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Topic: I'm not on a "journey" and I'm not a "warrior." Who is with me?

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts —

Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression & other emotional effects.

Posted on: Dec 7, 2020 12:49PM

MochiPie wrote:

No offense to those of you who see this as such, but I do not. I feel like that symbolism is tantamount to a quest for enlightenment and that is bullshit. It's hard not to bristle when people without this diagnosis assume that's who I am now. I was never that kind of person before, and I don't see myself becoming that kind of person in the future. I'm not sure if mental health is the right place to put this, but the way I see my diagnosis and treatment versus the way most other people categorize it makes me feel as if I'm the odd one out.

My take is that I have a disease that is being treated, not fought. I received tests and a diagnosis that stressed me out more than I thought anything could, rocked me to my core, and brought an immediate pivot to my perspective and priorities. I suspect that by the time I am finished with treatment, it will change me more, possibly permanently, possibly not. It's definitely transformative, physically and mentally, no doubt about it.

Can this be a safe space to bitch about that touchy feely stuff?

Dx 11/3/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/10/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 12/8/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/8/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/21/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 12:59PM moth wrote:

I hear you.

I will not fail this or lose some battle. Medicine will fail me and my body will lose its ability to maintain homeostasis.

I'm going to one up you & say that really nothing about me changed - I had no pivot or change in priorities. I'm still procrastinating, still grumpy, still borderline reclusive. Nothing changed about my priorities because I liked my life before & nothing about it changed except this stupid cancer is interfering with all of it. I had a plan (go back to school, start new career, do more dog sports, adopt more dogs) and I kept plodding on. I was writing exams between surgery & chemo in 2018. I was back in school while still doing rads in Sep 2018. Now with a stage IV dx in Feb 2020 I had to give almost all of it up. Some might think maybe now I'll have some revelation....but nope. Still same old me.

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone
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Dec 7, 2020 01:02PM MochiPie wrote:

Moth, thank you. Pink ribbons also can suck it as far as I'm concerned.

Dx 11/3/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/10/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 12/8/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/8/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/21/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 01:25PM fifthyear wrote:

Bravo, right on

Dx 2007, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 01:32PM MountainMia wrote:

If this is a "journey," I'm suing the travel agent. NOT what I signed up for!

Yeah. I agree with moth. I am still me. My opinions, my values, my temperament have not changed to any measurable degree. My stamina and energy have, but that's a different story.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Dec 7, 2020 01:46PM Sunshine99 wrote:

Oh, this is going to be a lively discussion!

I looked up the word "brave": "ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage"

OK, so if the opposite is "Cowardly" where someone turns and runs from what frightens them, how am I supposed to do that? I'd love to run from this disease, but to where?

Depending upon who calls me brave or strong, or whatever, I'm either OK with it or excessively annoyed.

I can't wait to see more comments on this! Thanks for starting this one MochiPie!

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Dec 7, 2020 02:17PM MochiPie wrote:

Adding to the list of annoyances: being told I'm going to kick cancer's ass.

Dx 11/3/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/10/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 12/8/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/8/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/21/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 02:26PM AliceBastable wrote:

May I join in? Although I had Cancer Lite™ with just a lumpectomy and radiation, I'm always waiting for another body part to be removed since I've had other cancers. Stupid hobby to have. But I haven't battled anything with cancer. My hip replacement was more of a physical battle. I have a friend who was diagnosed with stage 4 de novo ovarian cancer about nine years ago. She'll have an occasional good year and then horrible ones, either stronger and nastier chemos, or having a stroke, or falling a lot, or mystery body malfunctions... and now she's been told there's nothing much more to do. If she wants to use terms like warrior or battle, she's earned it - but she doesn't use those words. I also dislike (maybe hate) the word "survivor" because it's so stupidly competitive sounding, and makes it seem like those who don't "survive" didn't try hard enough. Screw that.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Dec 7, 2020 02:28PM BlusteryDay wrote:

Moth and Mochipi, I’m right with you! My brother made a comment about how his neighbor, who had breast cancer treatment, was “a new, better, person” after her treatment...

What in the H does that even MEAN? All it has down for me is make me skeptical of health care professionals, and *I’m* a healthcare professional.

