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Jul 13, 2012 10:56 PM Trisha-Anne wrote:
Lyndal - you are very eloquent :-) maybe you should start a blog - it seems to be the in thing?!
Racy - I had a pretty rough time for a long time. When I got my bc dx I was numb for a long time, it just didn't seem to be happening to me. I had about 4 weeks between dx and the mx - my bs went overseas about 2 days after I saw him, and I wanted to wait till he got back. There wasn't a huge rush to have it done, so I waited. I kept thinking it was only breast cancer and I could live without a breast, luckily for me it wasn't brain cancer or liver cancer or something that could kill me. lol I didn't know very much back then. After the mx my dad died and my brother was dx with bowel cancer within about 2 weeks. That shook me a bit and then chemo started and that took a lot out of me. So I didn't really start thinking about all that had happened to me until after chemo had finished. Then I couldn't do my job - there were major issues there with a bully, and then I was unemployed and trying to find a job while still on Herceptin and my hair growing back.
It seemed that all of a sudden I lost all my inner strength and self confidence and self assurance and fell in a big heap. Everything around me seemed to be falling apart, and I couldn't fix any of it. I felt that it was all because of breast cancer. And a lot of it was. I also felt that because I'd finished treatment (lol even though I was on Arimidex and Herceptin) I should be back to "normal" and everything in life should be fine and dandy. While I was feeling so much better than during chemo - I still didn't have my health back, but I couldn't understand that. I was frightened and confused. I was scared that the cancer was going to come back (isn't education about your disease wonderful - ignorance is sometimes bliss) and I was resigning myself to being dead in five years time. I had started a new job - and even though it was a job without the responsibility I'd once had I was struggling with memory issues.
I went to see a counsellor who specialises in cancer patients, and she was wonderful. She gave me a cd from the Cancer Council about "Mindfulness" That helped settle me down a lot. She also made me see that I was expecting too much of myself, and that I wasn't out of treatment yet - and wouldn't be feeling good for a while yet, I had to wait until all the drugs were out of my system. Once I finished Herceptin - which was only a couple of months after I saw her for the first time, I did start to feel so much better. The Arimidex was taking it's toll, but at least that was just one drug.
I still have times when I feel a bit "out of control" but can now calm myself and not worry too much about the future. If it comes back, it comes back, there's not a lot I can do about it, and I want to enjoy life and live the time I have without those sorts of worries. I never really had much patience previously, but now I find I'm much more patient with people and circumstances that are out of my control. My co-workers are amazed sometimes at how patient I am on the phone with an obvious idiot - and to be honest I am too sometimes lol. Mind you I won't put up with too much nonsense in my life either - if someone I know is being a dick, then I just walk away. I don't need that in my life now.
So - what I'm trying to say - is that we've all been though something horrendous, something terrible and traumatic. And we need time to get over it. It takes a different amount of time for each person. Mine took around 19 - 20 months to get where I am now. You may take a bit longer. But unless you learn to accept and find peace within yourself and decide to live life, then you won't get over it for a long time. We are all so different, but that's what makes life interesting, and we all have our own things that we need to find that make life worth living again without fear and confusion.
I have my photography that I love and gives me so many hours of enjoyment. I have a wonderful husband who is my rock. I have a brother who means the world to me - and we are closer now than ever before having gone through a cancer dx and tx together. I have so many wonderful friends that mean the world to me. I live in paradise here on our (windy and cold at the moment) acreage. I have two beautiful dogs who are my furkids and never left my side during all those horrible days going through chemo.
I'm slowly getting my self confidence and self assurance back again. It's been a long road - but if I hadn't taken that first step to get myself on the road back home, I'd still be sitting in confusion and terror.
Racy - keep talking to us - we understand better than anyone how horrible it's been. If you are seeing a counsellor, that will help too. But in the meantime, I'm sending you lots and lots of (((hugs))) and hope it helps to know that there are quite a few of us who know exactly how you've been feeling and want to cheer you on.
I have made a long journey and been to a strange land and I've seen the dark man very close ... Thomas Wolfe
Dx 9/17/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+