Topic: Cancer changes everything! anyone that kept living normal?

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression, and other emotional effects.

Posted on: May 31, 2021 11:48AM

Posted on: May 31, 2021 11:48AM

loverofjesus wrote:

Maybe I just need to vent or maybe I'm just mad!

But I feel like cancer has changed everything!!! I look to see if a lotion contains hormones, I am terrified to have a few glasses of wine, I'm scared to eat certain foods for fear of feeding the cancer. And trust me I ate healthy before cancer, I was never a big drinker, and tried to use good cosmetics and lotions!!

I feel like I research everything I do! I have lost all freedom. I spend my days lately planning around Drs appointments and getting ready for chemo. Going to pick out wigs, microblading my eyebrows, fearful of dying. Had some crazy lady tell me last week not to do chemo or I would for sure die.

All of this just stinks and I know everyone here completely understands where I'm coming from. That is why I feel safe to vent here.

If you have advice or think I'm over thinking things please please tell me. I feel like I'm losing my mind. Maybe it is just part of the process of being diagnosed. I don't know. But whew. I sure could use some people that can talk me down off this imaginary ledge I feel like I'm on. I feel like if I do one thing wrong I'm going to make it worse and die.

I know these thoughts are probably irrational. But I also know I'm probably not the only one that has had them.

Thank you all in advance for letting me vent!!!!

I truly love it here. I feels safe.

Hormonal Therapy 5/21/2021 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2021 Whole breast: Right breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Dx 5/22/2021, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/15/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/2/2021 Mastectomy (Right): Simple; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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Jun 1, 2021 09:46PM claire_in_seattle wrote:

First of all LoverofJesus, I am so very sorry that you are on that end of chemo. I am here 12 years later to tell you that you can get through this, and that life will be good again. I drank quite a bit of wine when I was where you are now, but didn't drink during chemo as I thought that my liver had more than enough to do.

One major post-chemo positive is that I now pay the professionals to cut my hair. Guess what, it loooks much better!

I would recommend exercise, particularly walking, to keep your spirits up and because there is a survival benefit. I found that being able to get out and about was a lifesaver. It was most humbling one day when I was dragging and came upon a man with a walker. I realized that while I would recover and go racing around again, these days were over for him.

I live a full and wonderful life now. Just got back from helping out my friends at a vineyard/winery. I camped out and helped with restocking wine (which flew off the shelves so lots of work/exercise, as well as helping with bottling where my job was taping up boxes and then stacking them on palates. The weather was glorious and I was able to fit in a hike. I came home with a new appreciation for my washing machine and shower.

I can't do perfection. Not enough time in this life for that. I try to hit the high points, and then move on.

Off now to do....guess what....a WALK. Followed by dinner with....guess what....WINE!!! Feel better. I looked at things as being that I had to get the sh*t beat out of me for about 6 months, and then I would be fine. And that is exactly what happened. Good luck! - Claire

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2021 09:05AM saltmarsh wrote:

Ooof. OP, I hear you. And please take the following as just my experience and let it go if it does not help you.

So, perhaps this is the silver lining in having watched my mom be diagnosed with, live with, and later die from, cancer: I learned how I didn't want to be if it was ever me.

My mom definitely was terrified about every little thing for months...and then, for years! She lived for five relatively healthy years after her diagnosis, before her decline and death -- but those years were fraught with stress over every little thing, and resentment at people who didn't help her achieve the levels of healthy living she aspired to. She tried to live macrobiotically, she eschewed beauty products, she obsessed over the purity or toxicity levels of everything and every space. And while I think she benefited from macrobiotics, and I, too, tend to avoid stuff with chemicals that are iffy, and I am very interested in having clean air and water, it was too much. It was super, super stressful -- for her, and for anyone around her! And she wasn't happy!

So here I am, seven years after her death, and I knew going into this that I couldn't afford to make myself crazy, and I can't afford to alienate my husband and stress out my kid. I went into this thinking, "I'm gonna do my best. I'm gonna do my best without driving us all crazy, and if that's not enough, then it's not enough, but I refuse to live the rest of whatever life I have as unhappy and stressed out as she was."

That's where I'm at. YMMV. I hope you can find ways forward that work for you so you feel less trapped or restricted!

Dx 3/8/2021. LCIS, ILC. Surgery 4/19/2021 mastectomy, right
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Jun 12, 2021 11:50AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

salt marsh,

Wonderful post! I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I lasted about 5-6 weeks on the hyper vigilant diet/exercise/lifestyle regimen. I argued with family members and was very unhappy! I have spent the intervening years on no protocols or regimens nor any special lifestyle. I always had a healthy diet and lifestyle (not compulsive however) and for me that means eating well most of the time and thoroughly enjoying sweets or other “bad” things when I want. Since my brief attempt at a restricted diet ended I am happy and stress free. Everyone around me is happy and stress free and whether I live for 10 more days or 10 more years I will have lived that time with joy.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 21, 2021 01:29AM claire_in_seattle wrote:

Yes, it truly is about living with joy! A quality all-too-frequently overlooked.

About to turn in. I think that i am finally getting the message that living well is truly the best revenge.

Off to bed as a busy week awaits. But blissed out from celebrating the accomplishments of last week plus yesterday's cycling adventure.

In no way am I willing to live a diminished lifestyle. Blech!!! - Claire

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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