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1 year since cancer journey started
Pink dalhia
12 Posts

Crazy thing.
1 year ago yest I had my mammo/US and we know how the story went down hill from there.
I sit back and say - huh. 1 year of this…
thats 52 weeks. 365 days. Huh.

I thought I would be happy I have gotten so far, double mastectomy with lymph node removal and placement of expanders, recovery, chemo x6 months and now aware I’m not just reactive, I’m allergic to Paclitaxol, currently in middle of radiation after having to strongly advocate after being waitlists, have done so many expander fill appts to count. Still have to finish radiation, recover and then swap out expanders for implants…

really feel my anniversary was anticlimactic and I feel kinda numb…..

how did others feel?

10 Replies
Mosi
117 Posts

@Pink dalhia I can totally relate to this disappointment. My initial appointments and treatments were really speedy. 9 months ago diagnosed with BC. No real wait time involved and often thought I could use another week or two between treatments. If the chemo, surgery, and radiation had an impact on this cancer I would be back to work now. 9 months in I am back on chemo and looking at targeted therapies. No idea if reconstruction is an option. Maybe the implants will suffocate the cancer on chest wall?!?😂.
My heart goes out to you at the one year mark. It should have some kind of celebration connected with it.

Pizazz
15 Posts

@Pink dalhia I‘m sorry that you’ve had to go through this. I can empathize with you. I too just passed my 1year anniversary (April 25/21 diagnosis with IDC. Surgery single mastectomy May 25/21). i had 16 rounds of chemo. Then 25 radiation treatments. I ended up having another single mastectomy this April just as a precaution.

I too feel numb, anxious and down. Everyone keeps saying that Ive been through the hardest part. But they don’t understand the mental effects Constant worry of the cancer coming back, changes in your body (I have not had reconstruction yet).
Anyway, I’m sorry I’m of not help, but you’re definitely not alone!

Pink dalhia
12 Posts

@Pizazz you madd mention of fear of cancer coming back…

this is constantly on my mind.

I shared this with my sister to help her understand that just bc this cancer was caught… it hangs over my head like waiting for the other shoe to fall….

**copy and pasted**

Imagine you're going about your day, minding your own business, when someone sneaks up behind you...

You feel something press up against the back of your head, as someone whispers in your ear.

"Sssshhhhh.... don't turn around. Just listen. I am holding a gun against the back of your head. I'm going to keep it there. I'm going to follow you around like this every day, for the rest of your life."

"I'm going to press a bit harder, every so often, just to remind you I'm here, but you need to try your best to ignore me, to move on with your life. Act like I'm not here, but don't you ever forget... one day I may just pull the trigger... or maybe I won't. Isn't this going to be a fun game?"

This is what it is like to be diagnosed with cancer. Any STAGE of cancer. Any KIND of cancer. Remission does not change the constant fear. It never truly goes away. It's always in the back of your mind.

Please, if you have a loved one who has ever been diagnosed with cancer, remember this. They may never talk about it or they may talk about it often. Listen to them.

They aren't asking you to make it better. They want you to sit with them in their fear... their sadness... their anger... just for the moment. That's it.

Don't try to talk them out of how they are feeling. That doesn't help. It will only make them feel like what they are going through is being minimized. Don't remind them of all the good things they still have in their life. They know. They are grateful.


But some days they are more aware of that gun pressing into the back of their head and they need to talk about it. Offer them an ear.

Mosi
117 Posts
Pizazz‍ Knowing that we’re not alone is very helpful ❤️
Essjay
1995 Posts

@Mosi @Pizazz @Pink dalhia you are definitely not alone…Today is the 4-year anniversary of my diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound that started my journey…and I’m off for a chest x-ray…we think I’ve developed asthma but as my doctor said ‘because of your history, we should ‘check’…this is how it is, forever, things get checked, just in case…

love the image of expanders squishing cancer cells - I shall think of that today with a smile on my face!

JustJan
1629 Posts

@Pink dalhia I think what you’re feeling is quite normal. The treatment is harsh and so hard on our bodies and I believe that affects us both mentally and emotionally. You are still going through treatment and have to recover physically.

I found once I was feeling better physically, that mentally and emotionally I started to feel better too. For me it has definitely been a process and a switch didn’t flip when I completed treatment. In time I started to feel lighter, and more like myself. I know I will be forever changed because of my cancer journey, but I believe it has allowed me to become a better version of myself.

Please be kind to yourself while you finish treatment and heal. I hope you will find over time that cancer will not take up so much space in your life.

Tan65
29 Posts

This is also right around my one year anniversary of being diagnosed with DCIS. Lumpectomy and radiation done and follow up mammogram done earlier this month. The results online said there was nothing found on the mammogram, but just in the last week I have quite a bit of pain where I think my lymph nodes are. But I have to wait until my doctor is back on the 28th to ask her if this is a thing or if I'm just being paranoid. The “gun” is truly always there…………..

Pizazz
15 Posts

@Pink dalhia the analogy you used about someone with a gun against you gave me goosebump.

it is so hard for anyone who has never been told they have cancer to understand. We can tell them that we worry about it coming back, but I’ve heard from peope ‘it won’t‘, ‘you’re getting great care and you’ve done everything you can’. This sure doesn’t mean I can’t worry about it coming back. The Best one I heard was from someone who has never had cancer that said ‘ we all have that fear’. like seriously?!

I do hope to one day be able to start living again and not have my cancer in the forefront of my mind. Once I’m done with the Herceptin treatment. However, even a friend who is 12 years post Stage 3c breast cancer (which is what I was staged at) says there are days it still hits her!

Hugs to everyone that has had this diagnosis! It sure isn’t a journey we wanted to be on!

Aliya
59 Posts

Tan65 please share your doctor‘s view. my oncologist and surgeon are dismissive about it

hailo
19 Posts

I recently passed my 1-year "anniversary" too. In celebration, I threw myself a pity party. 10/10 would not recommend.

But yeah, you're definitely not alone in this one. I'm still in treatment and over a year of this has turned me into a bit of a numb zombie. I can see the finish line, so that's something to look forward to.

Hopefully hindsight will allow you to see how far you've really come. Everyone goes through their own grueling cancer journey, but we all deserve to find our happiness, whenever and wherever and that lies.

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