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Topic: Is anyone else an atheist with BC besides me?

Forum: Life After Breast Cancer —

Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Jan 18, 2008 03:39PM

thedudess wrote:

Hi I am newly diagnosed and I know alot of people rely on their faith for support and find great peace with that, however I am a atheist and was wondering if anyone else here was also.

thanks

Dx 1/7/2008, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 13, 2008 07:43PM carolsd wrote:

That is not an ugly kitten! That is a cute little adorable little puffball of sweetness and vulnerability and... ok. Well, I don't think she's ugly, I think she's enchanting :-)

Dx 9/22/2004, IDC, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 13, 2008 08:58PM sushanna1 wrote:

 I think that there should be a separate thread for those who do not believe in the power of prayer.  There is a prayers and inspiration thread (or something similar) so why not one for us.  My standard response to those who said they would pray for me was, "OK as long as the government isn't paying you to do it."  If my memory is correct the government funded study on the effect of prayer found that prayer had a slight negative effect.  The results weren't released when I was going through treatment or I might have cited it to those who offered to pray for me.

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Feb 13, 2008 09:02PM sushanna1 wrote:

Regarding food that tastes good during chemo, try hot dogs.  Also, try horseradish.  They were about the only things that tasted normal.  I got through Thanksgiving and Christmas by putting horseradish on just about everything.  Oops I forgot one more thing--margaritas.  The drink of choice during chemo.  (Though I didn't indulge very often.)

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Feb 13, 2008 09:22PM guitarGrl wrote:

Hot dogs won't work - I'm a vegetarian. Though I have to admit I did pick up a package in the grocery store the other day, but the package just wouldn't go into my cart. It's a physical aversion, not a political thing, or I'd just throw away any principles. Now there is no aversion to margaritas though - wonderful idea. Even if you can't taste them all that much, you'll be too drunk to care!

Carol - do you walk around & pick up strays a lot? It's cute the way you defended that little thing. Looks like it was pulled up from a sewer.

I'm feeling better - will actually go into work tomorrow - mainly because I started being hungry & have been eating cardboard all day. This is day 6 so I guess I'm doing something normal. Did you go down again before the next treatment, or was it ok until then? I'm on a three week schedule, so it would be nice to have some time not feeling sick. Also need to visit 95 year old parents who are freaking out in Florida.

Yes, the avatar is the little brown guy - now also known as the fat little brown guy - real name is Chaco (as in the canyon - not related to his color). Has one of the best cat personalities ever & is known world wide as a music critic. True!

Hey guys - great to have a place where we can be silly. Though if it gets too much, let us know & we'll start a pet thread.

susan

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 14, 2008 09:56AM paige-allyson wrote:

Isabella is digging the compliments WinkKiss. I've enjoyed reading your different perspectives on her early cuteness/lack of. I actually at the time thought she was cute, then looked at the photos months later and thought, "She looked like THAT?!" I swear Jim and I were under the influence of bonding hormones- he'd even fall asleep in the chair when he fed her her bottle.

Anyhow- this has become an "anything goes" thread, which I am just fine with. At first when I read the posts suggesting a move I thought "why?" but thinking about it a bit more maybe we should move to the "growing our friendships" area - or whatever. It might also be good to start off with a statement that this is a support/friendship thread for women who are happily non-religious/non-traditionally religious, versus an "atheisim, is it right or wrong?" debate kind of thread- that way we can head misunderstanding, hurt feelings, or other unpleasantness (hopefully!) off at the pass. I am fine with anyone of any belief orientation stopping by to "chat" just so long as it doesn't include unsolicited efforts to alter my/anyone else's views on religious matters. I like that so many women have stopped in and been supportive even though they have some faith-based beliefs that they follow. As Ali G would say "Re-spek!"

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 14, 2008 11:47AM lewing wrote:

I haven't been around this site long enough to know what happens when a thread moves - I'm assuming there'll be some kind of notice?  Or will someone just start a new thread?  All I know is, I'd hate to log in one day and discover that this thread had disappeared or stopped growing.

