Posted by bee1234 on Oct 10, 2020 1:54 am
I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
I never thought I would find myself here, but I am thankful that I have my health, sanity and I am able to support my sister who is going through breast cancer (stage 3). I have been on this journey with her from the beginning (Feb/2020) and we are still on the journey to her health, and recovery. I can honestly tell you that being the sole person through this with her is the most hardest job I ever had encountered.
I know she is a strong person, with the will to live outshines the demise. I have watched her through the stages of denial, acceptance and now coping. She has underwent chemo, partial-mastectomy, removal of lymph nodes and now we are facing the radiation therapy. I don't know if I was faced with the same diagnosis would I also be so willing to undergo so much.
I am thankful for every day I can share in her life, every step we take together, her confidence in me, knowing that I would be her strength when she is weak, and knowing that she is my light when everything seems so dark. I am thankful for all we have, all we will have. For all of this, I am thankful for, everyday in my life is thanksgiving day (minus the turkey and other traditional foods, who can eat turkey every day?...LOL)
Posted by cancertakesflight on Oct 10, 2020 8:27 am
im glad she has made it through chemo and surgery. Radiation has his challenges but it means she is on the home stretch.
Posted by bee1234 on Nov 29, 2020 4:32 am
Thank you for all the support and heartfelt words. My apologies for the amount of time that has passed.
We went through the Radiation Therapy, wow what an ordeal. The treatments were not that bad (a bit better than I expected) but now its been seven days since, and we are now completed. The skin changes are phenomenal, from the redness, to a few blisters (sort of like a bad sunburn) to the change of color of the skin, it turned dark brown (my sister insists its black) but it is really chocolate brown. It is peeling, and looks as though fresh skin is coming in, so now she is light chocolate brown.... not bad after all she has been through, so now she looks like a zebra...
She is not that happy being striped... but now she is unique, and that is special. Who wants to look like everyone else, I told her if she started a trend, it could be a hit and copied....she didn't find this amusing....
She is such a strong person, going through this, I am so proud of her strength and courage. I don't know if I would have the same strength.
All this has been such a journey that I never understood or took the time to really understand the outcomes of cancer. I thought it was physical ailment, but it is so much more. Emotionally draining, and mental fatigue is so overwhelming. I suppose one wouldn't really get the grasp of how life changing this disease could be until you are there. You could research all you want, and get the grasp but until you are facing it or supporting a loved one, you really don't get it.
I know this has changed our lives, our outlook and how precious life really is when you have to fight for it, when others take it for granted. It has brought back so much appreciation for having someone in your life, who is really present in every day, not just there. There are so many special moments in every day that people disregard, the old saying stop to smell the roses, which sounds good but rarely done, is what life is all about. It brings meaning to the word life in every sense.
I wish everyone the best in their journey, take the time to enjoy the moments in a day, as a whole day or tomorrow is never promised. Do what makes you happy and always remember there are people who admire your strength, courage even if you don't notice.
Stay healthy and wish you all well.
Posted by ashcon on Nov 30, 2020 8:33 am
Wow. You have articulated EXACTLY how this whole cancer experience is.
From realizing that the most damage is potentially rooted in the emotional and psychological aspects of the disease, but, perhaps because of that, there is a huge potential for ending up in a space where you truly do appreciate the beauty, the caring, and the value of life's every little moments as a result.
And if you are lucky enough to not lose your life to cancer, it has the potential to be so much richer post-cancer.
As one who was diagnosed with Stage 3 BC myself, I am loving what you have done, and continue to do, for your sister.
I, myself, "lost" one sister (my twin) when she refused to even acknowledge my cancer (she thought I was lying), but I was fortunate to regain connection with my older sister.
PS: Please tell your sister that I wish her a strong and happy recovery, and that the skin colour does return to normal!
Posted by law on Dec 1, 2020 2:55 pm
Thank you for your inspirational story as it is very life-affirming to read of your journey and to realize how appreciative you are for life's beauty and surprises (not always welcome surprises, either). After reading others input, I can only reinforce how glad we all are you found this site of wonderful people!
Keep posting, please
Posted by bee1234 on Dec 21, 2020 5:27 am
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.
With this season upon us, being different this year for all, it has brought another level of appreciation, understanding and love during this time for everyone, especially for those that are faced with life's challenges.
Christmas for our family has always been a semi large event, mostly immediate family. I find it sort of like a tossed salad, where one part of the celebrations go really good, and then it seems to get weird. But this year I made the choice to take it upon myself to do things a bit differently. With my sister I chose to forgo the tossed salad event and spend it with her.
