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May 22, 2019 05:35PM
I have a problem with the "new normal" stuff. While it's true that breast cancer does affect your life, so do a lot of other things. I have also been through a divorce, the end of one career, the death of both parents, a cross-country move, the loss of two of my closest friends, and a recession. So another item to layer into my life experience.
I got stronger than ever cycling a couple of years after treatment and have gone on to do the best work of my career.
My biggest surprise was well-meaning friends who fed me bogus information immediately upon diagnosis: diet, no deodorant (phew), and to expect to take it easy. I wear the best and most flattering underwire bras that I can find. And for the record, one of my former male work colleagues didn't make it, so yes, male breast cancer is real.
I am extremely lucky. I have no idea what the future will bring, but I can say that I have had nearly 10 wonderful years since diagnosis. Decades ago, I never would have imagined myself spending a weekend cycling and vineyard camping. But that is exactly what I did last weekend.
I wish I could tell people to let go of the small things that grip their lives in fear (is the sugar in that extra cookie really going to contribute to your demise - really doubt it). If I did that, I wouldn't have done Sunday's ride where I saw bald eagles, glorious canyon scenery, lots of fellow cyclists and emerged fit and strong. I focus on these things though it's also possible that I could crash.
I think that what I am trying to say is that QOL is about a lot more than doing routine stuff. It's about feeding the imagination and spirit. And far too much of the "advice" is limiting in this regard. - 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.
8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)