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How has your BC experience changed you

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  • Egads007
    Egads007 Member Posts: 474
    edited April 2018
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    Coach Vickie- shopping is always a big deal...I mean new stuff...always cool! Hope you had fun!

    Notbroken - very true! The ones I thought would be there weren’t...and vice versa

  • runor
    runor Member Posts: 1,613
    edited April 2018
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    It has made me intolerant in certain situations.

    Was sitting somewhere today when I overheard a conversation. A woman told a fellow that she was metastatic and her breast cancer had spread to several other organs. She was now taking Herceptin but was battling to accept that this is the end for her, they have given her very dismal life expectancy. My heart sank to my shoes. She was saying that she 'has accepted' and I'm thinking, no you haven't. You are fighting hard to accept, you know that everything you read and hear tells you that you should 'accept', what the hell does accept mean anyway? She has only had one Herceptin treatment so there has not been a lot of time to process and 'accept'. It's such a big burden we place on ourselves to graciously accept and get on with the day as if nothing is wrong.

    But the bad part was when the man she was talking to launched into a schpeel about how making your body more alkaline (or acidic?) stopped cancer cells from spreading and he knows a woman who cured herself by eating duck eggs. DUCK EGGS!? Are you kidding me with this shit?! I looked at the woman's face and it was taking every last ounce of her energy to not throat punch the guy. He wasn't being an ass on purpose. But until you have been on the INSIDE of the cancer clinic, you really don't know shit about cancer. I used to be like that man. I used to read snippets and hear this or that and until cancer is a critical life threatening issue for you, you happily get to believe the bullshit that eating duck eggs and burning incense will make your tumour or mets magically disappear. Oh my god. Just, oh my god.

    Having cancer has made me intolerant of how little other people know about it. How little they know about that hand of god that reaches down and gob smacks you right out of your chair when a doctor says, 'I'm sorry, it's cancer'. At that moment cancer is no longer a theory that you can read whacky health articles about, it is a FIRE in your BODY and what the hell is going to PUT IT OUT? Not duck eggs, that's for damn sure. He was earnest and he meant well, but he was uninformed and having never been faced with that crisis was dispensing information as if he had. It's a whole other ballgame when it's you being told you need surgery, radiation, chemo and meds and you decide to go home and eat duck eggs? Good luck with that.

  • kanga_roo
    kanga_roo Member Posts: 302
    edited April 2018
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    6 months a go I would never have envisioned contributing to a blog on a cancer site. Amazingly I feel quite at home here and have made many new friends, a few of whom I caught up with for a cuppa recently-Amazing! I feel part of this community, and genuinely care about those I read about, am interested in your diagnosis and progress, and am absorbed by the articles and blogs I read on all sorts of cancer related topics.

    I was recently diagnosed, and after the initial shock, I felt I had to put my house in order, you know, sort out the photos, family tree stuff and get rid of things I'd been hoarding, for what I don't know.

    None of us know how long we have got to live, cancer sufferers or not. What I do know though, is that we can all die a little every day, but I have decided to live a little every day. So like many of the contributors here, I do special little things for myself and family. I try to learn new skills. I've just bought myself a new Mac book pro and the learning curve after windows is a challenge. I recently joined a palates class to maintain fitness and meet some new people.

    I believe we all need something to look forward too, whether it's a piece of chocolate cake or a holiday away for a few days. I sometimes put treats on my calendar for the following week, just for fun, just for something to look forward too.

    I am evolving. I am a Newby compared to many here and hope to be able to look back on this thread a few years hence and feel like I've achieved a few little things.

    Jackie

  • coachvicky
    coachvicky Member Posts: 984
    edited April 2018
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    Egads007 ... Thank you. It was fun and more of a big deal than I realized it would be.

    Kanga_Roo ... Would you cross the pond and come sort for me? LOL. I don't have your dedication to go thru "stuff" and know that I should. Glad to hear you are exercising. I really believe it helps as much as I hate doing it. It reads as if you are in a good place in life.

    runor ... I hear you about intolerance. Before diagnosis, I had regular massages. The person I regularly went to ask me, "Have you considered alternative treatments?" She also told me that I would be denied massages if the office found out I was in chemo. When I halted my membership and the front office found out why, they apologized and told me that I would be welcomed especially since I was battling cancer. Maybe this is how I have changed in that I have come to accept that some people are stupid and I can't fix stupid.

