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Topic: I feel guilty complaining

Forum: Family and Family Planning Matters —

A comforting place to discuss planning a family, fertility concerns, parenting children, or relationship issues with partners, siblings, or parents following a diagnosis.

Posted on: Mar 20, 2019 08:04AM - edited Mar 20, 2019 08:09AM by Via

Via wrote:

Do to the fact that my cancer came back not aggressive and we found it so early. I don't need any chemo or radiation. I only need hormone therapy and I don't feel I can open up to anyone on what am going trough. Its hard to complain about the surgery and the recovery that has been so painful to other. It seems my journey is a walk in the park because I won’t be having chemo or radiation. But, personally it has not been easy. My husband wants me to go to a group to talk to people other with cancer because I've been crying and I have felt no one understands what I'm going through.

But, how can I go to a group and complain or open up when I'm sure some others have to go through horrible treatment and I have none and here I am complaining. It does not seem right. But, I feel that this journey is hard even if I don't need treatment and the reconstruction of the breast is so painful and a life changing experience. I do feel alone in this journey. Not sure if someone else is in this lonely boat with me. That feel guilty of getting such good news I don’t need treatment. Anyone?


Via


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Mar 20, 2019 08:35AM edwards750 wrote:

No reason at all to feel guilty that you dodged treatment. You still have this insidious disease and that’s enough to make anyone anxious and depressed. You are fortunate to not have to have treatments. That’s good news.

I agree with your husband join a group. I did and it’s made a world of difference being able to share. You are all there for the same reason in various stages and treatments and kinds of breast cancer so you have a bond no matter what you are dealing with in the process. There are several ladies in my group who have horrific issues to deal with their BC like lymphadema and one even is Stage IV now. We are all sympathetic and understanding of each other. No one thinks of you as being a whiner over nothing because it is something whether you are suffering as much as they are or not.

I am blessed too that I will be 8 years out in August God willing.

There is no group that can offer what these ladies can and have because no one understands better than they do.

Good luck. I promise you feel better if you can latch on to a group and compare notes.

Diane

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Mar 20, 2019 08:39AM santabarbarian wrote:

Via, ironically I bet you would receive the MOST support from other cancer patients! We know how terrifying-- and bizarre!-- it is to be diagnosed with BC, and none of us would wish a harder course of treatment on *anyone*. The emotions are the same regardless of the severity of the treatment. I think your H is right. It is good that you realize you are lucky to have a less horrific course of treatment, but this does not nullify the pain of being on any long term treatment, nor the fear of recurrence of a disease that is scary. Personally I would absolutely hate to be on a hormone treatment (and I had chemo, surgery, and rads!). So I empathize with you! So don't be afraid to join a group!

xox SB

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 20, 2019 11:17AM mrsEO wrote:

Via, you are not alone! Guilt is something I have struggled with as well since my diagnosis - I went through surgery and radiation but no chemo due to the early stage diagnosis and low oncotype score...I felt like I had no room to be upset about my diagnosis and prognosis because so many women had it much worse then I did. I'll be honest, I still struggle with it. But after talking through it with some of my care team, I realized that ANY diagnosis and treatment of BC is serious and scary and upsetting and painful, even if your prognosis is very favorable. It is so important to let yourself feel the emotions you are feeling and to share them with someone...it really does help! I've found so much encouragement and support just from this community. Keep us posted on how you are doing!


Dx 12/6/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 20, 2019 11:58AM Runrcrb wrote:

it’s all scary and emotionally charged. If you don’t find what you need in a support group, seek individual counseling. You need a supportive sounding board


Dx 6/27/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 6/27/2016, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/8/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/23/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 12/12/2017 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Mar 20, 2019 12:42PM CaliKelly wrote:

seriously!,be happy, I'm happy for you! I had plenty of nasty treatments, and I'm so, so happy when I hear from people who didn't have to have all the menu! My non cancer friends always apologize when they complain about some pain, or minor health issues. If someone is going through trauma of their own, they shouldn't feel guilty cause it's not as bad as someone else's. And you have every right to complain and feel sad, you have cancer! It sucks, no matter what treatments you have or dont have. Your pain doesn't lessen my pain and my pain doesn't lessen yours! I say, Bitch Away!! Cancer Sucks! Be sad for awhile, then be happy. I'm happy you dont have to have chemo or radiation, I wish nobody had to!

