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Sep 20, 2021 01:28PM
Sunshine99 No, I don't keep a journal. I had a diary for a short time when I was a child but that was it. Not sure what happened. I use to read a lot when I was younger too but now it's like I have ADD or something because I can't focus. My husband has YEARS of journals. I should follow his example and start writing down my thoughts. It certainly is a good idea. At least part of my story will be documented online on this website. And I would never tell you to go jump in a lake lol.
ThreeTree Thanks for mentioning green tea. I forgot I bought some yesterday and am drinking it now :) I tried to find an organic brand but all I ended up with was Bigalow decaffinated. They kept asking me what sort of caffeine I ingest daily. I told them I drank black tea, occasionally decaf coffee and sometimes ate chocolate. I've stopped the black tea completely after reading something about it mimicking estrogen. The green tea is good so I'll stick to that from now on. Not sure I should be consuming cottage cheese because the milk they used to make it could have hormones but it tastes good on my salad so for now I'm letting that slide.
I've never heard of MyChart before. I'll have to look into that. It would be nice to get the results a.s.a.p. rather than waiting for the certified snail mail to arrive. That's how they informed me of my mammogram results several days after I knew about the BC.
BTW, your ex sounds like a real jerk! My husband's father moved in with us for a couple years prior to my mom's stroke. I remember pleading with my parents to take better care of themselves after my FIL passed away because of how difficult it was on my husband and I. All the anxiety I felt over them was for naught because it didn't do one thing to stop my mom from having a catastrophic stroke or my dad from mishandling the situation for years after. Your story is very similar to mine regarding the prolonged exposure to stress. I think a lot of people turned to the internet to de-stress. Not sure if it helped or hurt because it kept us sedentary and exposed us to unlimited negative stories from around the world 24/7.
I'm going to be laughed at for suggesting this, but about 6 months ago I discovered a video game that I became completely obsessed with. Up to that point, I played hidden object games in my free time. I found them to be both entertaining and relaxing. But I wanted something new so i started researching and found one that some claim to be the best game ever made. It's called Red Dead Redemption 2. It's created by the same people who made Grand Theft Auto so it's not for children but the graphics are absolutely stunning. It was hard learning it at first because I wasn't use to that sort of game play but once you get the hang of it, it's easy. Now all I do when I play is ride horses, go fishing, hunt animals (yes I felt guilty over this at first and still find myself not shooting them when i don't have to), and take in the beautiful landscapes. It takes place in the 1800s so it's a western theme but it's very realistic and takes me far, far away from the miseries of the world. The only downside is the long periods of inactivity that is required to play it. So I'm making sure I exercise in the morning now and walk around as much as possible. But I also question whether the stress and inactivity played a role in my BC. Maybe not everyone's experience but it's hard to ignore that it happened after my worst period of time for both.
Regarding the familial history link, they really should do a better job with their risk assessment questionnaires and ask about women on the father's side. It would be rare for the father to get breast cancer even if he's carrying the gene but he's very likely to pass it on to his daughters. I realize the genetic component is only a small part of BC diagnoses but it's hard to dismiss it when it's staring you right in the face. Your story is very similar to mine in that I had second cousins who died relatively young from it and then my aunt got it in her 70s. I think beating ourselves up and having regrets is just a part of the grieving process. You had some questions...
You asked...Is there some way that you can get help with your older family members? Taking care of three of them all by yourself is too much for anybody! Do they have insurance or assets of some kind that might help you hire from a home health agency?
No one has stepped up to this point. My MIL is pretty much set because we got her into a great assisted living facility and she is thriving (I wish I could live there!). My parents are another story. They have been the source of 95% of my stress for several years now. My mom isn't in a position to make any decisions so it basically up to my 81 year old father. Legally he is responsible for calling the shots. All I can do is try to persuade him. They have a live in caregiver now who I'm not happy with but I don't have it in me to fight anymore. Were I in control, things would be a lot different. And now I don't want that control because any incentive I had to throw myself into the lion's den and save my parents just went out the window with the (likely) BC diagnosis.
You said...You mentioned that you were going back to church. Do you think there would be any church volunteers who could come by and help to give you a break? If you do indeed have cancer and will be needing treatment, you are not going to be able to take care of the senior members of your family like you have been. Again, that's too much even for a young healthy person. Check with your church and some area social service places, and see if you can't get some help with that!
I was only their physical caregiver for part of the time during the past several years. My mom is bed bound which means changing diapers, tube feeding, etc. I mostly did it as a backup position when their live in caregiver took time off or quit. But someone has to manage it all The hiring and firing, the doctors appointments, the medications, the groceries, the medical supplies, dentist, etc. It's been a lot to handle. The pandemic made things worse because my mom caught Covid from a caregiver and I was having to drive over to take care of her at all hours of the day and night. No one wanted the job because she was positive for Covid. And there was pressure on me from all sides to make sure she was safe and cared for. It's just been a nightmare and I just don't have anything left to commit to them. Not sure what the future holds but I have to focus on my own health. It's someone else's turn!
scaredme Thank you for explaining that about the staging. I wasn't sure how it worked. I can understand why they might upstage you after surgery but why would the cancer grade change? It seems so complicated. I always assumed BC was a single disease. Hormone Receptive and/or HER positive or Triple Negative? WTH? I'm not sure I want to learn what those mean yet. I'll wait and hear what they say and then gather the courage to find out what they're talking about. It's scary stuff. You guys seem so grounded. I sometimes feel like I want to jump out of my skin. Tomorrow is my PCP appointment so I'm hoping she'll give me something for anxiety and/or depression, at least for the short term. I normally don't like taking unnecessary medication but I could use a little help right now.