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Topic: Dealing with Chemo Alone

Forum: Singles With Breast Cancer —

Singles with breast cancer who want to connect.

Posted on: Jan 20, 2008 06:36PM

Rocktobermom wrote:

I am already done with all the chemo and the herceptin treatments but I just wanted to start this thread since I know there are many of you bc sisters dealing with this issue and there are many of us who've already successfully survived.

Some of us live alone and some of us are single parents.

For me, my family really stepped up to the plate and made sure that I had rides to and from (only a few times did I have to go alone and that was when I was on Herceptin). 

I have to say that it was really a necessity to have someone at the house after I was done with my treatment. I have a little girl, who was 4 at the time when it started and treatment lasted a year and a half, so someone needed to be there to take care of her and entertain her.  Yes, I could have done it but having someone there allowed me to rest and not worry.

Anyone have a few words of experience?

When life hands you a lemon, ask for some tequila and salt to go with it!
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Sep 5, 2015 12:10PM Artista928 wrote:

Awwwe. You aren't alone. You have all of us here. Only 3 people in my life know about my bc: my bro and 2 bffs. I chose not to tell my family who would drive me insane and I don't have any friends other than the one 5 miles from me and the other in Seattle. My bro is in LA and stays in touch with me 1 x a week. So while I'm not technically alone, I have been since 6 days out from my sx when my bro had to go back. My bff near here has a sis with pancreatic cancer so she's pretty MIA unless I need her to take out my garbage and such. Otherwise, I'm it.

Don't think of it as being alone. Is there a support group you can join? It doesn't have to be one for bc. I am a member of a couple of sports forums and even though I've never met these guys in real life, I've been messaging or taking on the phone with them for 10 years now. You don't have to meet in person in order to have friends. They've supported me much more than my nutty family ever could.

Also with chemo, even if you have a private room, they'll be others in there too receiving treatment that maybe you can connect with.

Another way to think of it is as being a role model. I have a blog going and my friends from the sports forums follow it. I get complemented a lot on how I'm basically on my own and so I see myself to those who read it as you too can do it. Great self esteem lifter when you get such feedback of giving hope to those who think they can't do it.

Take care and you aren't alone. Hundreds of people here will beg to differ!

Dx'd at 50. Doing it all, all by myself. Stopped Letrozole after 5 weeks. Debilitating se's. Back on Tamox now. Dx 6/2/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 8/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy 5/2/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/28/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 12/9/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/26/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/1/2017 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Aug 28, 2016 04:05PM - edited Aug 28, 2016 04:39PM by InTheWind

This Post was deleted by InTheWind.
Dx 1/4/2013, ILC, Both breasts, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+
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Sep 29, 2017 12:18AM - edited Sep 29, 2017 05:50AM by Moderators

This Post was deleted by Moderators.
Dx 8/25/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/6/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left Chemotherapy 10/3/2017 AC + T (Taxol)
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Sep 29, 2017 12:20AM Batsy wrote:

Hi HapB! I'm about to start the process alone. A/C next Thursday. Have some kind friends, but they are pretty busy at work--hoping to work through chemo without involving them too much--we'll see, I guess. Have two large dogs to walk so hope I can keep moving. I live in rural Maine so there aren't many resources. Want to keep heart functioning well so I'll probably do the fasting regimen 48 hours before/24 hours after chemo. Fingers crossed. Moving the bed downstairs near the bathroom. So sorry you're having a bad time of it. Your post was back in June so maybe things are better! Will find you in the other forums if you're not checking here.

Dx 8/25/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/6/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left Chemotherapy 10/3/2017 AC + T (Taxol)
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Sep 29, 2017 06:41AM Moderators wrote:

Hi Batsy,

Welcome to the BCO discussion boards. We know it's not a place anyone wants to find themselves but we hope the support and information that you get here will help you through your treatment and beyond.

May we suggest you look at the threads below for added support and information on your upcoming chemo!