Dx 6/17/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 8/11/2015 TAC Surgery 1/20/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 6/29/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Chemotherapy 11/3/2016 Xeloda (capecitabine) Surgery 10/7/2017 Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Surgery 1/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Mar 20, 2019 01:46PM gb2115 wrote:

I agree, you have every right to complain, even if you didn't have chemo or radiation, you still had cancer. And cancer sucks. Hormone therapy is not easy. I didn't have chemo, but I had radiation which sucked. And hormone therapy sucks too, and I think it's more depressing than radiation because there's really not much of an end in sight. At least radiation ended, you know?!


Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
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Mar 20, 2019 01:57PM kber wrote:

Oh Via honey - sending virtual hugs to you!!

This is such an emotional roller coaster and you have the right to your feelings!  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!  Cancer always sucks, no matter what.  Be kind to yourself and if it helps, talk to someone.  I agree with the posters above that the support groups would welcome you with open arms.  You'll find some who went through the whole menu, and some who had treatment like yours.  If that's too big of a step or not your thing, maybe one on one is the better way to go.

But please don't ever beat yourself up for surviving!  You faced down a monster and came out the other side.  It's inspirational and encouraging!

Dx 11/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/6/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 20, 2019 07:40PM AliceBastable wrote:

Via, I know exactly how you feel. I've never needed chemo yet (although one cancer was borderline), so in the real world, I don't talk about it at all after treatment was done, except EVERY once in a while to my husband. I even feel like I need to apologize for mentioning it in the first place to friends and family on FB while I was undergoing surgeries and radiation, like, "Whoops, sorry to scare you, it wasn't REAL cancer."

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 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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Mar 20, 2019 08:09PM beach2beach wrote:

I felt the same. I dodged chemo and rads. Had a double mastectomy and walked out of hospital next day on my own and was raising my arms in a few days over my head. Yeah, I felt I had no right to even say I had cancer, because I didn't look like it unless I'd pull up my shirt. I remember saying that to my gyno and he said, it's not less significant that I had cancer and no other treatment than someone that had to. He said you didn't chose the type of cancer you got. Cancer is cancer.

Of course I still feel that way a bit, but cancer sucks for us all. Some more physically than others and i give them all the kudos in the world. My sister is one. She was diagnosed years ago with IBC which is a Stage 3 out the gate had chemo before, surgery, rads. She was the first person I called when If ound out I had BC. When I found out after surgery and Oncotype that I didnt need chemo...and no rads because my nodes were clean..I felt almost like how could I complain to her when she went through so much worse. She was there for me, and told me the same like my Dr. said. Cancer is cancer. Do what feels right for you, go to a group, go private to a therapist, whatever you need to do.

Maybe we need to start a group for those of us lol.

Dx 7/28/2017, LCIS/DCIS/ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 21, 2019 04:04AM Via wrote:

am like you my sister also had it. But, her was aggressive and well she lost the battle. But, I know she would be happy I didn’t have to fallow her foot step when it came to the treatment.


We should start a group on Facebook for sure!!! Call Cancer but not so bad Cancer!

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Mar 21, 2019 04:21AM Via wrote:

thank you for the hug! Your message helped me

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Mar 21, 2019 07:15PM Denise-G wrote:

You know, I think that is a great idea to start a FB group for women who did not need extensive treatment. Cancer is cancer and it hurts and is emotionally draining and scary. And recurrence fears are always real no matter what! I have heard from a lot of women through the years who have suffered with the guilt you all have talked about here. Some where to get even more support would be a great benefit to so many.



www.denise4health.wordpress.com my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts about all aspects of BC - stop by! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/27/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/28/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/11/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 21, 2019 08:32PM hapa wrote:

Join a group for survivors. I think the psychological SEs of cancer are way worse than any treatment related ones. I would not deny you my sympathy just because I went through more treatment than you, especially now since treatment is over. I sometimes think that I'd trade places with people with lower grade cancers who got to keep their boobs and lymph nodes, but I certainly don't think they don't deserve as much support as I do. It's not the treatment that I need support for, it's the risk of recurrence hanging over my head, and not being able to ignore my own mortality anymore that I need support for.

