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Topic: How has your BC experience changed you

Forum: Share Your Experiences Of Life After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis —

Share your experiences of life after a breast cancer diagnosis and offer advice on how you cope with life's daily challenges, including how you develop a new daily/weekly routine while you deal with breast cancer.

Posted on: Nov 18, 2014 08:26AM

Moderators wrote:

We want to hear about how your experience of BC has changed you and how/in what ways is your life different now. Have you made lifestyle, relationship, work changes?

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Posts 1 - 30 (143 total)

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Nov 18, 2014 11:20AM angelia50 wrote:

It made me realize that life is short and we need to live it daily. I am 58 and my husband and I have been talking of when we can retire and all of that and this hit and I realized, I may not be here to retire, so all the worrying about ever dime I spend and all of that, won't matter in the long run. Hopefully, mine has been removed and I will be around to enjoy retirement but just a simple day out in the sun or with my grandchildren, is so much more special now than before.

Dx 6/4/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/13/2014 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 8/17/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 12/18/2015 Reconstruction (right)
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Nov 18, 2014 01:32PM grammakathy wrote:

This is so true!  My BC diagnosis was the first time I felt I wouldn't live forever.  I knew that in my head, but didn't feel it in my heart.  Suddenly I was given statistics of surviving 5 and 10 years.  I was 63 and hadn't thought about life ending that soon.  Now I make decisions on the best use of my time.  There are things I want to accomplish.  And other things I want to simplify.  And I make more time for my husband and family.

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 18, 2014 01:35PM grammakathy wrote:

I forgot one thing.  I have never been able to lose weight and it has gradually crept up through the years.  I made the decision to lose weight to lower my reoccurrence risk by eating less, cutting out sweets, and walking more (wearing a Fitbit to count steps). In the year since my diagnosis, I have lost 50 pounds.  It's been gradual and I know I have done all I can to fight this beast.

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 18, 2014 01:43PM proudtospin wrote:

grammakathy....inspiring that you have lost so much weight, congrat

I had  begun to plan  on a retirement at 65 around the time of my diagnosis (I was about 58 when diagnosed)

I kept with that goal even tough some said I did not have enough savings, but I chose to live in a frugal manner and enjoy my life as one nevers knows if the dang thing will reoccur so live!

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Nov 18, 2014 02:29PM grammakathy wrote:

proud to spin - My husband and I had our own business for 20 years and retired at ages 51 and 47.  We sold our home and travelled in a motorhome throughout the US and Canada before purchasing a home in Southern California.  We live reasonably and do not have expensive tastes.  I wouldn't trade those years for any amount of money.  Time and experiences are worth so much more, as long as we can cover our living expenses.

Oncotype DX score of 11; 5'10" tall, 155#, Allergan 410 FF425 implants, diagnosed at age 63, 3D tattoos on 23 Jun 2015 Dx 10/2/2013, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/26/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 2/25/2014 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 18, 2014 03:03PM farmerlucy wrote:

I echo many of the thoughts above. I no longer fuss if my house is dirty or if my yard is overgrown. For years I was meticulous about taking care of my flowers and the yard. Now I just don't care much. I do care about spending time w DH, the kids, and the grand babies. DH and I have a standing movie night every Tues or Weds. The weird thing is that Ihave started cleaning out the clutter so no one else has to do it. Do my kids really want five boxes of paper keepsakes??Hopefully I'll have many years to do it. Simplify - that's it. Thanks grammakathy.

Dx at 51 after a preventive mx that wasn't. Oncotype dx 3. 3D tattoos from Vinnie! PTSD?? You are not alone! Surgery 2/20/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/10/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/21/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/13/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Nov 19, 2014 06:04AM Moderators wrote:

Thanks for sharing your life changes and realisations, we love to hear them! and grammakathy, well done on your weight loss :-)


To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jan 13, 2015 06:01PM Jazzygirl wrote:

Hi- I just found this thread today and love the topic. I know it has been a few months, but thought I would share. I have made a lot of changes in my life and still am working on them. It is a long road out from all this, but I keep plugging away.

