Scorchy asks what now? How do you deal with the lull in treatment, survivorship…I was stage 2, grade 3 with lymph node involvement. I did the full gamut of treatment, surgery, chemo, radiation and now Tamoxifen. While I was undergoing “active” treatment (for some reason I don’t see Tamoxifen as active.. maybe proactive?) I felt empowered and very positive. For several months after my active treatment ended I felt anxiety that it would come back. I’m finally (sort of) past that but the only way I can finally move on is to stop identifying myself as a breast cancer patient or even survivor. In my mind I am someone who had cancer and now I don’t. That is always subject to change, but for now it works.
Call me crazy, but ever since I got the good news that my lung lesions and all of the lymph nodes in the chest and right axilla resolved I have been a little lost. Weird, right?
The first six months of my diagnosis was a crisis flash point. I was thrown into doctors offices, presented with tests, medical interpretations, treatment options. It took over my life. I made a point of telling all of my friends because I thought it would help me to accept things and move forward. It did, but then I didn’t anticipate managing that information network. Then there were more physicians, more options, and the crisis of severe pain from that Tamoxifen induced tumor flare. More drama as it slowly pushed me away from my work and the consequences of having to admit my limitations and hand important work over to others. At the close of…
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Yep, I know exactly what you mean.
A cure will help us if we face a recurrence….there has to be a cure, somehow, someway, someday….soon. Celebrate in your NED time. I know it’s hard to refocus and not be constantly worried about appts etc…that is why I started volunteering right away. I took the focus off of myself and placed it onto other women. Let me tell you – it has turned my cancer story into a whole different ride. Check out the American Cancer Society in your area and see if they have a Reach to Recovery program. That is where you mentor newly dx breast cancer patients…..check it out ! I promise – your focus will be directed at other women and their issues and you won’t have any time to worry about yourself…also, it gives you a major perspective check all of the time…I am more and more thankful the further my ride goes on that I am me, even though my breasts are gone, my ovaries are gone, my hair was gone etc…i am still happy to be me. I have been fully tested and and stretched – and I continue to grow. Isn’t that what life is all about ?
I’m not sure how well organized the Reach to Recovery program is in this area. I was asked twice if I wanted to be contacted and each time I said yes. Never heard a word from anyone. I do think it’s a really worthy cause and I admire your work with the ACS. Right now I’ve become involved in a service club that helps many groups and members in the community. Someday I may feel drawn to provide more than monetary support to the ACS but I’m not there yet 🙂
Interesting perspective….good food for thought.