Tips and Shopping list for getting through Chemo

September Chemo Group

Sending our kindest wishes,

The Mods.

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Sep 29, 2017 07:01AM Brightness456 wrote:

I'm alone too. I have family and friends who love me, and two people help me each week with cold capping so that's a huge benefit. And my son has been helping with yard work each week. I've been lucky so far that I'm able to walk often and I've been able to manage SEs pretty well so far. My difficulty is being alone so much. When I settle down in the evening and it all hits me, I cry. I cry alone. Some days no one touches me at all. That is a struggle. I was a good, loving faithful wife for many years, but my ex was a very angry man who I suppose felt guilty about cheating, so he got angrier and took it out on me, so being alone is better than being abused, but it's still hard when the grief hits.

I know I should be thankful I have it better than so many, but I can't help wishing there was someone to hold me and tell me we're in this together. No time for that pity party right now though, so I guess I'll bottle it back up until tonight.

Invasive ductal carcinoma Dx 6/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 8/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 9/13/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/14/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Oct 2, 2017 02:50AM Batsy wrote:

Big hugs to you, Brightness4. Glad you are managing the SEs and that people are around to generally help out. I get what you say about the alone times--the nights alone are truly surreal--disbelief, grief keep suddenly disrupting normal thoughts. So far I'm finding myself good at distraction through binge-watching (this weekend--The Bridge, Swedish/Danish murder mystery series on Hulu), reading, and some take-home work. Strange how with a cancer diagnosis so many movies, books, and tv series become interesting and relevant to life in general. Maybe we should all get together and compile a master list of fascinating watchings and start a conversation group to watch things together when we're alone. Recommendations? Hoping I can keep walking like you!

Dx 8/25/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/6/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left Chemotherapy 10/3/2017 AC + T (Taxol)
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Oct 2, 2017 02:50AM Batsy wrote:

Thanks so much! Will do.

Dx 8/25/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 5/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/6/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left Chemotherapy 10/3/2017 AC + T (Taxol)
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Oct 13, 2017 01:08AM - edited Oct 13, 2017 01:10AM by TabzIsMyAngel

I'm new to the forums here. Biopsy in July revealed invasive ductal carcinoma, but a nasty break-up followed by moving from MI back to my home state of NY & waiting for change to new insurance delayed onset of treatment by 3 months. Had my lumpectomy & sentinel node dissection as well as chemo port insertion 2 1/2 weeks ago. I start chemo next week with the following schedule: 4 cycles of A/C every 21 days, followed by 12 weeks of Paclitaxel & Herceptin, then continuing Herceptin to finish out a full 52 week course of treatment. I'll also be having radiation either after or near the end of the full chemo cycle.

Living alone leaves too much time for getting caught up in thoughts of dread & worrying about all the side effects I'll potentially be facing. I'll be attending a Look Good, Feel Better workshop on Monday, and my local cancer treatment center also offers Reiki, massage therapy and monthly support group meetings, all of which I plan to take full advantage of. But it's the alone time after my chemo sessions that has me stressing out. And I have LOTS of alone time because I'm currently unemployed, so don't have that distraction to get me out of the house. I do have my Dad nearby to help out with household repairs, and a sister nearby but she has no transportation to come help me out. But I'm trying to remain positive and what I've read thus far on this site has been helpful & kept me occupied.

Tammy

Dx 7/27/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 9/25/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/25/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 1/25/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 4/23/2018 3DCRT: Breast
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Oct 13, 2017 05:26AM Brightness456 wrote:

It's sad that too many of us are facing this alone. I know some of the married people here say they have to put on the happy face and hide the fear from their husbands so they understand, but I don't think that's the same at all. When they wake up at night, even if they can't turn to their husbands and cry, they can hear someone breathing next to them, feel the warmth of another person. It's not the same as being alone, truly alone. I try to remind myself that being alone in this journey is better than being abused by my ex in this journey, but I can't help remembering all the times he wasn't cruel, the times we laughed and played and loved and I remember how safe and comforting his arms were before they weren't.