Food and Exercise: I have always been a pretty healthy eater, but further changed my diet to eat whole foods and gave up sugar. I still enjoy a a glass or wine or two on occasion but limit alcohol per the recommendation of my MO. I have been working to get my fitness back and just finished a 4 month personal training program to get fitter and loose weight. I also make sure I get plenty of sleep.

Work: I am self employed and that usually means I do a lot more than most, but am learning to not overwork anymore. My last contract I did for a client was 30 hours which was perfect for me. I still was able to provide value and left the project with many accolades from my client, made enough money and was able to take good care of myself. I am learning to say no to situations I know will require too much from me if I cannot negotiate a better arrangement.

My sacred space: since last summer, I have been changing things at home too. Something interesting I am doing right now as part of some home renovation activities is to create a space in my former guest bedroom for me called "The Wellness Room" and it will be a place I can go to do my yoga practice, play music, read, journal, etc. It was just repainted a soft pink, and it is now my "self care room" now. I am waiting for the new floors to be installed next week and look forward to using this room soon.

Relationships: like with many hard things in life, you really find out who can do the hard stuff and be present with you as you get diagnosed, through treatment, and beyond. I told a small selected group when I was diagnosed for support, and am grateful I had everything I needed along the way during this journey. Some relationships fell away too, as some people could not deal with any of it; other friends became closer in the past few years. I feel like the people around me now are people who really CARE about me vs. people who just want something from me. I also have learned to better say no to others. From people who want from me or want TOO MUCH from me. I just step back and let them pass on by. I have learned to pay attention to the way I feel around people.

Bucket List: I love to write and am spending more time doing that in my free time. I have been doing short stories, but have always wanted to right an autobiography and am doing my first writing workshop this summer in Taos. This has been something I have had with me along time to do. I am going to get going on writing that book this year.

Going through difficult times teaches us much about ourselves and others. I am still absorbing and integrating the lessons.

I am grateful for BCO too! I have made many cyber-friends here and continue to remain for support and to support others.

Thank you for asking!




Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 11/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/14/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/6/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/24/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/20/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 9, 2015 02:00PM AlaskaAngel wrote:

I pause in thought, wondering if the reason this thread has so few (although valuable) posts because of the constant pressure we all have and feel to "focus on the positive" as cancer patients.

Basically my life has changed from enjoyment of gender, exercise, food and many interests to one of being genderless with constant efforts of diet and exercise, with little to no positive results. The accelerated aging with no advance counseling to help in making a more educated decisions about treatment is a bummer. I especially find seeing most oncologists useless for addressing these kinds of problems because their nursing staff are pre or perimenopausal and truly clueless about accelerated aging problems that contribute to inflammation and cancer recurrence.

Dx 12/3/2001, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 1/3/2002 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Chemotherapy 3/12/2002 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Radiation Therapy 9/10/2002 Breast Hormonal Therapy 11/15/2002 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 9, 2015 02:51PM jramick wrote:

A new normal....many times I see others on this site just ask in particular...."when will it get back to normal"?... Breast cancer or any disease can be life changing events....I always say that you find a new normal. I once read something about grieving and death....(I think it could apply to the changes with Breast cancer as well) that it's often like the changing of seasons...from winter to spring you start feeling that new excitement as the days get a little warmer,sunnier from the dreary, and new growth of life in nature around us. The changes go from dark to bright in subtle ways taking its own good time. Then we open our eyes one day and the season of spring is finally upon us.

Dx 7/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 9, 2015 05:04PM Hopeful82014 wrote:

It's not a journey; it's a trudge through an illness. I, for one, am fed up with the conatant efforts to put a positive spin on this disease. I don't think it honors the experiences of those who find it more of a struggle than a celebration. And, while it is fine with me if other women on here DO find the positive in it (more power to them) I kind of resent it being forced upon us by the moderators.
Dx IDC
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May 9, 2015 05:12PM wintersocks wrote:

I really do not like the word 'journey' used here by The Mods. This word suggests an ending, a destination. For me the hell that has been a breast cancer dx never ends....


