THE BLOG
10/21/2014 11:41 am ET Updated Dec 21, 2014

I Don't Look Sick in Big Earrings

It's not because I want to look flashy. I promise. I'm typically kind of shy and behind-the-scenes.

I grew up a tomboy at heart. In my adolescence you'd find me with a box of crayons or a football over a Barbie dream house any day. But as I've gotten older, some of that's worn off. I'm still not crazy about wearing pink. But a good scarf, bangle bracelet or colorful necklace is a small piece of heaven for me.

Not because I have a point to make. Truth be told I bought the big chunky necklace for less than $20; the earrings were probably part of a BOGO special.

But as a patient, accessories don't make me look sick. Nobody would guess the girl in the big earrings survived cancer.

Sure, accessories aren't for everyone. And I definitely still have my "low-maintenance" days. A great pair of sweatpants and a headband are my best friends. Some days I don't feel like dressing up. Some days I don't even shower.

But, when it's time to talk about cancer, you'll find me dressed up. Hair done. Makeup applied. Big earrings dangling. I know a lot of other patients like this too. They head to the chemo chair after leaving the makeup chair. Although their insides are broken, their outside looks great.

Cancer takes away a lot, but it doesn't take away everything. The day I was diagnosed, I didn't become my cancer. I simply gained a new mission in life to fight cancer. My identity didn't change because of my diagnosis.

There are many ways to hang on to the good things in life despite the bad. Beauty is one of them. It's a way to add peace in the midst of chaos. Light in the midst of darkness. Sparkle in the midst of shadows.

It may be a sexy sequence dress or a tall pair of heels. Or, large hoop earrings typically do the trick for me. In the cancer world, hope comes in many forms. For me, it's often found in the bling.