I’m tired of the warrior, stoic, hero, brave comments, too. I’m dealing with a disease here, I’m not in a gunfight or sword fight or battle.

Thankfully, I found Susan David shortly after my diagnosis and her TED talk about “Emotional Courage” was exactly how I feel. My mom is the worst about needing me to “stay positive” **insert eye roll here**. When I had surgery she said “They will find it isn’t even cancer...”, then when it was all confirmed, She said “You will be FINE, you’ll just have to take a hormone pill because your Oncotype will be LOW!” My Oncotype was 57. Seriously, I feel that if someone isn’t willing to look at ALL possible outcomes and prepare for the worst/hope for the best with me...then they need to share their “positivity“ somewhere else. Yep, I’m grumpy, too, Moth! LOL!

Dx @50. OncotypeDX: 57, Ki-67: 80%, ER <10%, Treating as TN and Weak ER+ Dx 5/27/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/4/2020 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/17/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 11/29/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 02:57PM finallyoverit wrote:

I’m right there with you ladies. I refuse to wear or have anything pink in my house. I’ve already told the family that if they include “she lost her battle to bc” in my obit, that I was going to come back and haunt every single one of them. Grrrr!

Dx 10/2011, IDC, Stage IIA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Dec 7, 2020 03:15PM - edited Dec 7, 2020 03:18PM by exbrnxgrl

Be positive! Yes, I have been told that I have lived with stage IV for 9+ years because of my attitude. Does that mean those who did not survive lost their lives due to negativity? Utter nonsense. My attitude may make my life easier but cancer does not care.

I strongly dislike all pugilistic similes too. I am not a warrior, fighter or battling. I simply have breast cancer, full stop

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Dec 7, 2020 03:28PM MochiPie wrote:

I have asthma, but I'm not fighting it. I'm not an asthma warrior.

Dx 11/3/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/10/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 12/8/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/8/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/21/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 03:32PM edj3 wrote:

Yeah and I never heard what a warrior I was and how brave I was with the melanoma dx. And should one of these two cancers recur and kill me, I won't have lost a battle. I will have died from a disease.

I mean, do we call people who get COVID warriors? Or the flu? Or pneumonia?

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 7, 2020 03:33PM edj3 wrote:

Oh I guess I'm not done.

My own mother keeps telling me how brave I am (lots going on, most not cancer) and I'm tired of telling her that the only way out for me with any of my health issues is through them. That's not bravery.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 7, 2020 03:47PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Ah yes, bravery. Someone once said that they could not be as brave as I have been. Brave? Not me. I just show up and do what needs to be done. What alternative do I have?

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Dec 7, 2020 04:11PM 2019whatayear wrote:

I agree. I don't know what to say when people say I am brave or a warrior. That's probably why I didn't post about having cancer or going thru treatment until after I finished chemo. It's exhausting. "brave" I went to the doctor, I followed a treatment plan.What is brave about that?

I feel like the whole brave/warrior/fighting cancer puts the onus on the patient for an outcome they don't actually control. Makes people who don't have cancer feel better somehow.

I have noticed that in news stories they are saying the same thing about poeple who have COVID and die--that they lost their battle. It's not a battle it's a virus and I guess the thing in common in both cases it's a real crap shoot. Some people who you'd think would have a great prognosis don't.


5/6/2019 IDC 2cm, micromet 1/9 nodes, BRCA2+, ER+, PR+, HER- BMX 6/2019, A/C & Taxol 2019, Radiation, BSO - preventative 2/2020, Letrozole 3/1/2020, Started Lynparza for 1 year preventative on 7/18/2021
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Dec 7, 2020 04:26PM smc123 wrote:

I don’t want to upset anyone but I can’t identify with those that say they are grateful for having cancer. I hated having cancer and the emotional damage baggage I’ve carried since treatment has ended. The only thing I can say is what I have learned from having cancer is the importance of stepping outside of my own comfort zone and try to be there for others.

Dx 2/1/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/23/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 8/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 10/4/2016 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 4/3/2017 Reconstruction (left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant
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Dec 7, 2020 04:51PM abigailj wrote:

totally with you on this - if I wanted to be a warrior I would have enlisted in the Marines...why is this disease romanticized this way?! Can you imagine this being done with any other medical condition?