On Isabella - I  wouldn't say she looked skunk-like.  (Baby skunks are actually adorable, by the way.)  More rodent-like, I think.  But a *cute* rodent.  I don't think I've ever seen a kitten that small. 

Sunflowers, I didn't realize you were from western Mass.  I went to grad school there (UMass-Amherst) and loved the area, even though I was often too stressed out to enjoy it fully.

Reading others' posts, I feel as though I'm one or two or three steps behind, in that I have't started treatment yet.  In a weird way, I'm in my "cancer honeymoon" period: far enough out from diagnosis to have absorbed the news, done with all the follow-up tests (except for a pre-surgery pregnancy test, since I'm pre-menopausal...now, wouldn't THAT be a shocker if it came back postive!), but not yet dealing with the realities of treatment. 

So, as befits a honeymoon, I'm taking next week off and going to Puerto Rico.  It was our pre-cancer plan for my daughter's February break, and I'm so, so glad that we're still able to do it.  It's caused a few raised eyebrows - including one from my SO's mother, who was concerned that I wasn't going straight to surgery, and one from a friend who's been here, done that and warned that I'd likely be too worried to enjoy myself.  But I think I'd be a lot more stressed if I didn't have this trip to look forward to.  (We'll get back on the 24th, and my surgery is on the 26th.)

And oh, yes, horseradish: I love the stuff!  I've always been of the opinion that certain foods - brisket, for example - exist solely to serve as vehicles for horseradish.  So I like the idea of throwing caution to the wind and just putting it on everything.

Linda

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/13/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Feb 14, 2008 03:55PM guitarGrl wrote:

You people from the east are weird. I've seen that white stuff that sometimes comes from the sky. Why anyone would want to live in it? That's about as weird as people thinking Isabella was cute as a kitten ...

Linda - with your diagnosis, one week will not influence the outcome. Tell your not-quite-mother-in-law that if they really thought you needed to go straight into surgery, they'd make you do that. Besides the later you do it, think of all the extra advice we will have for you!

Madalyn - Chaco definitely has 'tude - though maybe not what you'd expect. He believes that all humans were put on this earth to worship him (excuse me, forgot the thread - "pet" him) so he walks right up to each and every one of them and demands attention ... loudly ... until they comply. He loves workmen who come into the house with power tools because that's cool. Gets to be macho.

Allyson - how is Wendy & how do you put pictures in the middle of a message?

susan

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 15, 2008 06:22AM paige-allyson wrote:

Susan- to put in pics you have to put them into photobucket on line, then you have phot bucket open and your post here open at the same time with tabs, To put your pic in you click on the little tree icon here (next to the emotions icon above the writing space for the post) in photo bucket you copy the url of the pic you want to post - then click on the tree icon here and paste it in the designated spot. For some reason it doesn't always work the first time- I usually have to do it twice. Also- I advise editing your pic in photobucket first- sizing it down to e-mail size- otherwise you'll post BIG GIANT PICS (like I did on my first try).

I look forward to seeing pics from you or others here. Wendy is home-doing well but can't use her rear legs yet and has a big Frankenstein scar about 8in long closed with staples down her back- it's a shocker. My mast scar is way more attractive. Of course her back will ultimately be covered back up with fur, unlike my chest (hmm this is a good thing). I am really enjoying reading the posts but gotta run- I have way too much to do today and am a little stressed re: how it's all going to get done. Happy Friday!!!

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 15, 2008 09:58AM guitarGrl wrote:

this is a double duh post

duh 1 - I don't even know how to get the emoticons - they don't show up on my screen let alone a photo bucket. Sorry, but photo bucket sounds like something you'd put kitty litter in.

duh 2 - you east coasters will appreciate the irony of this: biked to work yesterday (I live a mile away & it's the only reasonable way of getting there). When it was time to go home, not only was there a driving rain but an (unheard of for us) wind-chill factor of low 40s. Keep in mind my winter clothes are a thin rain jacket & rain pants. Did I leave the bike there & beg for a ride instead. Noooo. Biked all the way downhill into the rain & have been coughing all morning.