I had just started to try online dating before my dx, but found every single man I met was too needy, every single one of them, so if that's all that's out there at my age (early 50s), I'd rather be alone anyway I suppose. The last thing I need is to have to take care of someone else right now. I suppose that's a plus to being alone.

Invasive ductal carcinoma Dx 6/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 8/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 9/13/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/14/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Oct 29, 2017 09:44AM mkn86 wrote:

i've been looking for a thread like this. necause the entire thing is difficult. not just chemo but cancer in general feels so isolating.

i have no family of my own, single. and some days even my own parents and siblings feel like they add to the stress instead of help. i keep telling them what needs to be done when they ask me what i need help with and no one listens. i acknowledge that everyone has different ways of dealing with cancer but i'm just really tired of having to manage my disease, logistics, appointments, recovery, etc. maybe i'm looking for something TOO ideal by wanting to actually just have to worry abou getting better/recovering instead of taking on the burden of everything else.

and brightness, i get you. i have this idea also that everything else wouldn't matter if there was a constant i could cry to. someone to hold my hand on nights i cry myself to sleep.

- kat Dx 8/11/2017, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/6/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin) Chemotherapy 11/9/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Oct 29, 2017 10:18AM keepthefaith wrote:

I am single also, but the ex I had would have probably been more of a burden than help. I think it takes the right partner to go through something like this with, in order to not feel so alone. Even with that, unless they have had a similar DX, they really don't "get it". I remember being angry and scared when I was DX'd and the fear of being alone was over-whelming at first. My DD, Mom and BFF were probably my biggest supporters. My DD called me almost every day to check on me. MY BFF took me to almost all of my appts. The moral support and someone just being there is important. Even if you can't really convey what you are going through, it's nice to know that someone cares. When I was alone with my thoughts, I tried to remember all of the things I am thankful for, I journalled a lot and still do. I prayed a lot. I found a lot of support on these threads. I am always perplexed by the concept of being so over-whelmed with BC, but at the same time, comforted knowing that someone else is going through it too, even though you wouldn't wish it on anybody. Best wishes to you all and thank you for being here!

Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/15/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2014
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Jan 2, 2018 01:13AM friendofpatient wrote:

Help, please! Time is of the essence, here.

I have a friend who moved out of state (Northern CA) and is about to start chemo (ACT). She has no friends or family close by. She hasn't made any arrangements for help. Are there professional resources to help her? With ACT being very harsh and she being very petite and frail, I'm thinking she either needs a home nurse or should stay at a center for chemo patients (is there such a thing?) for a day or two after each treatment.

Any links/resources would be appreciated. I've looked on several of the breast cancer sites but can't find any info for those who are alone and need medical care.

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Jan 2, 2018 04:21AM Moderators wrote:

Hi Friendofpatient,

Welcome to the boards!

As well as posting here in the chemo forum, you might also find some recommendations for resources in the forum below:

Recommend Your Resources

We would suggest you create your own topic in this forum and hopefully some members will have some resources to hand. You can also suggest to your friend to try locate and talk to an oncologist social worker in her area who can recommend lots of resources for her.

Hoping you get answers soon!

The Mods.

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jan 2, 2018 10:29AM keepthefaith wrote:

friend, I would suggest she contact the American Cancer Society in her area. They can assist with rides to appts, house-cleaning, wigs, etc. There may also be non-profits that can help, that deal exclusively with BC patients. Her Medical Facility probably has a Social Worker that can provide resources as well. Your friend is lucky to have you on her side!

Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/15/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2014
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Jan 12, 2018 10:54PM waytooanxiousmommy wrote:

I am divorced, unemployed (laid off a few months before dx) and my family lives out of the country and even if they were here I'd be alone. They have never been there for me. I also have two boys 11 and 15. I also broke up with man I had been dating just before dx. I sometimes feel sorry for myself. This past week it was super cold and my HVAC broke and I had to get a new one and be without heat for a week during chemo in super cold weather. I did have friends offer to have me stay with them but I declined except for spending one night with a girlfriend more for the company than anything else. Fortunately I have a dual zoned home so I had heat in my bedrooms and could survive at home for the most part. Also my pipes from and washing machine broke. In addition to the stress of unexpected home repairs while having chemo I also have to pay for my health insurance (CORBA) out of pocket, my copays and all my living expenses while being out of work for a year and so I am getting kicked in the teeth financially. Luckily I had good savings. I have this horrible need to sink into self pity but I have so much to be grateful for:

  • I am grateful for my two sons who I love very much
  • I am grateful for my cats who cuddle with me and follow me around
  • I am grateful that even though my ex was cheating on me right and left during out marriage our divorce was healthy. We did a lot of therapy prior to divorce and he is working on himself and he is supportive of me now and his family still cares about me. I am totally not interested in him as romantic partner but he does show up as good co-parent and does care about me.
  • I am grateful that three years prior to dx I did intensive therapy and developed a strong network of friends from my therapy groups. They help me so much.
  • I am grateful I had savings
  • I am grateful for my oncology team. I feel taken care of
  • I am grateful I stopped dating someone who was not right for me before dx so I didn't have to deal with that with cancer
  • I am grateful that I am well qualified and hopefully will get a job after chemo to avoid financial disaster
  • I am grateful that I am eating well and exercising daily so that I have the strength to take care of myself and my boys
  • I am glad cleaningforareason came and cleaned my house today. They are awesome
  • Glad for the two free wigs I got and for the Mexican ladies who cut my sons hair who fussed over me and styled the wigs for me with so much love for $10
  • Glad for my friends who have given me thoughtful gifts and who have loved me despite my self pity and glass half full attitude
  • Grateful that I refused a couple of interviews when I found out I needed 5 months chemo with an honest disclosure of breast cancer and the recruiters from one of the places check in on me from time to time to see how I am feeling. Funny how sometimes strangers care.
  • Grateful for my therapist
  • Grateful to be alive today. I don't know what tomorrow will bring but I am managing to feel happy during chemo despite hives, hair loss and nueropathy
  • Grateful to me able to cry out my sadness and the support I have had around the grief I have around my cancer, losing a friend who could not deal with my diagnosis, my family being absent, the loss of the man I was dating and the loss of my job and my savings
  • Grateful to everyone who has loved me, hugged me, texted me and helped me through the dark times


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Apr 22, 2018 09:23PM Jaybird627 wrote:

I'm baaack.....

Update: NED for 13 years. New primary, other breast. Chemo - again - maybe Rads, double mastectomy for sure.

Surgery 4/26/2018.

Was alone 1st time, alone this time also. It sucks to cry and not have anyone to hold me....

Any my 11 year old daughter is being pissy and hormonal. Fun times. :(

Jaybird. My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope - Ovid. Dx
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Apr 23, 2018 10:32AM keepthefaith wrote:

jaybird, wow, so sorry you are dealing with this again. I hope your surgery goes well. Here's a ((HUG))!

Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/15/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2014
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May 9, 2018 09:21PM BexSpartan wrote:

Anybody do surgery alone? I'm traveling about 90-120min. to get a bi-lateral with expanders, and as I am the one who takes care of people in the extended family when issues come up (I'm single no kids), I'll be doing it solo. Some logistical concerns as I have to go up the night before due to a 5:30 am arrival time and I will be using non-emergency medical transport as I won't be able to drive. Kinda sketchy, I have to rely on strangers to deal with things while I'm dopey and bring a locking hardside suitcase to overnight with. They are bringing me home in a 'non-emergency stretcher vehicle' (totally makes me picture the Ghostbusters hearse) so I don't have to sit up for an hour and a half, also because I can't have a seatbelt in stop-and-go traffic for that long. I will definitely be glad I'm sedated at that point. Anyone else ever experience what is sure to be three days of unmitigated delight?

