As I mentioned in my other thread, I was officially diagnosed in February 2019. I will talk about how the diagnosis happens and the first steps.
I had been experiencing pain when I moved my arm certain ways. This wasn't very unusual because I have degenerative disc disease in my neck that can cause similar symptoms. When my usual strategies of stretching and the like didn't work I started thinking of other possibilities. Around that time I discovered the mass in my breast. I knew immediately what it was. I mean, what else could it be? It took me a couple weeks to get to a doctor. Some of that delay was likely because of feelings of anxiety and dread. Denial most certainly was a factor. I wonder too as I write this if the messaging...
This was a memory that came up today in my FB feed:
I'd had my first appointment with my oncologist. Man she was scary! She's a very intense woman who is top in her field. She's got good boundaries and that often results in a scary directness. She also has a kindness which is nice. She's not touchy feely though. I'm thankful for her knowledge as it has kept me alive.
What a past four years this has been. I had no idea then what was in store for me. That's probably a good thing really. I didn't realize that 1 in 3 women diagnosed with breast cancer would be or become metastatic and that I would be one of them.
I looked at the list of people who responded to my post four years ago. Sadly (or not) many are no longer friends because...
Four years ago I was in the doctor's office where I learned I had breast cancer for sure. Of course I already knew it because what else would it be? I mean really. I've been feeling it today for some reason.
I had bought the pink ribbon message that breast cancer was the "good" cancer and that it was curable. I had no idea what was in store for me
These past four years have not gone as planned when I retired in August 2018. We thought we'd be travelling around in our fifth wheel, exploring Canada. Life or the universe or whatever had other plans.
I say that I've gotten the full meal deal plus dessert. I was diagnosed as metastatic a few months later so dessert is medications I will take forever. I live my life as a person who...
We all know life ends. Still, it's usually almost a theoretical concept, something to which we give little thought. A cancer diagnosis brings the idea of an expiry date into sharper focus. I suspect this may be the case no matter what stage of cancer involved. I base that on information I've gotten from my cancer support groups.
This article came up on my FB feed today. The author has a very aggressive cancer, one that kills fairly quickly. It's what killed Gord Downie. This article resonated with me as a knitter. Two months to live
I have been aware of my yarn and fabric stash. I've been aware of the projects I have on my to do list. I am starting a bag for my husband this week. I'm also going to start a sweater from alpaca I bought...
I came across this excellent article about language around cancer. It's particularly timely on the day we learned that Kirstie Allie died from cancer. The headlines state she died after a battle with cancer. WTF. Cancer killed her. Is she a loser because she didn't fight hard enough?
This article addresses the issue nicely.
Losing “Losing the Battle With Cancer”
i promise to haunt anyone who says I died after a battle with cancer.
I initially thought I'd write about my cancer journey chronologically. Instead I'll most likely write about cancer related things that come to my mind.
This is part of a post that a friend wrote. I love this. Cancer is not like strep throat where you get sick, take antibiotics and rest, then move on with your life. It is the friend that never leaves.
When I was first diagnosed I had no idea what was in store for me. In fact I had the belief that breast cancer was highly treatable and not so bad. Cancer is cancer. A friend said my treatment would take a year. She was right. I had chemo from March to August, surgery in October (six weeks after chemo ended) and radiation in December/January (six weeks after surgery). My final in person...
Someone (@Waterfall ?) asked about coping strategies in my first thread. I've decided to start a thread on this. I'll likely add to it as I think of more ideas.
Today I had a great lunch with four other women who have also been getting cancer treatment. We met through a FB group and have a Messenger chat set up. Unfortunately, several women have died since we started it. Still, it's an excellent support.
Most of you know I worked in a profession where I helped others develop coping skills. Now I'm getting to put my money where my mouth is. While I'm sure I used these skills before, they are more important with a cancer diagnosis. For instance I have a whole new appreciation for "one day at a time".
When I was first diagnosed I used...
So I had this big idea that I would write something about breast cancer and my diagnosis every day in October. We are nearing the end of the month and I haven't written anything. I found myself stuck as soon as this place to write was created. I had so many thoughts. Where to start. What to write. How personal. What was I thinking. It's a big deal apparently. Since I tend to like to do things easily the hard way, I've come to a place where I can start. After all, I have to start somewhere and it can be a small start.
Like many people living with or having experienced breast cancer treatment, I have come to dislike the pink messaging that happens in October. "Breast cancer awareness" has been presented with sexy pink messaging...