    Back to the massage story ... I said to her, "Are you freckin' nuts? I have cancer!" Never spoke to her again.

    Sometimes, I think people say things because they are trying to be helpful. I had a realtor say to me that her Mother started drinking alkaline water during treatment. She said she didn't know if the water has stopped the cancer from returning but she does know her Mother guzzles it down. I started drinking alkaline water. Go figure.

    Coach Vicky
  • Texas357
    Texas357 Member Posts: 332
    edited May 2018
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    I was diagnosed and treated for Stage 3 breast cancer in 2008/2009. The positives: I learned quickly how to live in the moment and that has stuck with me. I no longer take things for granted. I find it easier to be joyful and easier to let go of negativity. When I was first diagnosed, I distanced myself from crabby people. I still maintain a "no negativity" motto. If you're an Eeyore, I won't let you influence my life. I always ate healthfully and exercised. Now I don't apologize to anyone for not indulging in things that will knock me off track. And I'm around people who respect and support those decisions.

    The negatives are mostly physical. Taxotere did a number on me. I no longer have working tear ducts so I'm constantly wiping my eyes. Strangers assume I'm crying all the time. Makes it hard to wear makeup. I considered eye surgery but the thought of implanting glass tubes into my eyes, which may or may not stay in place, was too overwhelming. Thanks to Taxotere, my fingernails never returned to normal. Several nails still lift off. I've got a bald spot on my head which, thankfully, is in the back so I don't have to see it when I look in the mirror. My skin used to be oily, now it's bone dry. I had long, thick eyelashes. Now I barely have any.

    Overall, I've maintained an attitude of gratitude. If I'm upset about anything, it's about my original medical oncologist who assured me all the Taxotere side effects would be temporary.

    P.S. I also can't tolerate someone who tries to compare her story to mine when all she did was have a precancerous mole removed. I went through 2 years of hell in order to live. This person spent a few hours in her dermatologist's office and then went back a few weeks later for a re-check. Yet, she's always bringing up her cancer experience to me.







  • coachvicky
    coachvicky Member Posts: 984
    edited May 2018
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    Texas357

    My Ophthalmologist inserted plugs into a tear duct in each eye. The first ones kept popping out so she used disposable ones. I go in every 5 to 6 months for replacements. It might work for you. Hear you on all the other SE from Taxotere.

    Coach Vicky

  • SMadlin5643
    SMadlin5643 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2018
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    Since being diagnosed I have much thinner skin. I cannot tolerate people the way I use to. For one thing, as many people who experience cancer there should be a public service announcement of what NOT to say to a person who is experiencing cancer.

    My relationship with my family is much closer now. Especially my husband and I, He has been with me through every step and I am so grateful to God for him. We do many more family activities without technology. My diagnosis has reminded mehow fragile life really is and I don't want waiste time on things that are not meaningful to me.

  • celand
    celand Member Posts: 223
    edited May 2018
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    Since the day that the Radiologist shattered my world with my BC diagnosis, I have changed the way I view life, per the wonderful oncology nurse who was also there at this life changing moment and helped me pick up the pieces told me, "you take things one day at a time". That is what I try to do now. This experience has taught me that you never know what curveball life will throw at you, so really that us all that we can do. Also, life can change so much in an instant, pending medical test results. I have definitely learned to be a better advocate for myself, for instance, I go to hospital medical records about a week following surgery to obtain medical records, so I know what is going on prior to my doctors appointment. Now, sometimes I do wish that I had remained low key about my diagnosis, some people know what to say but many say some things that made me wonder such as one co-worker insisted that if I added alkaline drops to my daily water that my cancer would be cured, because her naturopathic doctor sister cured someone of cancer this way! Also, a couple of co-worker told me "you are too nice to get cancer" - really, are only mean people supposed to get dreaded illnesses! I have concluded that many do not know what to say in this situation, so I was not ugly, just thanked them for their concern and ased for prayers.

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 752
    edited June 2018
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    Mostly what changed for me was learning the language and becoming obsessed looking for an answer. Now I am just living with it.  It happened, lets hope we don't get it again, stay up with your appts, and live on!!