Maybe being a space cadet is a cause of breast cancer?

susan

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 15, 2008 05:22PM paige-allyson wrote:

I think it is possible that being a space cadet could be the cause of bc- I certainly am one.

I only recently learned how to post pics so you can too- I am not at all tech savvy. photobucket is a website that allows you to create an online photo album from which you can add pics to e-mails and things- I think it's photobucket.com if not google it. The service is free, you just have to register. If you have trouble I can help you sometime soon. I am wiped tonight and have both of my children (adults) showing up soon to spend the night. Mixed in with that I'm doing dachshund pt and nursing care. Also spent half the day getting to and from a doctor appointment- endocrinologist I've gone to for years. So Suzy- I am joining you in non-bc medical adventures- going to have my thyroid knocked back with radioactive iodine probably this spring. Seems like nothing actually after the bc. I used to think something like that was a big deal. My big-deal-o-meter has been seriously recalibrated this past year Undecided.

Susan take good care of yourself and beat that cough!

Shelby- hope you are feeling well too.

Best to all. Allyson

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 16, 2008 06:32PM lewing wrote:

Yesterday was not a great day.  The results of my MRI came in, and, well, my Feb. 26 surgery is postponed until an additional suspicious area in my left breast and two in my right can be biopsied. 

I know that MRIs generate a lot of false positives (the radiologist's report - which my surgeon, who seems to have my number down, emailed to me - equivocated quite a bit), but this is still scaring me more than any of my results to date - up to and including my original diagnosis.  I'm also just plain pissed at the fact that this MRI was ordered on Jan. 18, but not scheduled until Feb. 11.  If the hospital is going to change its protocol to require bilateral MRIs for all new breast cancer patients, maybe they should invest in a few more MRI machines - or hire more technicians to run them over extended hours or something. 

End of rant.  Trying to get back to the general topic of this thread, how does a non-religious person deal with this kind of crap?

In my case, like this:

1. Go for a five mile run.  Look out at the mountains of ice heaved up on the lake and imagine you're running in Antarctica. 

2. Rehydrate with a large vodka gimlet.

3. Cook dinner (a little clumsily, on account of the vodka gimlet): macaroni and cheese and buttermilk cookies...total comfort food.  (I spiced the mac and cheese up with chipotle chiles and garlic breadcrumbs - though, per sushanna, horseradish would also have been good!)

4. Fantasize about spending all of next week in Puerto Rico.  I briefly thought about canceling the trip, but decided it was unlikely to speed things up significantly, and highly likely to leave me depressed.  So screw it - we're going.

At the risk of sounding really, really hokey, I did think a lot about kindness while I was running.  (That's when I find myself thinking about a lot of stuff.) I wouldn't say that being diagnosed with cancer has made me a better person, but I do believe it's made me more aware of the connections between people.  If we can alter the balance of the universe ever so slightly by moving one pebble over to the side of kindness, well, that's something.

With kind wishes for everyone,

Linda

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/13/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Feb 16, 2008 07:54PM - edited Sep 23, 2010 11:37PM by FJH

I just wanted to share a quote I heard recently, (not sure who said it). I love it!

"Religious people are afraid of going to hell, spiritual people have already been there."

Dx 9/16/2003, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 17, 2008 04:57AM paige-allyson wrote:

Linda- re: the mri. I had almost exactly the same scenario- in the "healthy?" breast 2 small areas- whatever it was went away with chemo and didn't show up on my mri in November. In the "bad" breast the 2 spots were LCIS- not a big deal in the overall scheme of things. I know all too well what the stress of waiting is like. For me that was the worst part of the whole thing.

The best part of the bc "experience" for me has been exactly along the lines you describe- I am more aware of the kindness of people around me and of how connected we all are. Can't think of a better running meditation than this. I am also a runner- just getting back into it now that 8 months of bc tx forced me to rest enough to heal a knee injury that had made running a thing of the past for a year+.