Dx 1/2020, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 2cm, Stage IB, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/23/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, SIEA flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, SIEA flap
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Dec 7, 2020 04:52PM Beesie wrote:

Brave, strong, warrior, cancer journey, survivor... I hate all those terms. They imply our pro-active involvement - that we are choosing the situation we are in and choosing to react in a way that makes us brave or strong or a warrior or a survivor. In reality most of us are simply doing what we have to do because we don't have a choice.

These words also shame us when we struggle, when we are not feeling brave or strong or even remotely like a warrior - how dare we not live up to the expectations of a cancer patient?

As for survivor, well, that's just the luck of the draw, isn't it? It has nothing to do with how well someone "fought the fight". The implication of labelling us as survivors is that those who do not survive did not fight hard enough or weren't strong enough or didn't do the right things, and that's just awful. And usually very far from the truth.


Dx 9/15/2005 Right, 7cm+, DCIS-Mi, Stage IA, Gr 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- ** Dx 01/16/2019 Left, 8mm, IDC, Stage IA, Gr 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) ** Surgery 11/30/2005 MX Right, 03/06/2019 MX Left ** Hormonal Therapy 05/2019 Letrozole
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Dec 7, 2020 05:10PM MinusTwo wrote:

Battle, warrior, survivor - toss all those titles in the trash. I agree with all of you & love you for saying so. And grateful for cancer? I think not. I too didn't tell anyone I had BC until all my treatments were completed - and few people even then. Didn't want to deal with people's responses. OMG - My brother made a comment about how his neighbor, who had breast cancer treatment, was "a new, better, person" after her treatment... How ignorant is that?

One of the best things I've seen on this site is - you don't have to be brave, you just have to show up. And we all did that. Oh - and I agree - I HATE pink. Too bad because it's a flattering color on older women.

GREAT thread Mochi. Thanks

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 7, 2020 05:15PM ceanna wrote:

This is a great thread and made me think. I appreciate everyone's perspective and comments. I have felt that since I told so few people of my diagnosis and treatment, I did not get labeled as a survivor or a victim (my least favorite word). I had an LX and rads, and nobody could have known I was under treatment by looking at me. I went through it and went on. Yes, BC comes up in my medical records, and the unknowns when I go for my annual mammogram or have another pain here or there raise my levels of concerns, but I don't think it changed me much. Life goes on as we encounter it, and I choose to deal with it day-by-day without being labeled. All the best to all.

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Dec 7, 2020 05:18PM MelissaDallas wrote:

And as to “journey” it isn’t just with cancer that it goes all over me. Every imaginable inane trite thing, a bunch of folks (usually women) preciously state that they are “starting their journey.” See it all the time from women beginning their craft project on a particular sewing group I’m in. You’re making a damn quilt..

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor. Dx 5/20/2012, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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Dec 7, 2020 05:21PM MochiPie wrote:

I have found my people. Thank you all for backing me up.

Dx 11/3/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 11/10/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 12/8/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/8/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/21/2021 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 05:23PM MinusTwo wrote:

Melissa - love it - starting to make a quilt - LOL.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 7, 2020 05:35PM MountainMia wrote:

I finished quilting one today, nearing the end of that journey, just need to put the binding on. HA seriously made me laugh.

I don't mind at all talking about it with people who know me, or even are acquainted with me, and have some reason to bring up my illness. (I'm in remission now, so I'm really thinking about last year.) But it weirded me out when strangers would come up to me and ask if I was "winning my fight." UGH. Well. Hm. I don't know, really. I hope so. Guess the bald thing made them think intrusion was welcome.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Dec 7, 2020 06:08PM Poppy_90 wrote:

I wish there was a way to love a post, because I would love this, Mochi!

I only shared my diagnosis with a few close friends and family members, and early on in the conversation was a request to please not send me any pink shit. Can I cuss on here, because I’m at that angry, cussing, tired stage of treatment?

Seriously, Survivor really gets me though. It implies the end...aren’t we all just surviving as best we can? I feel like it would be bad karma to ever label myself a survivor.

Dx 5/1/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/29/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/5/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/5/2020 Breast
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Dec 7, 2020 06:10PM edj3 wrote:

abigailj and I actually did enlist in the US Army. THAT took some bravery on my part (also ignorance as I had no idea what I was getting into) and was a choice I made, you know?