     My sister was diagnosed in 2014.  She was the 1st in our family to get BC.  I managed a long time to stay away from doctors and tests every year.  So, at 55 I decided it's time to find a primary.  Shortly after a physical I had 6 orders/tests to get done in the year.  One day I discovered a lump, after a few days it didn't go away, so I scheduled the mammo and here I am.  I am also very intolerant of people that look at me like I'm half dead!  No, I don't need anything, I am fine.  I don't think many realize that after surgery you are basically cancer free and the treatments are to keep from having a reoccurrence.  They look at you like you have an active cancer, when technically you don't ((at least at my stage))  Bless all of you stage IV sisters!  You are warriors indeed.

    Presently, having accepted this, I will be starting the hormone therapy next week and I feel grateful.  I also don't beat myself up over my life long bad habits like smoking and drinking.  I was able to scale it way back but I haven't totally quit these things.  I try everyday, my spouse is a smoker and this is my last trigger to overcome.  I don't smoke all day, but when I get home, they are there and I end up putting one or two in my mouth.  I told a nurse who asked if I was still smoking that I've put myself into a constant state of withdraw! My spouse is set for a COPD test next week.  It would greatly help me if he is able to quit.   Anyway, I also refuse to live in a world without wine and without spaghetti and meatballs.  I eat pasta once a week, and have a wine with, and committed to one other day per week for a glass or two.  I have tea now on all the other days/evening. I also started a better exercise routine, incorporating more weight bearing.

  • runor
    runor Member Posts: 1,613
    edited June 2018
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    Ctmb, I wish I shared your certainty that having hacked a lump out of my boob I can now confidently declare myself cancer free.

    I HOPE I am cancer free. I want to think I am cancer free. It is a lot more comfortable walking around thinking that than thinking I have cancer. But there is a difference between comfort and truth. Not the same thing. It may be an adaptive choice to move forward thinking you're done and this is behind you, and more power to you! But the TRUTH is that we don't know.

    There seems to be uncertainty about when a tumour spreads. Does it spread when it first begins to grow? Does it spread after it has attained a certain size? Is it not related to size but related to how long it has been in your breast before you found it? Does it have to do with the type of cancer you have? Don't know. So while a doctor has told me 'we caught it early' the TRUTH is that they do not know if there are cancer cells brewing somewhere else in my body. Medical practice here seems to be that they don't go scanning for problems until you show up and say there is a problem. THEN they look for it. So, am I cancer free? Good question.

    But whether I am cancer free or not, I have little choice but to get on with life. I suppose I could lay on the floor in a heap and drool on myself. And I did that for a while. But as time goes by the trauma of diagnosis fades a bit and life creeps back in. And you begin to get interested in things and begin, briefly, to forget that you had cancer. For me those happy moments of not thinking about cancer are followed by the grossly shocking moments when I think, oh yeah, I had breast cancer, and there is a 30% chance that this will be back in short order and maybe is underway right now. And THAT is the truth. The ONLY certainty that any of us can claim is that everything is uncertain.

    Moving forward as if you do not have cancer is brave and bold and frankly, the only way to go; forward. But the assurance that done is done, good riddance to bad rubbish ... I think there would be far fewer of us posting here if we believed that as a truth. My mom insists on telling everyone my cancer is gone, I am fine, it was a little 'run-in' with cancer. She says these things for her own comfort, for her own mental ability to cope, NOT because they are the truth. They might be. They might not be. The jury is out.

  • Schweety
    Schweety Member Posts: 28
    edited June 2018
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    So many negative things have happened to me and my husband. In 2000 I was dx with DCIS went and had a lumpectomy with rads. We had to be separated at that time because of a work and family situation. So I went through it all on my own. In 2006 I suffered a slight stroke but after 3 months of speech therapy I was able to at least speak pretty much fluently but not able to return to work. In 2008 my son died of suicide and my world crumbled.....but later that year the business my husband & I built crumbled with the housing market... we lost the business and he was unable to find work with adequate to pay the bills...we lost the home/farm we had and most everything else. By Aug 2009 the stress was just too much for my husband and he too suffered a stroke and had to have surgery on his corotated artery in his neck. But in the recovery room he suffered a heart attack....and in March 2010 he had to have emergency quadruple bypass. Then when we got home from the hospital the phone rang..it was the landlord telling us they were selling the house and we would have to move!!! Fast forward to May 2018 I was dx'd IDC...it was like getting hit with a big bucket of ice water. It stopped me in my tracks. After the shock wore off and I started dealing with it all, it dawned on me that for years I was living by looking in the rear view mirror. And today it became clear... I needed to be grateful for every day of life I have been given no matter how shitty it may be. I need to always look forward and not backward. I need to have Jesus take the wheel and just enjoy the ride....by looking through the windshield and not the rear view mirror. I am grateful for many, many things...and one of those things is this community. <3