Re: Puerto Rico. Great that you still are going to go. I am really curious to hear about your experience. We (me, husband, brother, g.f.,adult kids) were discussing going there together last night. I'm excited for you. Have you been before?

Madalyn- my mom wouldn't let me have Barbie, only Skipper. We may have to stick with the space cadet hypothesis. I am total with you and Linda on the pay it forward approach and how kindness begets kindness. I've also observed how the opposite is also true- how one unkind/ill-thought out/oblivious act can destroy a relationship of send out a ripple of harm that goes way beyond the original victim. I read somewhere, maybe in the Shambala Sun, that in ... some religion (maybe mystical Judism?) it is believed that there is some critical number of kind beings in the world required to keep things stable- I can't quite remember the details but the idea really hooked me- drove home that what we do, how we act, and how we think may be very important is ways that we might not imagine. I should try to find the article. Happy Sunday to all! I will check out the nutrition piece you mention.

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 17, 2008 06:49AM Coltsneck wrote:

I don't have a belief in a God as viewed by most people. I don't pretend to have studied the issue extensively and then concluded that there is no God.  Because I don't understand certain mysteries of life it does not mean (to me)that there must be a God. 

I have my own value system which is based on respect for others and myself, and tolerance for other views - whether they be political, religious or other. 

Whether you believe in God or not, I recommend a very good book on the subject called "The God Delusion" written by an aetheist.  It provides an interesting perspective on the topic and addresses that there are many more aetheists in this country than we are aware of - but most of them are in the closet because of intolerance toward nonbelievers.

I don't mind when people say they are praying for me - I appreciate that they would go out of their way to do something for me that they view as important and beneficial.

Dx 5/2/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 17, 2008 11:12AM lewing wrote:

I really appreciate the support on the suspicious MRI.  I'm a lot calmer now than I was on Friday, or even yesterday. 

Allyson, I'll definitely post a report on the Puerto Rico trip.  I've never been before.  A friend who went there a few years back was telling me about driving along the coast, which he described as one long, amazing beach, and how it's dotted with little snack bars where you can get fried plantains and skewers of roasted pork (apologies to the vegetarians on this thread!) and wash them down with beer while playing pool (outside) and listening to Latin music.   I'm looking at the slushy wasteland outside my window right now and thinking that sounds REALLY good.

I plan to give up my internet habit for the duration of our vacation, so have a great week, everyone!

Linda

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/13/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Feb 19, 2008 05:04PM msphil wrote:

No i,m not, i,m very much faith filled, but to believe in science is alright, but who do you think gives those      

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Feb 23, 2008 09:34AM guitarGrl wrote:

Where did everyone go? Let's not let a few posts about prayer & faith (Yell) keep us from having a place to talk.

I've got to rememer to not fill my water glass to the top. Little brown guy has just been sipping from it. Yuck.

susan 

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 23, 2008 10:33AM paige-allyson wrote:

Hi Susan- I was wondering the same thing- just figured everyone was busy/away/chemoed out, etc. How are you doing? Little black and white girl makes a point of drinking out of my glass no matter what I do. I think we've become immune to each others germs- dee-scusting, as my brother would say. She's never been outside except for the day she was born so I figure she probably only has people germs/house germs anyhow. Allyson

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 23, 2008 10:36AM - edited Feb 23, 2008 10:38AM by pinkcat

Thedudess,

I like you have the same beliefs (or non beliefs).  My wife (for 43+ years) is somewhat religious and she seems to be taking her diagnoses much better then I am.  I am envious of her strength. Intellectually I know she needs my support, but at times I get caught up with the  shock of this event.  We just received the pathology report last Wednesday.

Nevertheless,  I would like to see both you and Graciela (my wife) have a long and disease free life.