Dx 2/20/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/23/2012 Doxil (doxorubicin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/29/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/10/2012 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/16/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes
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May 9, 2015 05:18PM - edited May 9, 2015 05:29PM by Larkspur

I also am not fond of referring to one's breast cancer experience as a "journey." Aside from the fact that journeys have an ending and this one's indefinite, as noted above, they're are usually interesting and fun, dammit! Breast cancer, not so much.

I will say that I've come away with increased appreciation and respect for the women and men who choose health care for their professions, especially the nurses, aides, radiation therapists, MRI technicians, and, yes, even those dungeon mistresses, the mammogram techs. All those with whom I've come into contact have shown a great combination of efficiency, professionalism, and real kindness, making a largely awful experience more bearable.

Dx 1/5/2015, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2/10/2015, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/10/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/13/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/10/2015 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy
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May 9, 2015 05:26PM Jackbirdie wrote:

if it is s journey, it's a dumbass journey.

Katy, age 59 Oncotype dx 30 Dx 12/15/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/18/2014 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 12/18/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/4/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 2/3/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 9, 2015 06:00PM Lily55 wrote:

i hate the words, journey, positive and new normal, they all seem c ontradictory and spin doctor speak........how can you have a new normal? Normal is normal, anything else is not normal and I want a normal body for a start, not the sore mutilated prematurely aged one i have now......i feel soooABNORMAL every day, three years on

Dx 4/2012, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/3/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 8/15/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 3/7/2019 External: Bone Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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May 10, 2015 10:15AM labelle wrote:

I too hate the word "journey" being applied to a BC diagnosis. Even though I've now read 100s of books on BC and cancer in general I stay far away from those with the word "journey" in the title. Blech! But to the moderators' question how "your experience of BC has changed you and how/in what ways is your life different now. Have you made lifestyle, relationship, work changes?

When I was first diagnosed I could not imagine anything good coming from this, the fear and anxiety were overwhelming, but now...........

.I realized I was holding on to anger and resentment toward my husband for long past events and this had been poisoning our marriage for the last 5 years. I finally let it go. I feel better for it and our marriage is better because of it-not because of the BC, but because I finally let go/realized how unimportant this event was in the here and now. Greg Anderson's 50 Things You Can Do When Diagnosed With Breast Cancer was a major help to me in this respect.

I also quit smoking-I wasn't a heavy smoker-but having to have RADS convinced me to finally quit for real. And that has to be good for my overall health. For the first time in my adult life I have become a regular exerciser and I'm in great shape now and feel good. Not sure anything else could have motivated me to make that change.

I stick to my Paleo diet better than I did before my diagnosis-with the exemption of when I was doing RADS-I was just too tired to cook for part of that. My diet is healthier than ever.

Little things bother me less and I have more appreciation of good things, nature, making time for fun, etc. Truly.

On the downside, there is always a nagging worry about BC and of a recurrence in the back of my mind and I could do without that. I still have some pretty blue days but I think that is starting to lift and they are becoming fewer and fewer. While I certainly wish I'd never been diagnosed with BC, it has prompted me to make positive changes in my life that I am coming to appreciate.



Dx 9/29/2014, IDC: Tubular, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/12/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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May 10, 2015 10:16AM jramick wrote:

I think by the moderators using the word "journey", they are referring to mostly the definition of "the passage or progression from one stage to the next". That can mean many, many things .....from negative to positive...negative to worse, etc. Maybe the question is or should be - how do you cope or adjust from the changes that breast cancer brings about in our lives. There is no right or wrong answer. There is absolutely nothing wrong in feelings of negativity or being positive. We all have our lows and and different normals because what is really normal?

Dx 7/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 16, 2015 12:43PM kittysister wrote:

I have problems thinking of this as a journey. Journeys are usually fun. This isn't fun. It has been more like a nightmare that never ends .. no offense intended to the mods or anybody else who has a different opinion.