My family is not able to cope with her cancer, denial is a place they reside. To acknowledge her Cancer is to come to terms with all the emotional feelings that they would need to deal with, which if they pretend it doesn't exist they can move forward, without addressing anything. Her appearance has changed drastically, she has no hair, eyebrows or even eyelashes, she looks different for sure. I know this is hard for her to cope with, she is taking it in stride, better that I would that's for sure. She tries her best to look like others when we go out, but honestly she has no artistic talent and her drawn on eyebrows would look better if they were even.... at least make them look similar....LOL, Maybe she should go without I told her, she didn't take that very well....but really, it does look worse than none.
I reside in the present, being aware of everything she is going through, the real rough spots to the best moments we share together. It is not all that easy for both of us, she has her really sad moments, that I try to enlighten her, sometimes it works, other times she gives me her piece of mind....which I just let her rant, after all why stop her when sometimes she just needs to just let all that anger out. I don't take it personally because I know she is not angry at me, but at the Cancer and yes I am also, knowing that something is ravaging a person and we can't stop it from happening, but only deal with the aftermath.
Would I change it if I could? of course I would in a heart beat. What I wouldn't change is the way it has changed me. I have become a person I thought I could never be, I knew I was a strong person, but this was the ultimate test. It has taken all my strength to rise up for her. I had to become that tower of strength for her to lean on, all the while trying to never show her that actually I was crumbling and she was my strength. I am just thankful she was there for me, when I needed someone. I know it sounds weird that I as a care giver is needing the person who is going through Cancer to keep me together, roles reversed many times.
This Christmas is a special one, not knowing if I have another with her brings the real meaning to the forefront. It isn't about presents, money spent or going through the motions just because. It is about taking in the event the way it was intended. It is about being present, for the whole day even when it gets weird. This one will be only us two as we can't join the others during this time of the pandemic, but its fine. I am sure we can have a wonderful day, share in the turkey dinner, a few stocking presents and even a few weird moments. In the end its going to be one that we both will make memories that will last a lifetime.
I wish you all Merry Christmas, make the most of all the little moments, even the odd ones, as you can never get a replay. Whether its with another or just yourself, do what put a skip in your step and makes your heart happy. After all it's your life and yes you are the star today so shine brightly.
May you all have a safe Christmas and All the Best In 2021.....
Posted by Essjay on Dec 22, 2020 7:57 am
Re the eyebrows - I can relate. When you’ve lost them you have no idea where to draw them on! I had some temporary tattoos that were pretty awful. Best thing was eyebrow powder I picked up from Sephora. Easy to apply, add and take off as needed.
Have a lovely Christmas both of you xx
Posted by Trillium on Dec 22, 2020 11:21 am
Warm hugs to you both.
Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 23, 2020 6:53 am
The memories you make with your sister this Christmas will make all the difference in the world, not only to her, but to you as well. I wish you all the joy and peace this event has to offer.
Posted by Franny on Dec 23, 2020 8:43 am
I initially wrote this to share with the cancer support group at the Ottawa Hospital. I have since updated it with the situation of COVID-19. The idea is to take one day at a time, and remember to be thankful for what we have.
Take care. Franny
Posted by law on Dec 24, 2020 12:49 pm
I can so relate to your skin changes.
I called my peeling neck , my 'Potato Chips' as the peeling really did look like a bag of dark brown 'tater chips. Now I, too, appear to have darker skin tone in that area when the light hits it just right.
Thank you for your stories, and let's hope we have a healthier, COVID-free 2021.
Posted by bee1234 on Dec 25, 2020 5:21 am
The honesty, openness, experiences has helped me a lot, knowing that I am not alone in this, even though sometimes it feels as though I am.
The strength, courage and determination in each of you, is remarkable. I know I could never be able to do what you all have been through and are going through. I admire you. I will always hold this experience I have shared with each of you close to my heart.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Many More To Come.
Posted by bee1234 on Dec 31, 2020 6:20 am
I would love to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year. Here is to 2021!
Wow, it seems weird to write 2021, didn't think it would come. With the pandemic Covid 19 things changed so much for every one of us, it was a real challenging time, and Yes we made it. I now have something to tell my future generations about, the good, bad and everything in-between.
I can honestly say that this pandemic mixed with Cancer is wow one huge climb. It's bad enough to endure the pandemic of our lifetimes, with the uncertainty, unknown and all the upsets in our lives that made even leaving our homes a challenge. A real scary situation, which caused my anxiety to be on high alert, not only for myself but my sister as well. As someone who has been through so much, still in awe of her strength and determination to get through the Cancer, and then also faced with the pandemic, it was overwhelming. She felt doomed from the start and knowing that Cancer may take her life, which I am so thankful for her having the best support and skilled medical professionals that allowed her to have more time, and hopefully cancer free forever, but with her lymph nodes being infected with this disease, its hard to say if it would allow her to be cured for life, or just a short time. Which either way it was totally worth the struggles we went through together, I wouldn't change it for the world.