Warm regards from another victim, Bob  

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Feb 23, 2008 12:00PM anneshirley wrote:

Hi Susan,

Our oldest cat Rachel, 16 years +, just recently started drinking out of our glasses and ignoring her bowl of water.  And now we find she also drinks seltzer water so long as it's in a glass.  I have no worry about germs--I wonder if I should?  Cats are supposedly such creatures of habit that I find this new side of her rather wonderful!  And now our other cat, noticing what Rachel has been doing, has started to do the same. 

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 23, 2008 05:18PM guitarGrl wrote:

Allyson - how's Wendy?

Bob - I think the cancer is really harder on the people around someone than it is on the person with the cancer. At least in my case, I find I have to cheer up the people around me. Basically your being there and listening is probably what she needs the most. If you can make educated grunts that helps too!

Madalyn & Anneshirley - I think I've been sharing drinks with the cat for a long time now. If I don't have to see it, I don't care. But watching it ...

susan

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2008 05:12PM lewing wrote:

I get so much reassurance from this thread - not just about cancer stuff, but about my cat-rearing practices!  Here I was, thinking I was the only one around with a cat that regularly drinks out of water glasses . . . so glad to know this is normal, and not evidence of overindulgence on my part.

Had a great time in Puerto Rico.  Allyson, if you get a chance to go, go! We spent half our time in San Juan, and half at an "eco-lodge" in El Yunque rainforest, surrounded by mountains and tropical foliage, hiking during the day and falling asleep to the sounds of rushing water and tree frogs.  One highlight was a nighttime kayacking expedition in Fajardo, where bioorganisms make the water glow in the dark - very cool.  The food was good, too (lots of fried stuff, but when you get tired of indulging in that, there's always fresh seafood).

It truly was a vacation from cancer.  I hadn't realized before the extent to which breast cancer has become the background noise for my life.  It's not as though I'm spending all my time freaking out or feeling distressed, but it's always there.  (Like, if someone in a car cuts me off, I don't just think, "what a jerk," but "what a jerk, to do that to someone with cancer!")  On this trip, entire hours would go by during which I didn't think about cancer once.

Today, it was back to business - an ultrasound-guided biopsy of one of the areas that showed up on the MRI.  The radiologist didn't see anything biopsi-able in the other two, which was reassuring, but means that I now need to get on the schedule for an MRI-guided biopsy to be extra-double sure before my surgery can be rescheduled.  I really want to get this show on the road...

Linda

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/13/2008 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Feb 26, 2008 08:53AM anneshirley wrote:

Linda--(Like, if someone in a car cuts me off, I don't just think, "what a jerk," but "what a jerk, to do that to someone with cancer!") Not sure if you meant this to be funny but it sure gave me a laugh.  It's so true and I wish I could say that it leaves and never comes back.  Yesterday, I had my third mammogram since surgery in July 2006.  When the radiologist came out and asked me to follow her, just that short walk down the hallway had me in a panic.  When she said everything was fine, I burst into tears and felt like an absolute fool! But everything is fine and will be for you too.  Your pathology is good and the surgery and post treatment part goes by in a flash.

About cats, we indulge ours to the extreme.  But in general they're so good, only one broken lamp between the two of them (and we've had them both for more than fifteen years).  Of course, if a non cat lover drops by and one of them gets up on the table, I always push him or her off, saying "You know you're not supposed to be on the table."  That is until another cat owner came by one day and responded, "Get off it, you know your cats can go anywhere they want."  So true.

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 26, 2008 10:23AM guitarGrl wrote:

A year ago I had some major repair work done on my condo & had to move out for a month. A friend offered to put the three of us up, but she had all these rules. The cats will not go on the counter, the cats will not go on the table, and when she got to the part where the cats would not go on one of the couches, I got a hotel room.