  • Dhanno
    Dhanno Member Posts: 33
    edited June 2018
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    Yes BC has changed me. I can no longer tolerate small talk and shallow people .If my life is so uncertain then why the hell should I care what others think about me The only people real for me are my husband and two boys .I want to live for them .I am happy that I declared my cancer to very few people The sense of privacy got me rid of all dramas

  • carol2018
    carol2018 Member Posts: 11
    edited January 2019
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    I made a decision to accept an early retirement offer in June 2019 and I am thrilled. I don't stress about my job anymore and don't push myself when I am tired like I have done for the past 35 years.

    I feel very grateful for the friends and family that have supported me in their own ways. And surprised at a few that have not.

    I'm overweight and trying to get in shape again in 2019.

  • wintersocks
    wintersocks Member Posts: 434
    edited January 2019
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    I don't laugh much any more and I have cut myself off and am quite withdrawn now. I seem to prefer Netflix, books and music than being around people. I tire of people's opinions and small talk and occasionally if I do go out I want to be home alone again as soon as possible.


  • runor
    runor Member Posts: 1,613
    edited January 2019
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    Wintersocks, you just described me! The only place I seem to go these days is the grocery store. Even then I stand there and just want to go home, with nothing for dinner.

    Well meaning people ask me how I'm doing. That has become a miserable question. How am I doing? Well, on the surface I look fine. I seem to feel fine most days. I do have lymphedema and swell all over my side and boob and ribs and arm and sometimes up into my neck and jaw. But no one wants to hear about that. So if you LOOK fine the assumption has to be that you ARE fine. What I cannot explain and no longer want to explain is that I live with PTSD. Nothing is the same anymore. Nothing. Oh, dirty dishes, sticky floors and bathtub grunge, that carries on. But as I carry on I FEEL UTTERLY FOREIGN in my surroundings. There is a sadness that suffocates and crushes. I get on with life as before and look as before, but am NOT as before. And I feel like a failure if I tell people that. It's not what they want to hear. So staying home and avoiding that is just easier and less stressful. I liked life better before when I thought I might live forever. Blah.

  • wintersocks
    wintersocks Member Posts: 434
    edited January 2019
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    Runor

    I am sad you too feel this way. I don't really know what the answer is to feel better. Working helps little as it forces me out of the house. What can we do to feel better?

  • dearlife
    dearlife Member Posts: 634
    edited January 2019
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    Runor you hit the nail on the head when you called it PTSD. I have my moments, most recently when I got recalled for my first post treatment mammo. Now I am in the six month wait and watch club for a “structure" in my BC breast.I so much wanted a good report card and now I am managing anxiety again.

    Today I listened to a recent BCO podcast about PTSD. At least 25% of us suffer from this. The counsellor made a lot of sense and said we are only now understanding it. She said getting help early is important, especially if the sadness or anxiety is debilitating and lasts more than a month. Past trauma, depression or anxiety all increase the risk.

    Here is a link to the podcast: PTSD Podcast

    I am sad for all of us that have been forever changed but I do believe It is possible to feel better with the right help. Not perfect, but better.

    ❤️

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,939
    edited January 2019
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    Strangely, I feel like I want to be MORE sociable and get out of the house. I had gotten too hermitty since retirement in 2012, and hubby and I have always been kind of homebodies except for vacations and day trips. Then 2018 started with my Mom's illness, then Hubby's kidney stone, then Mom's death, then major dental issues, then the six months of surgeries and treatments. So the whole year was spent doing things I hated and seeing people not of my own choosing. Now I'm ready to enjoy myself!

  • peregrinelady
    peregrinelady Member Posts: 416
    edited January 2019
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    I take magnesium and vitamin D to keep depression from settling in again. If I skip one day, I can feel it creeping in. May not work for everyone, but they sure work for me.
  • runor
    runor Member Posts: 1,613
    edited January 2019
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    AliceB, your last year sounds horrible and if you have found a way to spring back and grab life by the short hairs I say DO IT GIRL! Somedays I get up and think, I'm going to get cancer again, it's going to cut my life short, I have nothing to lose, I may as well rob the jewelry store, like, why not?

