a new friend who keeps reminding me to live in the here and now. He loves the forest as much as I do, together we can hug trees, talk and be silent.

In my professional life it has become quieter, I only work part-time. I now have time for my hobbies, my friends and family. I divide this time consciously and enjoy it. Yes, it has turned a lot. But everything is fine as it is.

A storm gives trees stronger roots. My roots have also grown stronger, I now know that nothing can knock me over so easily. The branches of my life have got new shoots, the buds break open in full splendor and begin to bloom. It makes me happy and grateful to see the undreamed-of beauty my tree of life grows to.

© Berg & Feierabend

Reading tip: Simone has her story in the book “LebensHeldin! – YOU are the heroine of your life ”told – together with 20 other women between the ages of 24 and 60 years. They talk about their own personal healing path and how they managed to make a fresh start after breast cancer therapy with courage, strength and self-care (Berg & Feierabend, 26 euros).

The Union Life heroine! eVwho created the book, would like to give a book to all 70,000 women affected by breast cancer. Anyone who would like to support this can go to donate for this campaign. If you want to support the association in its important work, you can also donate here:

Protocol: Silke Linsenmaier

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