Recovering Your Life After Cancer

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GingerSnap
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Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby GingerSnap » 22pm31America/New_York()

Tips from Cure magazine:

[CURE asked readers to share the most meaningful piece of advice a medical professional gave them after diagnosis.]

FROM MARY W: The best medical advice I had after a cancer diagnosis was from a psychologist who was a cancer survivor. She asked me to draw two circles and separate them into pie pieces for the different activities in my life before and after cancer. My post-cancer diagnosis circle was almost completely taken up by cancer. She talked about the need to gradually recover my life from cancer and to consciously begin to bring back the things that were important to me before diagnosis. This was an important exercise for me to keep cancer from overtaking my life, and for me to recognize new positive areas of growth from my cancer journey.



FROM PAMELA P: After my diagnosis of melanoma, the nurse with me in the room advised me to use all the resources available at that facility. Not only the medical part of the treatment, but the counseling, financial, spiritual, and nutritional components that go along with a cancer diagnosis. She sat down beside me, looked me in the eye, and stated, "You are not in this alone." And that started my journey dealing with my diagnosis. This facility has been so caring, professional, and supportive in my treatment. I feel fortunate to have them as my treatment facility. I have been cancer-free for about 19 months, and still utilize the resources available.
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GingerSnap
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Posts: 726
Joined: 06pm31America/New_York()
Diagnosed With: IDC
Cancer Stage: I
Node Status: 0/2
Tumor Size: 1.7
Tumor Grade: 2-3
Receptor Status: er/pr/her2+++

Re: Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby GingerSnap » 22pm31America/New_York()

The best advice I received was to wake up in the morning without an alarm clock. This helped me to understand that my body was recovering from serious metabolic changes during recovery, and rest was required for me to successfully cope with the fatigue that lasted longer than I had anticipated. I went to bed when I was tired and I woke up when my body told me it was time to get up. My wake-up time went from 11 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. over the course of the last four years. I had no shame going to bed at 7:30 p.m. if I was feeling tired. Thank God I had sense enough to understand I was not in charge of my body at that time. Please encourage other survivors to listen to their bodies as they recover from their treatments.

Sandra B.

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When I received my diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer in 2006, I had been a smoker for several years. I enjoyed smoking and had no immediate plans to quit. My husband, Jim, was also a smoker. While I was in the hospital for a biopsy and then to have a medi-port installed, I was anxious to go home so I could have a cigarette. Like most smokers, I always turned to cigarettes in times of stress. I said, "I can't get through the biggest fight of my life without a cigarette!" Jim then repeated what my doctor had told him, "Smoking slows the healing process." Those five words changed my life. I didn't want anything to interfere with the healing process. I have now been a non-smoker for more than two years and I am in complete remission.

Marsha W.


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GingerSnap
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Diagnosed With: IDC
Cancer Stage: I
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Tumor Size: 1.7
Tumor Grade: 2-3
Receptor Status: er/pr/her2+++

Re: Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby GingerSnap » 22pm31America/New_York()

I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at 37. I went to Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York City for a second opinion and it was confirmed at that time that a mastectomy was needed. On my last visit to see my surgeon at Sloan before heading back home to Skaneateles, New York, where I would begin my chemotherapy, she told me, “The next nine months are about you. Make sure you take advantage of your family and friends to help you manage your home and your children and focus on yourself. Everything will be waiting for you once you get through four months of chemotherapy, reconstruction surgery, and six weeks of radiation.” That was the best advice I could have received. I knew that I would get through everything, but her words made it all happen.

Julia W.



The feeling of losing control was devastating. I was discussing the whole spin with a surgeon, and he said, you can't control what gets put on your plate, but think about how you swallow it, what can you control? I could not control that my hair was going to fall out, nor that I may or may not survive, and I could not control that I may or may not be sick. I thought about those types of things and took control. Before my hair fell out, I had a party and had my girlfriends shave my head. Cancer lost control. When I was having chemo treatments, I envisioned the drugs going through my body like Pac-Man, gobbling up each cancer cell that they encountered. I thought OK, take that, and chuckled, feeling stupid but exhilarated. I thought about surviving, what my husband and I were presently doing, and we both made changes. I feel in control, I celebrate the blessings of my life, and new breasts at 50 aren't all bad.

Cheryl M.



I was blessed to fall into the hands of an amazing breast surgeon. The most important thing she said to me on the phone when I got my diagnosis was "This is not a death sentence."