    DearLife, oh my god, I was in that same limbo of 'uh, there's a thing in your boob that we don't like the look of so we'll just put you on hold and look again in 6 months.' I freaked out HARD and made some rather PASSIONATE (shall we say) phone calls to people and got some answers. Sort of. I asked for a 2nd opinion on the mamm. First reading said, we shall proceed with caution because this may be nothing or it may be more cancer. 2nd opinion said, nyah, fogettaboutit, it's typical post surgical / radiation scar tissue. These two opposing views did NOT bring me comfort. So I will tell you what my radiation oncologist told me: that the wording on the mamm is prudent and cautious to keep you in the system because you are worthy of another look in 6 months HOWEVER if anyone truly felt that there was anything truly ominous about that 'thing' they would have stabbed you in the tit with a big ass needle and not let you leave the hospital that day without a biopsy being done. So it's what's NOT done that is as telling as what is said. Apparently there is a little 'reading between the lines' that has to happen in these situations. Wish I had known about that before I flipped my lid.

    Instead of waiting 6 months after that report, I waited 4. Then another 6. And I have the all clear. THe 'thing' is shrinking. It is scar tissue and behaving as expected. I hope it is the same for you. But until then - agony.

    Had to chuckle that PTSD should not last more than a month. Good lord. It took more than a month for my boob to quit looking like burnt bacon. Yeah, I should be over my PTSD as my arm and side swells daily with lymphedema, my boob hurts, I take tamoxifen that is making my joints ache and hair fall out but hey, I'll just not let this get me down for more than a month. Pffft.

  • JanetMara
    JanetMara Member Posts: 147
    edited January 2019
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    No woman would ever think she will have breast cancer.Suddenly,she is diagnosed like me,very devastating,disrupts my thoughts and feelings,my friends say,it's a death sentence. I went thru CHEMO and surgery, they advised me to go back for CHEMO and radiation,but I've seen a lot of people having radiation pneumonitis and are very short of breath,dependent on oxygen and having rattles in their lungs when they breath,I didn't go for radiation,people also had HEART FAILURE and suffered the same symptoms as the penumonitis plus swelling in their legs.I did not go back for CHEMO,THE SIDE EFFECTS WERE HORRIBLE,painful and tender black nails and softened like cartilage,I dropped every thing I hold,due to neuropathy,I have to hold things with my both hands,the numbness and tingling,I tried to modify my diet, exercised,took supplements and it helped.I went back to work after 5 months.

    November 2018, I had to go back on disability for DREADED CHEMO due to lymphadenopathy close to my collar bone,I was given the same treatment like before but they added DEXAMETHAZONE before,during and after chemo,it rolled my stomach and made me nauseous all day all night.I was also given NEULASTA after CHEMO which makes my bones and muscles ache all day and all night,now I want to walk but I can hardly do so due to weakness and painful muscles and joints,my hips and shoulders.In addition to diarrhea alternating with constipation,my nose drips and at times,they are congested,hard to breathe,my left lung seems so weak,the tips of my fingers and toes are thin and tender,1 forefinger bleeds.My energy level is very low,All food tastes bitter,I am avoiding sweets/sugar,the smell of meat is rancid.I try to alkalinize my water,it helped because the tumor was just confined to my collar bone lymph node and didn't affect my liver,kidneys,lungs,bone and brain. Now my vision is weaker,had to go for another refraction for new eyeglasses,my eyes drips and itchy,my skin is so dry.

    I don't want to see my friends,I'm just homebound,sad and depressed, thinking that I will enjoy my retirement,this time I am scared more than before,I prayed a lot but the symptoms of this illness kicks in everyday,it makes me very frustrated and irritable.I listen to music and helps me but only temporary.This cancer robbed me of my bright future and retirement,

    I feel everybody's agony and struggles.God bless us all my sisters,thank you for this organization,thank you everybody for your stories,I don't feel alone.

    JUAMARA.

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited January 2019
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    Ok personal level I talk more to myself. Small dosages of antidepressants and antianxiety meds.

