~ to all my female friends ~
Every time I read one of your posts, my heart aches. I am a 73 year old woman, and have not had to deal with such a difficult situation. I do know several friends who have and are dealing with it, and it seems they live in a state of "panic on the edge" every day ….. sort of "what next?" I can't do anything for you all except to pray for you all, but just know that there's a lady, abby, down in Staunton, VA who cares very much and prays for you all daily. I admire your courage to take on this horrid disease.
Bless you all,
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer Support Group.
Thank you, Abby. I can only speak for myself but here it is: Before I was diagnosed with cancer I thought that diagnosis would be the worst thing in the world to hear. For a while it was. I had stage 3C breast cancer which involved more than 10 lymph nodes. My right breast is now gone, I've had chemo, lost my hair (found a beautiful wig that looked just like my real hair), had 30 radiation treatments, and am now more than a year past all of that.
There is always the thought of a recurring cancer but I'm enjoying life far more than I did and I'm so grateful for the wonderful care I received. Throughout it all, everyone involved treated my cancer as a hurdle to get over, not a death sentence, and that's how I approached it, too. I called it a major inconvenience. Nothing more.
By the way, I'm 81 years old and expect many more years of good health. I could be wrong but I'd rather be positive about it and enjoy the rest of my life than be in a state of constant worry. That's not how you beat negatives in your life. I'm a firm believer that attitude has as much to do with healing as medicine does.
So while I appreciate your concern, let it be known that most cancer survivors don't consider themselves victims–we're actually victors. We're still here.
Hi …. I really admire your guts and determination to keep this in it's place … another challenge in life. I'm sure you've helped many of your friends with your strength and courage. I don't know if there is a group in your area, but you would be a great one to lead a group for breast cancer. I'm sure your positive attitude and outlook would help. I know it would me ….. you're the kind of person we all need more of.
((you're 81? Wow, you sure don't look like it!)
I was in good health before my cancer diagnosis, which made it even harder to believe. I never thought it could happen to me. (I'm sure I'm not alone there.) I don't look (or act) my age, and people are always surprised when my age comes up. Sometimes I'm surprised, too, when I think about it. Lol.
I've gone through major depression in my early life and somehow got over it. Now I try to stay positive and find it's the only way I can deal sensibly with whatever comes along. But with cancer it takes an entire team and, for most of us, we've been in excellent hands. My cancer treatment took place in two different states at two different cancer centers and the love and care was just amazing at both.
I'm happy to talk to anyone about cancer, but with the reservation that we're not all alike, and neither are our cancers. I grew up in a time when the word wasn't even uttered out loud, and when cancer patients were shunned because so many thought cancer was contagious. We're fortunate to live in a time when breast cancer deaths are rare now, and treatment is as much empathy-based as it is technological.
I looked at breast cancer as one more heath 'thing' to deal with. Losing my hair was okay and it has been fun to try new hair colors and wigs and now as my hair grows out , I play with my hair and create new spikes or smoothness depending on the day! I had metaplastic, stage 2, triple negative. And so far now new lumps or bumps after surgery, chemo and radiation. I enjoy each and every day. I have had a great supportive team who I know will go the distance with me, and those who couldn't be supportive quickly weeded themselves out.
@marykaym63 Yes! Congratulations! When my hair was falling out I stood on my daughter's balcony and threw the strands to the wind, hoping the birds would use it in their nests. I thought I would be disgusted or saddened by the loss, but before my chemo I chose a beautiful wig and actually enjoyed wearing it. Then, when my hair began to grow back–in Shirley Temple ringlets–I was glad to put the wig away.
I went without the wig on hot days and the breeze on my bald head felt pretty good! (When I lost enough hair I had my husband shave my head. Again, I wasn't sad. I was glad to have those strands gone.)
I was fortunate not to have to do chemo or radiation (so far) but I did 'lose' my breasts. I had only one moment in the past three years when I mourned losing them, just one brief moment. But, I think I was really mourning having cancer ultimately. I don't miss my breasts, didn't do reconstruction and really enjoy not wearing bras. It's freeing for me. I was never a bra fan and it was the first thing I removed when I got home. Now I resemble a walking pear (ha ha)…..small on top and ever widening toward the bottom of me, but I don't miss breasts and embrace the ability to run out the door in less steps (I also hated bra shopping, so that's one less thing on my list). It's odd how 'loss' is sometimes our gain in experience and not a 'loss' at all.
Great inspiration to live by . We all need that kind of attitude.
@Glori elvandi Thank you.
When my niece first shaved my hair at the beginning loss, everyone said how much my son and I looked alike (he's a bald firefighter!)…we took front views and back views and in one of the back views we wore dark glasses on the backs of our heads. I have my tears at night, but try to be positive in front of people. I'm told how brave and what a warrior I am – I just respond that I save my tears for the dark of night. I do feel, however, that this new "adventure" may be a gift as I'm finally learning I have to slow down now. Life throws many curve balls, we just have to keep moving forward.