Dx 12/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/6/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 3/22/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 3/23/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/17/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery
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Oct 30, 2018 07:03PM Salamandra wrote:

Hi BexSpartan,

I know it's been a while but I am wondering how it went? I'm sorry you had to go alone (if you didn't want to). I hope you're doing all right!

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/2/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 30, 2018 07:28PM santabarbarian wrote:

waytooanxious -- I love your focus on gratitude. Beautiful list.

I am singe w adult kids. I have great kids and great friends. My parents are ancient and 5 hours away but have provided some support with expenses. I have included all my friends on an email chain so they know when my low weeks are. I have decided to embrace being the one helped as I have often been the "helper' in the past.

I have a friend "on call" (or someone here) for days 3-6, the week of each of my chemos. I think that's the right time to allow and invite help. Being specific-- "Can you bring me lunch on Saturday?" or "Can you drive me to my appointment Thursday?" -- also helps.

Mostly other people are a little tiring.... but when they are bringing you food or straightening up, they are wonderful.

If you have "door dash" in your town, it's a lifesaver. There are a few days where it's very unpredictable what I will have the appetite for. So handy to call and order the random thing I want and have it brought.

Friendofpatient-- Credits to doordash account (or a similar service) would be a great gift to the single friend in Nor Cal! Or a cleaning lady. This is doable alone but it's also nice when sick to be taken care of and remembered.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 12, 2018 07:35PM Salamandra wrote:

BexSpartan, how did your surgery go?

I'm single and have been doing a mix of things/appointments on my own and with friends.

Often I feel like I don't want anybody around, or the few people I'd actually want around are the ones who live far away. I have good friends nearby, as in they are friends who are really good people who want to be supportive. But not necessarily who I want to be around when I'm so far from ok. I tend to being like a cat anyway when I'm not feeling great, wanting my alone time. But then... last night I had a dream being angry at one of my mom's for leaving me alone too much. The mother who died early this year after years of completely incapacitating dementia. (My other mother died of breast cancer18 years ago). So I guess I'm not as fine with being alone as I thought.

I'm in a weird place just now where I'm mostly physically fine after my lumpectomy/lymph node biopsy and before more treatment, but mentally and emotionally... not so much. I'm also physically somewhat extra tired, that I don't know how much of it is emotional and how much of it is still recovery. I haven't been comfortable asking a friend for straightening up in this state, where I feel like I ought to be able to do it. I should ask a friend to keep me company, but that requires organizing and logistics that I haven't really been up for. Ugh.

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/2/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 14, 2018 09:49AM - edited Nov 14, 2018 09:51AM by keepthefaith

S, It is indeed a "weird" unexpected place to be. I wish our health care providers would be more pro-active in the mental and emotional health aspect of the BC DX....at least offer resources. The American Cancer Society can offer free/volunteer house-cleaning services if you need them..."Cleaning for a Reason", I believe. The physical recovery can take a while. Give yourself some time. I journalled a lot and took short walks to clear my head. 5 yrs later and I am feeling great! You can do it, too. Best Wishes!!!

Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/15/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2014
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May 14, 2019 12:14AM - edited May 14, 2019 12:19AM by CreatureKeeper

This is an old thread but I'm so glad to have found it. 

I've been dealing with all of this alone, from biopsies through current chemotherapy. I've dubbed it the "one woman show". There are no friends that live nearby to help. My cousins are also scattered about and unavailable. Other elderly relatives live a good distance away and they shouldn't be burdened with this. They have their own issues to deal with. 