    The best part is I am not longer timid what I mean bu that is

    Exhibit #1 my DH wanted to let MIL to seek a shelter from pending hurricane when he was out of country. And it looked he may not come home on time.His original flight got cancelled. I was not done w cancer treatments by the way. And my SIL lived nearby. I told him to ask SIL. DH asked my later why. I told him that I thought he briefly forgot I was not 100%. DH was shocked. I got lucky bc SIL lost power for a few hrs only while we lost power for five days.

    Exhibit #2 I started barking a bit at work which reduced my stress level quite a bit. My boss who does not like me acts better toward me.

    And my tremendously improved driving skill I am no longer afraid of traffic.

    And my beautiful chemo curls which still going strong 18mos post final chemo. Yeah my hair growth is definitely shunned noticeably except my head.


    Do I still wish it was a nightmare hell yes. I gained a lot in exchange for the nightmare.


  • dearlife
    dearlife Member Posts: 634
    edited January 2019
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    Runor thanks. I slept much better last night.

    I am sending wishes for better days to all who are sad or anxious and suffering pain.

    Love

    DearLife

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited January 2019
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    Ok personal level I talk more to myself. Small dosages of antidepressants and antianxiety meds.

    The best part is I am not longer timid what I mean bu that is

    Exhibit #1 my DH wanted to let MIL to seek a shelter from pending hurricane when he was out of country. And it looked he may not come home on time.His original flight got cancelled. I was not done w cancer treatments by the way. And my SIL lived nearby. I told him to ask SIL. DH asked my later why. I told him that I thought he briefly forgot I was not 100%. DH was shocked. I got lucky bc SIL lost power for a few hrs only while we lost power for five days.

    Exhibit #2 I started barking a bit at work which reduced my stress level quite a bit. My boss who does not like me acts better toward me.

    And my tremendously improved driving skill I am no longer afraid of traffic.

    And my beautiful chemo curls which still going strong 18mos post final chemo. Yeah my hair growth is definitely shunned noticeably except my head.


    Do I still wish it was a nightmare hell yes. I gained a lot in exchange for the nightmare.


  • Mncteach
    Mncteach Member Posts: 241
    edited January 2019
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    I have been changed, still fighting this demon! I am hoping to look back in a few years with a different viewpoint and wisdom! I never thought I’d be here but feel quite at home here and hope I can support others through this time.

    I am so done with people telling me I look great! Apparently I should look more like I’m dying or near death!

    Physical changes are enormous. My DH just kept stressing how my body image would change and I knew that! But having a double mastectomy with diep flap recon after having basically no surgery ever does throw one for a loop. Then it doesn’t heal, gets necrotic and I have lovely Frankenstein tits that are part black with a lovely football shaped patch of pink healthy skin from the flap recon. Get that fixed and things are healing well except for a nickel sized chunk on one breast. I’ve decided it just needs some bling! Not sure what, but thinking gold glitter!! Maybe turn it into some beautiful skin art! Who knows?

    I say it and people say it, you are lucky they caught it early! Yes I am, it hadn’t had lots of time to grow but because of having re-screenings and biopsies every year since I started mamms 4 years ago I felt double mastectomy was the best option for my sanity. Now I think I’m going insane! It’s early but it’s cancer dammit!

    I’m a positive Polly but this has made me very negative. I want to go out but then just want to go home, everyone wants to know how I’m doing (Fine, but not) and if I’m feeling ok (yes, but not)!

    I see a little of myself in most of these posts and thank you all for making me feel normal!

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 752
    edited February 2019
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    I got the you look good from one of my brothers and sister in law last week.  So, I asked them, "Did I look that bad before?"  Or yes, as already posted we're supposed to look sickly!!??

    Anyway, today just wanted to jot down somewhere that managing your own health care can be quite a chore. Being blessed with an early stage I am also following up with general health.  I do regret waiting until I was almost 56 to start worrying about any of this. First with a general practitioner---hoping I can pass an A1C test coming up in April.  I don't need another diagnosis.  I just scheduled my 1st ever colonoscopy.  I did just take my husband in the fall so I am up on expectations of the test.  Today I had an appt with the MO, they did not have pre authorization for Prolia that I thought I was starting today, rather come back in 4 weeks, and please see your dentist first.  Just scheduled that appt.  Haven't been there in 6 or 7 years!!  by the time I hopefully get thru these, it will be back to set up MRI and BS due in June.  I finally organized a years worth of insurance claims and sent a little money out and lessened the amount of paper handling and filing.