I am so happy that 2020 is ending, its not a year that would hold a great deal of happiness looking back on the year, and I could almost wish it never happened. Why I say almost because some good things happened in this year. This was the year that brought us the strength we needed to get through the Cancer, brought out the best and worst in us, together we faced the unknown, the worry, the fear, the doubt and since we went through it together we understood what life really means.
Life was so simple prior to 2020, get up, go to work, do things we wanted to do, not a real care in the world at least not with our lives, facing life and death never crossed our minds, maybe in passing here and there, but easily put aside at a moments notice. Not nothing to really share with others.
Now this year holds all of our hopes, dreams and willingness to really live, to take the time to keep in touch with people we casually toss aside when we get busy then reach out once we find the time, now we make the time, we know that each day counts, people are not to be casually tossed aside as the time ticks on, because one day time may stop.
I am so grateful for all those people who kept in touch, those that made our days a little bit brighter, for all the laughter, tears and angry moments, for all those are precious memories that I hold on to, that will never be erased.
My wish for 2021 is for a cure to be found for Cancer, so we all don't have to face this disease anymore, if the world can get together and find a vaccine for Covid so we can conquer this pandemic, I hope we can all do the same for Cancer, it is not impossible. I wish that every person who has to face this disease is able to be a success story, we need to be.
I do thank you all for being part of my journey, and thank you for allowing me to be part of yours, it has made a huge difference. What ever 2021 brings, we can get through it, after all we got through 2020 together we are stronger.
Happy New Year's Everyone!
Posted by iamcatherine on Jan 1, 2021 9:06 am
Your post resonates with me. A little more than a month ago, I was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at 42 year old.- never even touched a cigarette! I have to say that the love and support I am receiving from friends and family (and more) is overwhelming and truly wonderful, makes a big difference. I think 2020 had started to make us appreciate what truly matters, and I fully plan to keep enjoying the little things in life. May we have a wonderful 2021! Cheers!
Posted by bee1234 on Jan 9, 2021 7:45 pm
I do hope everyone had a wonderful, Christmas and New Year, not much of one I know but we made it this far, YES!
No one is promised another day, so we have to make each day's little moments count. There is so much to be thankful for that some of them are hard to put into words, you know those moments that made us laugh, think, cry or not sure how to express them moments. I had one of those not sure what to make moments recently. I thought about the time I have been sharing with my sister, how thankful I am to have this time, but then also pretty sad at the same time, knowing that even though this disease brought us so much closer, I was sad that it had to be a disease to make us do this. Don't get me wrong, its not like we weren't close prior, but we have never shared in anything to this extent until now. It's a toss up of emotions. I have never felt like this before, being happy and sad all at once, feel like in some kind of spinning carousel and not being able to get off.
This Christmas was one like the carousel ride. I knew that this day would be special, and it was. Spending time just sitting around watching TV, listening to Christmas music, opening the stockings, enjoying the company. But not having the others around and knowing that this may be our last Christmas together was the stop and breathe moment. It is not the pandemic fault, even though its easier to blame for this than actually accepting that my family has abandoned us. Guess they don't want to face Cancer and all it brings head on, maybe they can't cope, or just don't want to deal with reality; this is probably the truth, but either way I wanted the family to once embrace whatever comes next, to know that life is not only what is easy,but the real difficult also. To know that she is the same person, her appearance is not what it once was, but to accept that she is present, to acknowledge the person she is now, her strengths, determination and excessive amount of courage.
Maybe one day soon I could bring everyone together to work on this, here's hoping; a new year, new beginnings.
Update; My sister has finally mastered the eyebrows, yes she did it, she finally has matching eyebrows. She does look so much better and actually sort of human again. Before this, wow it was bad, she did look better without them, I know I am right in saying this.....
Eyelashes are not growing back, not sure why, but they are missing....so artificial eyelashes are the way to go, she has mastered this also, after all the trials and errors, and there were hundreds of them, as gluing eyelashes in the wrong spot, them falling off at weird times, and the removal of them, not a beauty moment to say the least, but she does look better and feels better. This was the most important part of this facial journey is to look good and feel good about yourself. Its almost like that one outfit you wore, where the compliments were great, we felt like a million bucks and our smile was not going to leave our faces anytime soon. That kind of moment that obviously has given her the self confidence to go and face the world.
Now since her hair isn't really growing back, sort of blotchy, sparse and like white peach fuzzy sort of look, guess the next step will be the hair....oh no, someone give me strength....LOL. This has to be better than the others.....here's hoping!
Always do what makes you feel like a star and shine just a little bit brighter than the brightest star, you are so worth it.....Now Light Up The Sky!
Take Care and Thanks to Each and Every One Of You, You Are Amazing!!!!
Posted by Brighty on Jan 10, 2021 11:30 pm
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