Four years

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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 happens to have been diagnosed with cancer. I don't live as a cancer patient. Cancer does not define me. It does though, have an impact.

When I hear people say that they will be doing _________ in five or ten years, I wonder if I will be around then. I hope so. I'm not counting on it though. One day at a time.

I find myself resentful of people who have "quick" and short cancer episodes. People who are declared clear and free and able to move past cancer. I am happy for them and sad that likely won't be my story. I find hope in hearing of new treatments such as this A Triumph of Experimental Medicine. I know I'm benefitting from research and medication that wasn't there short years ago.

I imagine people figure cancer is behind me. It's not. It's in a holding pattern waiting to strike later. In some way, it's good that I know what I'm dealing with. People who have experienced lower stages of cancer have some fear it will return. Considering 1 in 3 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer will be metastatic there is some validity for that concern.

So this day will pass. I'm thankful for a mundane Valentines Day that included time with friends and some summer planning. Hopefully I can write something like this in four years



Well-Known Member
There isn't a "care" emoticon here Northwind, or I would use it.
I know that folks hear cancer, shucks, even <insert type> of cancer, and think all of them are the same.
I also get that folks think, oh, they must be doing great, when that may not be the case.

Thanks for sharing with this crew on wondercafe2, so that they can, if they so choose, start to see it from where you are at.


Well-Known Member
Good description about that suitcase. Hugs to you on this anniversary, and all of the emotions that come with it. My husband's prostate cancer has been attributed to a particular gene. It is also connected to pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. His mom died of pancreatic cancer at age 80. I have let his brothers and sisters know and our kids. If they get the genetic testing done they will know what in particular they need to check regularly. It's 50/50 whether or not any of these people have the gene. Husband's family also has a genetic mutation that leads to a rare heart condition. So, when I sent the current info out, one brother said: We have a interesting gene pool, don't we?

Northwind...did you have genetic testing done? My husband was originally against it but I convinced him that our kids would appreciate knowing.


Northwind...did you have genetic testing done? My husband was originally against it but I convinced him that our kids would appreciate knowing.
I wish we had more medical history at times, let alone genetic testing. My brother has prostate cancer (not advanced enough for action yet, just monitoring) and we have no idea where that comes from. There is absolutely no other history other than him having a vague memory of Dad being treated for something in Toronto that might have been prostate-related.

OTOH, pretty much everyone in Mom's immediate family died quite young from heart disease so maybe it came from there and the men just never got old enough for it to show up. Mercifully, that "family curse" seems to not be manifesting in our generation (so far). Maybe we all took after our paternal line or something.


Still knitting. Walking the path to health.
Northwind...did you have genetic testing done? My husband was originally against it but I convinced him that our kids would appreciate knowing.

No I didn't. I don't qualify. I think my sister also tried but couldn't.


Well-Known Member
I love the suitcase image. It has certainly been true for us and will always be there. B has DIPNECH which is why the middle lobe of her right lung was removed four years ago and why she sees a respirologist every year. There are several nodules in the rest of her lungs that could become cancerous at any time. Since she has now been treated twice for lymphoma, she is at high risk for getting it again sometime. Right now the suitcase is moderately light. It was really heavy in November.