    My daughter (a teacher), started a shared spreadsheet when this all started.  It's a Godsend, I highly recommend it.  Or any other suggestions on how to stay organized without adding additional stress!  Hoping you all had a good day!!

  • tlw0818
    tlw0818 Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2019
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    Well, I have just finished 6 months of treatment...firstly surgery (lumpectomy) followed by 4 rounds of Chemotherapy (hell) and 15 sessions of Radiotherapy!

    I am now on hormone suppressants (Anastrozole) for the next 5 years...tried two different ones before but had horrible side effects.

    My ‘check up’ is in April and am hoping all is clear and can resume some sort of ‘normality’ again!?

    It has been the most difficult and challenging time of my life, there have been times, particularly during Chemo, when I just wanted to give up...but, I am made of stern stuff and refuse to let this shitty disease beat me!

    Having become an almost total recluse throughout treatment, only seeing a couple of close friends, I am now trying to get myself back’out there’ in the real world! My hair is now ‘covering’ my head, still incredibly short but at least no bald patches now, and this week I put my hats away and went out in public without them! Very liberating! And am returning to work on a phased return next week! I can’t wait, I still get very tired (fatigued) but am going to do what I can, if I need to come home and sleep in the afternoon then so be it!

    I do feel much stronger both mentally and physically, I find I have less tolerance with people who whinge and whine over inconsequential things...and those who think they ‘understand’ what you’ve been through..?

    The only ones who truly understand are those (of us) who have done this journey!

    So, hats of to you all, stay positive and healthy, and live each day to your very best

  • rachelcarter35
    rachelcarter35 Member Posts: 256
    edited February 2019
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    How has cancer changed me?

    I think I'm wiser.

    I don't sweat the small things so much.

    I know life can change on a dime now so savoir the good moments as much as possible.

    I feel more alive. I see sunlight and nature more.

    I'm more picky about how I spend my time. More time in the garden - less time with toxic people.

    I've learned that everyone in my family got cancer when I did and I've had to let them heal from the trauma too.

    I've learned that I'm a lot tougher than I thought.

    I've learned that I'm more than my hair and my boobs...I honestly didn't really know this like I do now.

  • bella2013
    bella2013 Member Posts: 370
    edited February 2019
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    Rachel, ditto everything you said! I could have written it word for word. I am much bolder about living life now. I will push past my comfort zone. I have no idea where this boldness came from but it makes all aspects of my life much more vivid.

    For all the losses that come with a cancer diagnosis...there are gifts and blessings along the way too.

    Blessings to all of you!

    Barbara

  • TammyKh
    TammyKh Member Posts: 22
    edited May 2019
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    A weekend of October, I celebrated my birthday by going hiking to see the foliage with my best friend and donating blood at Canadian blood. A week later, I found a palpable lump on my left breast accidentally and I was told that it's breast cancer later. I always say that it's a "birthday gift" for me. "I have one good news and one bad news for you. Bad news is you have cancer. Good news is your cancer is curable. We know how to treat it...", I was told this by a doctor in his office. Unbelievable! Unbelievable! "Why me?", I asked him and he failed to give me the reasons.

    I have kept asking myself "Why me?" everyday since then. I have become more emotional, vulnerable, depressed, anger every times I think about my life, my future ruined by my cancer diagnosis. I don't know how long I could live, how my future would be, I can or can't have children... I look at my friends who are the same age with me and compare with them. They are healthy, wealthy, married, having lovely kids. BC has changed me, changed my plan to have my own family. I used to want to get married, then have children but now I'm so reluctant. I'm not confident to go on dating/relationships as I'm afraid of he could hurt me by running away after being told I got cancer. I'm afraid of I could pass my bad gene to the next generations although I love kids and want to be a mother. I'm feeling guilty to have my sister and my niece get involved.

    Last night, I couldn't sleep and I cried for my fate, my life, my future. Still asked "Why me?" "Why I have cancer at 32?" I don't feel happy, joyful, meaningful. I wish I could return to my life before a breast cancer diagnosis or I wish time flies faster. Sometimes, I also want to end my life up as soon as possible. My life sucks, so what do I live for whereas I can't live the life I want?

    I feel embarrassing for not being optimistic like you because cancer ruined my life. I hate cancer