Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Cancer Survivor.... On December 6, 2006, after waiting impatiently in my doctors office, I was given the news. The lump I had been feeling and really, didn't think was anything, was now a cancer diagnosis. Shock was the best way to describe what I was feeling. I left the office, and managed to drive myself the short distance home. My husband was already home, when I walked in he knew, I just broke down, still in utter disbelief. Lets back track, I am pretty good about doing self-examinations, and on a routine one, I did feel a rather large lump. As I already had a routine physical booked within weeks, I waited to show my doctor when I went in to see her. A few weeks later, I showed my doctor, she was not concerned at all, said it did not feel like a cancer lump, more like a fy-broid. She sent me for routine tests to check it out. Since she did not seem overly concerned, and I was not overly concerned, (there is absolutely no history of any cancer in my family), I accepted the mammogram appointment, almost a month away. Anxiety did start to set in when I finally did get to my appointment day, the possibilities it brought were just too difficult to think about, something could actually be wrong. I did not leave my appointment feeling very assured, actually began to feel like it was bad, really bad. Was called in for more pictures, so now I am really starting to freak out. Another day goes by and I get a call to go in and see my doctor, this can't be good. Regardless of the circumstances, I was still very positive, there was no cancer in my family, I was pretty much scott free from being diagnosed, well, we all now know how it ended. Once I was diagnosed, things actually happened really quickly, the next day I was sent to a surgeon, he in turn, sent me the following day for a biopsy, and before I left his office, I had an appointment 8 days later for surgery to have the lump removed. Things happened so quickly, I really didn't have time to think about having Cancer. Surgery day arrives, go through the routine, a very long day, alot of pre-tests and x-rays, even found time to faint in between. I was brought down to that dreary waiting area, just outside the OR's, my surgeon sits to speak to me and tells me that the lump was actually quite large, he wouldn't know exactly until he went in, but it didn't look good, he told me to expect a second surgery for a full mastectomy. Yaa, that's what you want to hear, minutes before you go under the knife..... As it turns out, my lump was quite large, but very contained, he advised my husband that the surgery went very well, and that he was very optomistic that he removed all of it and that the lymphnoids that he removed were very likely negative, and they were. So now the Cancer is all out, I feel good, Christmas is approaching, what next. I have a party, I love Christmas, actually, a Christmas junkie, and this Cancer had really put a damper on most of my holiday plans. So with having to wait for recovery from the surgery before I could proceed with any treatments, I celebrated. I was alive, and as far as I knew, the cancer was now out of my body. I think that was the best part of it all happening so quickly, I really only felt like I had cancer for 9 days. The reminder of Cancer fell upon me once I was scheduled to meet with my Oncologist, and he was great, really re-assured me that I was cured, but unfortunately, he really felt I needed to take precautions, hence my treatment journey began. After a series of more nerve racking tests, to make sure I had no cancer anywhere else, I didn't even know that was a possibility, I was to be given 6 rounds of intense chemo, FEC100, some new trial that apparently I was a perfect candidate for, like, whatever. January 29, my first treatment, yes, I was scared shitless, my pre-consultation really freaked me out. The journey began, after a three hour wait, I got in THE CHAIR, (as they like to refer to it), three medications, (an hour later) and i'm done. Wow, that was easy. The nausea hit me later. I won't bore you with the following 5 treatments, pretty un-eventfull. I will tell you that when I left my last treatment on May 28, I called my girlfriend as I was driving home and cried all the way, I made it, it was over. Although I still had radiation to go through, I knew it wouldn't be as bad and that the worse was over. After a month break, I began my 33 daily treatments of Radiation, very exhausting. Now I am here, alive and a true survivor, I got myself through it. To be honest, I am coming up to one year from diagnosis and am feeling a bit weird, it's just bringing back alot of memories, where I was, what I was doing. I do appreciate life so much more and really like to talk about it, I found that my talking about it, really helped alot of people around me deal with the fact that me, their family member, their friend, their mother, and wife, had Cancer.
maple491 maple491 36-40, F 2 Responses Nov 15, 2007

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I had a lumpectomy and follow up radiation treatments for DCIS. I've been widowed for a long time so I took this journey alone. Now, six months later, I find myself feeling very vulnerable. I think it's because even though I have great friends who were there to support me as well as two sons who saw me every day through the surgery and treatments, I was still alone. I'm sure these emotions will subside at some point.The journey has been frightening and uplifting at the same time.

Sounds like you and I both went through a lot. I was diagnosed November 22, 2006. My surgery was scheduled for December 6th. I too fainted at the hospital. I figured I could handle having blood drawn, a CAT Scan, and a Bone Scan all on the same day. I was wrong. Thank goodness my parents were there. I ended up having to be admitted to the emergency room.

Cancer does run in my family. My grandmother on my mother's side was diagnosed with it at 72 or so. I was 29...quite a shocker.

I had a mass since 2000, had it tested (ultrasound and fine needle aspiration) and both came back negative. It seems that my tumor grew BEHIND this benign mass...nice.

I too was scheduled to see my doctor (gyno), so I figured that I would share my concern with her when I saw her. Since I had the mass for so long, I wasn't as concerned as I should've been when my nipple became inverted and I felt mild discomfort.

I joined a trial with the local university. Then, endured 15 weeks of chemo (once per week), 12 weeks of chemo (every other week) and 7 weeks of radiation. Whew! I did lose all of my hair and not just on my head. I new knew how frustrating it would be to live without eye lashes and brows.

I too, was also recovering from surgery at Christmas time. It wasn't really a time of celebration for me either.

This past November, I had a hysterectomy (preventative measure). My cancer was estrogen positive.

Thank you for sharing your story, as it was helpful for me to read someone else's experience with breast cancer.

I wish you the best for now and the many years to come.