Took awhile to pay it off, but it was worth every penny.

susan

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 26, 2008 11:40AM Loki007 wrote:

I was JUST thinking about this, about braving the topic of religion(or lack thereof) when I logged on just now!! Thanks, dudess!
I'm not religious-if I had to classify, I'd say I was an apathetic agnostic. I don't know for sure, and I don't think it matters much where I came from or where I'm going as long as I make the most of the journey.
During the darkest days of my cancer trip(read that anyway you like!) I did have my own, often controversial method of coping. I wore a St.Jude medal, a star of David, prayer beads and a pair of angel wings. Whom- or what-ever was watching was bound to notice.
I did this with utmost sincerity, not to dig at organized religion, but some took it as such(I live on a military base in Idaho. Not exactly the optimal environment for alternative thinking).
As far as prayer comments go, I love them. I appreciate them because, no matter what my beliefs are, if someone offers me a place in their prayers it's because I hold a place in their heart. That in itself is a source of strength and comfort for me.
megan

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
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Feb 26, 2008 11:44AM Shirlann wrote:

Hi gals, my new cat Cleo, not only loves to drink out of glasses, if she can, she will put her feet in the glass. That she CANNOT do, I know where those feet have been! haha

But do we ever love that little bundle of fur. She is so precious. Our Whippet, chases her, but if he catches up to her, he stops, skidding. And she lays on her back and puts her paws around his muzzle, this is when they are not knocking the house down.

What would we do without our pets? My, my, they add so much to the day.

Love to all, Shirlann

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Feb 26, 2008 02:42PM anneshirley wrote:

A good friend's youngest daughter, about six years old at the time, was visiting us, when she saw our youngest cat sitting on a chair.  She went over to him, looked up at us and said, "I love kissing cats."  And then kissed him.  I love kissing cats as well.

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 26, 2008 07:28PM paige-allyson wrote:

I just got home from teaching and was greeted by Isabella reaching to be picked up- she's taken also to holding my face with her paws and licking. I actually tolerate this from her- usually I am not so keen on animals licking my face.

Went back to cancerland for my first follow up since finishing chemo in October. It was a little more traumatic than I'd expected. Just being back there and remembering the long haul of going through chemo last summer into fall and remembering again that like it or not life isn't the same. My onc ordered tumor markers which surprised me, but I am glad even though it also freaks me out. He said he's chosen to do so because of my high risk of recurrence and that the down side is possible false alarms. He feels it's worth it and I agree- would rather have the info than not. Haven't gotten any results yet- hopefully there won't be any weird phone calls asking me to come back for further tests. I'm having a cancerphobia relapse just from going there. After we got home I got Jim to make me some broccoli, kale, carrot, apple juice- home chemotherapy.

Time to follow that up with some melatonin (more home chemotherapy) and go to bed. It was a perfectly "good" visit- find myself liking my oncologist better than I did during treatment, felt I got my questions answered, feel like he's committed to doing his best as far as treatment is concerned. Still I feel reminded of my vulnerability and it's tough. In my case the risk of recurrence is the same in the second five years as in the first five- that's just the deal. I imagine it will recede into the background again in a few days barring any unforeseen developments. Next time I'm asked to put my religion on a form I think I'll put "Femaraist" I am very grateful for and put a lot of faith in that little yellow pill that I take everyday.

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 27, 2008 08:41AM otter wrote:

(How did a thread about atheism end up being about cats???  There must be a connection there, somewhere...)   :) 

When I filled out the pre-surgery paperwork for my mastectomy/SNB a few wks ago, there was a question asking whether my religious beliefs or values might influence my treatment options.  (I suppose they ask that because some people do not want to receive blood transfusions etc.).  I put "No".

Earlier on some other paperwork associated with my medical records in that hospital, there was a question asking whether I would want "pastoral visits" while in the hospital.  I put "No".

I don't recall any questions asking me what religious denomination I claimed. (I would have answered "None" or "not applicable".)

So, imagine my surprise when I looked at a print-out of my hospital record when I was discharged from the hospital, and under "Religion", it said "Baptist"!

I guess when you live in Alabama, people just assume things automatically.

otter 

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 27, 2008 12:48PM guitarGrl wrote:

Well now here is a whole new opportunity for volunteerism - non-pastoral pastoral visits. Somebody comes to your bedside and reads you the latest breast cancer research...

susan

Dx 11/29/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-

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