And smc123 I'm not grateful I got this cancer. I'm not a better person (or worse) because I got this. It was just a crap shoot.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 7, 2020 06:41PM - edited Dec 7, 2020 06:42PM by abigailj

exactly Edj3 - everyone dealing with this disease got no choice whether to enlist (hmmm, guess we were all drafted and bet we'd all have opted to dodge it if that had been possible). Saluting you for your choice to serve in the Army!



Dx 1/2020, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 2cm, Stage IB, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/23/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, SIEA flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, SIEA flap
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Dec 7, 2020 07:20PM LillyIsHere wrote:

Mochi, thank you for creating this thread. I wonder who came up with these nicknames for us: warrior, survivor, pink ribbons, etc. Why didn't come up with the word Gladiator - forced to an arena without knowing what the future will hold. Just wondering, even though I don't want to be called gladiator either.

“Within five years, cancer will have been removed from the list of fatal maladies.” That was the optimistic promise to U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1910 when he visited Buffalo’s Gratwick Laboratory, “What’s taking so long?” Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/30/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy
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Dec 7, 2020 08:06PM Betrayal wrote:

Okay, when I was told I was a survivor by one of my BC physicians, I informed them that to date, all I had survived was the somewhat brutal treatment for BC. I felt brutalized by my PCP because I cried during my annual physical and she labeled me "depressed" and that has been impossible to have removed from my chart. It was "situational depression" IMO and I never took any antidepressants. This is not to disrespect those who deal with depression and need medications to cope because they deserve my support and empathy, but for every MD since then has asked about my "depression" and what meds I am on for almost 5 years now. I think we all have days that are challenging whether it be related to BC or other stressors. On my bad days, I cuss, scream and am not a nice person but I do recover eventually. I will never win the Miss Congeniality award but that is okay, too, since I wouldn't have won it pre-BC either. I prefer my somewhat cranky, honest self.

When I did complete one of those depression screens initially at both the RO and MO's offices, I was situationally depressed by my new dx and treatment. Neither of those physicians offered any assistance nor guidance based on what I had recorded. I refused to fill out any more of those forms on further visits because it just was filed in my record and I felt like they had a quota to meet or some regulatory agency mandate to fulfill.

I felt betrayed my my HCP's because they lied to me about: the aesthetic outcome of my 2 lumpectomies (the surgeon, who I fired), the collateral damage WB radiation would do to the breast, nipple and skin, cording and breast lymphedema although I only had SN (1 node) performed, and then the RO strung me along for over 18 months about the possibility of breast reconstruction. She even went so far as to send me to a PS who made me watch a film on reconstruction options and then after evaluating me told me it was not an option due to the surgery and radiation damage. He then asked if he could take photos of my severely deformed breast for his gallery! I nearly cut his balls off and then sent him a letter later telling him what a despicable human being he was. As for the RO, I never trusted her again. She was a liar and offered false hope instead of being honest.

So I learned that those BC doctors who should have been helping me with this transition, were not trustworthy and I lost all respect for them. I would not refer anyone I know to either the BS or the RO. I still see my MO and feel she has been the most caring and trustworthy through this travail (not a journey). While I cannot escape the ravages inflicted on my body, both physical (I see them daily) and mental, I do control what medical experiences I am willing to submit to now and feel I have earned the right to say "no". So I have adapted to my new comfort zone but I would not call this "normal" ever. It's like the Twilight Zone of what purports to be "normal".

Thanks for creating this forum. It has been interesting to read the comments and to see how we have all coped.

Surgery 1/31/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/31/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 3/3/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/30/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/24/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/15/2020 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Dec 7, 2020 08:54PM illimae wrote:

Cancer is a shitshow and I don’t consider myself brave but I do think I’m tough for all I’ve had to endure just to survive. I’m also not a better person for it but I will admit to a certain freedom from obligations and a more thoughtful appreciation for all the little things.

Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 1/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (IHC) Radiation Therapy 10/20/2017 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 5/23/2019 External: Brain Surgery 1/22/2020 Radiation Therapy 2/17/2020 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 7/20/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 12/4/2020 External: Brain Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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