Dx 8/4/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 16, 2015 01:14PM MelissaDallas wrote:

Journey...bleach...I think the mods have seen umpteen posts on how many of us find the term offensive. Why??

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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May 16, 2015 01:53PM kittysister wrote:

Melissa, I don't follow! Are you asking why this is called a journey or why there are so many posts about it? I suppose I should always read all the previous posts first, if I have time .. which I don't today. I see my reply echoed what others have already said. Sorry!

Dx 8/4/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 16, 2015 04:05PM MelissaDallas wrote:

I agree that journey is a crummy analogy kitty. You misundersttod me. I meant that the mods seem tone deaf when they used that term when clearlylots of users have said over & over that they hate it.

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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May 16, 2015 05:07PM NCDi wrote:

Until I got my recent diagnosis I was a whiny complainer who didn't realize how much I had.

Since my diagnosis I have come to the view that I have so much I didn't appreciate.

My new normal is waking up thankful for all I have. Cancer sucks but, the diagnosis gave me a new outlook on my life.

My life....is what I make if it and from this point on I will not squander it. I am not on a journey but rather a personal voyage of discovery

Dx 3/23/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/30/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/2/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 7/23/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 16, 2015 05:19PM Lily55 wrote:

Please can we change the title to "How has your BC experience changed you (in forum, Life AFTER breast cancer) - "new normal" is a contradiction, its either normal or its new.............I hate both the words journey and "new normal"

I am going to send a pm to the Mods

Dx 4/2012, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/3/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 8/15/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 3/7/2019 External: Bone Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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May 17, 2015 10:36AM - edited May 17, 2015 02:02PM by NineTwelve

I agree: the word "journey" is an insult, in that it belittles what we have been through and continue to go through, and it makes it sound like something we chose, instead of something that was forced on us. If the mods want a rounded, all-inclusive response to this question, I think they need to frame it in more neutral wording. Dressing it up in poetic metaphors invites only the positive, spiritual type answers. But we all know not every change was good.

Sorry if I'm sounding cranky, but this journey is a one-way trip. And I'm mad as hell about it.

ETA: Hey! They changed the thread title. Well, okay then.

Here's my response: My diagnosis was a slap in the face. And it was a wake-up call. I remember looking at myself in the bathroom mirror after my biopsy. I didn't have the official dx yet, but I could tell from the way the staff were talking to me that they knew what it was. Standing in the clinic's bathroom, staring at a face I didn't recognize. The face I saw in the mirror was tired, middle-aged, and not cared-for. I looked like someone who was not loved.

I went out and got a high-maintenance, precision haircut, threw out a bunch of old clothes and got new ones. I changed my diet, started taking every opportunity to get some physical movement into my day. I took several short vacations in the last six months (hadn't dared take any for the past three years). I bought a ton of vitamin supplements. I bought a buttload of cancer books. I gave up cow's milk products and added moderate amounts of tofu to my diet. I lost 15 pounds. I got a medical marijuana card, and I use MJ to help me fall asleep. (Works better than the lorazepam and other things I was using before, with no hangover effect the next day.)

I got in touch with people I hadn't spoken to in years. I spend more time being social than I used to. I feel gratitude on a daily basis that things are not worse than they are. Gratitude for the simplest things, like air and light.

I hate to say it, but cancer has become my latest (and last?) hobby. It sucks. But this is my life now. I still treasure it. Only now I see it as fragile and finite. Now I see how I could have loved myself and other people more than I did. Now I get that I do love life. I had forgotten that, and cancer made me remember.



12/15/20 - Progression to liver. Tx changed to Xeloda. 2021 - Tx changed to weekly Taxol. Dx 9/12/2014, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2014 Dx 7/2016, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs Hormonal Therapy 8/16/2016 Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy 8/16/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Jun 3, 2015 12:09AM kittysister wrote:

Jazzy, I love the idea of a "Wellness Room". I believe if I had more space, I would do the same.