Dx 12/14/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 2/13/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/27/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/27/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/27/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Mar 21, 2019 08:50PM rachelcarter35 wrote:

Cancer sucks no matter the stage or grade and deserves its due raging and frustration. I personally feel changed for life. Some of it is a new underlying fear that I don't think ever goes away. But also I never knew how much I want to be alive and that part is cool.

Dx 2/21/2018, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 4/24/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/14/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy Targeted Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 21, 2019 10:21PM AliceBastable wrote:

I've never felt the need for a support group, just an occasional vent. Besides, I'd have to pick a cancer and I wouldn't know which one! I have looked for multiple primary cancer forums but they don't exist under that name or any name I can think of. I'd really like to connect with other medical weirdos.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 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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Mar 23, 2019 04:27AM Via wrote:

I started one on FB is call “Cancer but NOT so bad cancer if you are interested in looking for it ;)

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Apr 3, 2019 06:44AM - edited Apr 3, 2019 07:24AM by DivineMrsM

Believe it or not, some people think I should go around feeling only gratitude because I've had a good response to treatment for metastatic breast cancer. You know, that kind of blind mentality “be glad you're alive!" Please. I feel a whole mixture of emotions. I’m sure you do, too, even tho our situatiins are different.

I read an article about a new book (written by a therapist) called “Maybe You Should Talk To Somebody". (I plan to read the book). — “With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.

She discusses how people tend to minimize pain, and here is an except from her book:

“On her belief that there's no hierarchy of pain:

As a therapist in therapy, I feel like often we minimize our problems. You know, "It was a breakup, not a divorce." It's kind of like people who have a miscarriage but they didn't lose a child who was 8 years old. They're these silent losses. ... I don't think there's a hierarchy of pain. ... Pain is pain.

So even when I was seeing this woman who was dying of cancer, for example, and [she] was in her 30s and newly married and all of a sudden she was dealing with this horrible life situation, and then I'd have to go to a session where someone says, "My husband never initiates sex" or "The babysitter's stealing from me." I used to worry that I would not take their problems as seriously. But what I realized is that usually the thing that they're having a problem with is indicative of a deeper pain. What does it mean to be rejected or unloved by your partner? What does it mean when someone betrays your trust?

I think that often we minimize our problems. We think, "Well, yeah, I've been sad for two months, but it's not that big of a deal because I have all these other great things in my life. I have a roof over my head, and I have a family" and whatever you might have.

But pain is pain."


found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Apr 3, 2019 04:17PM AliceBastable wrote:

DivineMrsM, that sounds like a great book. One thing that's been taken from all of us is normal perspective, and we'll never get that back.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 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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Apr 3, 2019 07:44PM - edited Apr 3, 2019 07:49PM by DivineMrsM

Another aspect of this is that, as women, the issues we deal with in general are often minimized, sometimes trivialized and not given priority, We're often taught to say things like “It's okay." “I'm alright." and we’re often expected to take care of others and not so much ourselves. I can remember at a support group I went to briefly that the women there told me it was time to be selfish and take care of me. Gradually, I’ve gotten better at it, listening to my own intuition and feelings.

Via, a really good outlet is journaling. Every day, write three pages of whatever you're feeling. No one ever has to see what you write. It's a very therapeutic exercise, and especially when I go through really rough patches, writing helps. It helps us collect our thoughts, organize them and get in touch with all that we're feeling.


found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Apr 3, 2019 09:02PM DivineMrsM wrote:

I guess I have a lot to say about this, (haha) But I feel like getting a cancer diagnosis, whatever the type or stage or method of treatment, but what it does is destroys our sense of well-being, Kind of like “we’re not in Kansas any more.” The landscape has changed, and we are changed by this occurance in our lives. We grow, change and adapt, but it takes time, understanding and patience.

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Apr 3, 2019 10:14PM Via wrote:

what you wrote is beautiful and to the point! So true!

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Apr 3, 2019 10:18PM Via wrote:

great isea

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