The most trying time was dealing with the surgeries. Finding proper transportation to/from the hospital was an issue. I couldn't use a taxi, Uber or Lyft. It had to be someone or a service that would escort me to/from my door and be responsible for my safety. I wasn't eligible for elder transport services (due to age), medicare/Medicaid help, Road to Recovery has no volunteers in my area, etc. I had to book a private service offering transit to/from medical appointment for one surgery and an ambulance chair car for another. Managing at home post-surgery was also not fun alone. I was in pain, couldn't move well and actually afraid at points. What if I fell, passed out or had another emergency I couldn't easily handle? 

I'm now driving to/from chemo treatments by myself (except for the first one). If I have any issues with SE's I'll use an Uber. I'm ok with going there alone. It gives me time to relax plus you are never really alone. The staff has been wonderful to chat with. 

Shopping for groceries and doing laundry I've been able to manage so far on days I feel ok. I've stocked my cabinets and freezer with food items that are easy to prep. If any SE's become an issue there are services such as Instacart and PeaPod for basic groceries and meal prep plans too. Laundry, well luckily I have a ton of clothes, towels and sheets. If I can maintain a good stock of clean items now I should be able to ok if I just can't get out to the laundromat for any reason. The local laundromat also has a wash, dry, fold service if I just can't manage sitting around and doing it myself. 

My condo is small so basic cleaning hasn't been a problem so far. I do what I can now on days I feel good. I'm stocked up on cleaning supplies, garbage bags, toilet paper .. all the basics .. just in case. 

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May 14, 2019 11:10AM keepthefaith wrote:

CK, wow, it sounds like you have done very well, considering your current situation. Good for you!

Maybe you live in a remote area or small town, but there may be support groups or meet ups on social media or thru ACS that could offer something...? There may be other BC patients on this forum that live in your area and could offer assistance. I live in Central TX and we have a thread on the forum just from people in this area.

You might also look for a non-profit Breast Cancer group in your area. There is one in my area and they have helped so many people.

Can the social worker or Nurse Navigator at your medical facility offer resources?

I hope you find whatever you need~

Best wishes moving forward!


Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/15/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2014
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May 24, 2019 11:21AM Fairydragonfly wrote:

Ironic that this topic was bumped to the top the VERY DAY I needed it. Thank you. 😭

I'm 43, live alone with two 9 month old kittens. Today at my follow up with the surgeon I found out that even though the pathology report was good (clean margins, no cancer in lymph nodes), the cancer is grade 3/aggressive and I will likely need chemo (seeing the medical oncologist on Tuesday). Chemo scares me. Especially living alone.

My only immediate family is my younger sister who lives in another province (plus she is a single mom). Both my parents passed away last year from cancer. My support network is my friends and colleagues that live in my city. The struggle is that they are all around my age and busy with work and their families. So far, the only appointments I have gone to alone are the ones I chose to. However, chemo and radiation are different. It's not just the appointment, it's the after care and side effects.

I'm scared something is going to happen to me and no one will notice until it is too late.

I haven't read through all the messages in this thread, but am hoping there will be positive stories and great tips to help me through this.

DX at age 43. Weak staining ER, Oncotype score 50, BRCA1 mutation. Lost both parents to cancer in 2018 Dx 4/17/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/1/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/5/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 24, 2019 05:50PM keepthefaith wrote:

fairydragonfly, sorry you found yourself here! The thought of doing chemo alone is daunting for sure....but, for me, it was not nearly as bad as my mind and thoughts conjured up! Just follow Dr's orders and stay on top of any SE's as soon as they pop up. I worked most of the time and babysat my young grandkids often. I know all of us react differently, but follow the chemo threads for tips and tricks. I think you will find them very helpful.

Best wishes~

Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/15/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2014
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May 24, 2019 08:20PM Fairydragonfly wrote:

Thanks for the response keepthefaith. I'm trying not to work myself into a blubbering mess, especially since I haven't even talked to the oncologist.


Big hugs

DX at age 43. Weak staining ER, Oncotype score 50, BRCA1 mutation. Lost both parents to cancer in 2018 Dx 4/17/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/1/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/5/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)

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