Dx 8/4/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 3, 2015 12:16AM kittysister wrote:

And NineTwelve, your looking in the mirror at the clinic reminded me of myself last summer. I sure didn't look loved. Sad and frantic would have been better description of myself. Your words just helped me a lot. Thank you!

Dx 8/4/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2015 10:44AM Amy9848 wrote:

This is the first time I have been moved to posting on this site. I think I have read the discussion boards in hopes of finding out what's coming next.

I so agree about looking in the mirror and seeing a different person. I am a 43 yr old that now has breasts that are so obviously reconstructed. I have scars EVERYWHERE. From Lat flap surgery to 12 different drain sites....scars!!!!

I wake up everyday scared. When will it return? I take tamoxifen. Will it come back in my ovaries???

BUT.......I cherish every moment. Even a moment so small as sitting in traffic. I am grateful for that moment. I now watch my diet, which has made my family healthier! I take more time for myself. I don't worry about the "little" things. After BC, you realize they are all "little" things. I don't get angry as much as I used to. I always stop and think, "will what I'm upset about matter tomorrow, next week...if not, I let it go. I love more. I tell the people that I love, I love you, everyday. I take time to listen before speaking. And I think the most important change is I have reconnected with my church.

I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, but I am going to enjoy today!


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Jul 19, 2015 02:06PM spookisgirl wrote:

I was a ballroom and latin dancer before diagnosis, but since being diagnosed and going through treatment I am more determined than ever to reach the highest levels of dance. I have managed so far to dance all the way through chemotherapy and hope to be able to continue through radiation. I started a blog to share my experiences of dancing through my breast cancer journey.

If anyone is interested, my blog is here: Breast Cancer Ballroom Dancer


Dx age 35, surgery pathology revealed 20 IDC tumours in a bed of DCIS Dx 11/19/2014, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 11/19/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/9/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/23/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/26/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 30, 2015 01:11AM PerAngusta wrote:

I hesitate to answer this question, but what the heck. Breast cancer certainly did change me. It hardened me. I grew a shell and I'm keeping it!!! My whole life, I've been a good girl – always trying to do the right things, put my best foot forward and all of that. I believed that everything happened for a reason and that goodness would prevail – goodness would beget goodness. I liked to think that there were lessons in all things....the good and bad. Then, some very bad things happened to me. My 20's and 30's were filled with pain, loss and terrible suffering. But, I survived it all and I stayed true to my dreams and beliefs. Then, at age 48, with a young family of my own, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I've been cut, poisoned and burned and if I am lucky....I might survive this recent life experience and see my children raised to adulthood. And what have I learned? Any new lessons or changes to my life? Absolutely!! I no longer believe in ANYTHING. I now believe in this moment. Period. I've learned to expect the worse and appreciate any scrap of goodness that might present itself during any given day. Bad things happen and the strong survive. Cancer has been an awful experience for me and for anyone who loves me and I/we have a great deal of healing to do yet. For me, cancer was a personal attack upon all things valuable. It was a final battle of sorts and I fought a good fight. I'm still standing, but life has absolutely kicked the sparkle, youth and innocence out of me, once and for all. I will continue to do my best, work and love hard!! But I no longer dream or believe. I'm all grown up now. There are no magical "anythings" anymore...only reality and survival. The dreamy-me is gone. I can't even see her in the mirror anymore. I don't dislike the new person who is now ME....I just don't know her very well yet. I have no choice but to accept her and make the best of this. That's what this "journey" did for me.

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Jul 30, 2015 01:49AM Momine wrote:

Count me in as someone who absolutely detests and abhors using the terms "journey" and "new normal" to describe the experience of living with breast cancer. Other words that I really do not think belong in a discussion of breast cancer: cure, battle, fight, pink, positive thinking.

The reason I did not initially answer was exactly because of the terms used. I am living my life. I am living with breast cancer, although it is currently in remission. It is not a "journey." It is my life.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/19/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/12/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/8/2012 Surgery 3/7/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2012 Femara (letrozole)

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