Michelle
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GingerSnap
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Posts: 726
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Diagnosed With: IDC
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Tumor Size: 1.7
Tumor Grade: 2-3
Receptor Status: er/pr/her2+++

Re: Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby GingerSnap » 22pm31America/New_York()

I was diagnosed 10 years ago with stage 4 ovarian cancer and was given 3 months to live. Needless to say this is not a message from "the other side." I did everything my new oncologist said. This included chemo, surgery, and a visit to a nutritionist. The wisest advice was when I was told to read the 23rd Psalm at least 3 times a day or more if anxiety or pain was a problem. The 23rd Psalm has deepened my faith and ability to be able to deal with being an active survivor. I still walk and pray and do mental imaging and I always try to start and end my day with the 23rd Psalm—many times at night I fall asleep before I even finish saying it.

Barbara B.



My oncologist said "We are going for the cure." We knew that was not what he was supposed to say, but he did. And it gave me and my husband hope, especially since I had a stage IIIB breast cancer. Nine years later, I'm still here and still NED.

Anne M.



The most meaningful piece of advice was: Keep up with the copies of all your medical records in a folder to take with you when you move or add a doctor.

Sue S.



After I learned it was necessary to have a mastectomy, my physician looked me right in the eyes and said, "You are going to be a cancer survivor." The most meaningful thing he gave me was hope. And here I am two and a half years later, still alive, still here. Praise God!

Andrea D.



On meeting with my breast surgeon after my positive biopsy, she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "This is not life-threatening." That was the first and best thing she could have ever said to me! My cancer was found on a routine mammogram, and was given a stage of 0, which used to be considered pre-cancerous. My doctor discussed my treatment options with me while my daughter took notes. She made sure to ask if my daughter had any questions, and explained how my diagnosis would impact my daughter's future health care. My surgeon is kind, compassionate, intelligent, and everything you could ask for in a physician. I had a very easy journey in my breast cancer battle, and get very emotional whenever I see my doctor, as I know how important she was in making my battle so easy.

Peggy G.
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GingerSnap
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Posts: 726
Joined: 06pm31America/New_York()
Diagnosed With: IDC
Cancer Stage: I
Node Status: 0/2
Tumor Size: 1.7
Tumor Grade: 2-3
Receptor Status: er/pr/her2+++

Re: Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby GingerSnap » 22pm31America/New_York()

When my six months of chemotherapy was over and my bilateral mastectomies were behind me, my oncologist simply said, you have been living and breathing cancer for 6 months. Now, get out and get your life back, and that is exactly what I did. I am now an 18-year breast cancer survivor, and 15 of those years have been volunteering for the Cancer Care Center of Southern Arizona. Life has never been better.

Linda Y.
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Re: Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby VoiceOfReason » 22pm31America/New_York()

Very Good thread, Ginger.

There have been so many days I keep hearing the words of the first ocn I went to , Dr. Idiot telling me I had a 30% change of terminal cancer in 5 years. And I was so unsual I should go to the Mayo clinic. I got 2 more encouraging opinions. But I seem to concentrat on the negative! WHY IS THAT?

BC is the monkey on your back for the rest of your life.

I would really like to know if anyone ever forgets it. I want to see my boys get married, I want to be a grandma really bad. I want to get a social security check for all I have paid in !

After the diagnosis, surgery, etc. your friends tend to forget about you too.

I hope that we can build on this in a positive way, it would greatly help me and many others

Thanks for starting this Miss Muffins Mommy !
Make America [color=#0040FF]GREAT AGAIN !!![/color]
User avatar
GingerSnap
Forum Moderator
Posts: 726
Joined: 06pm31America/New_York()
Diagnosed With: IDC
Cancer Stage: I
Node Status: 0/2
Tumor Size: 1.7
Tumor Grade: 2-3
Receptor Status: er/pr/her2+++

Re: Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby GingerSnap » 22pm31America/New_York()

Daisy, it's not something we will forget, ever! It might be something that fades to gray, but not to black. We will always be affected by this .. our friends will get new dx's and we ourselves will be getting check ups and tests and waiting on pins and needles for results.

A dear, dear friend, has now sadly, received her dx of mets ........ we were 4 years out and now this. It's devastating. It's hard for us because we love our friend, hate that it happened to them and yet can't stop thinking about ourselves and wondering if our number is soon to get punched.

We have to learn to move on ....... regardless of dx .......... do we want to live positive or negative? We can sit here today and cry or go do something fun. Today is not the day we die. Each day we live should be filled with life. Even if we have a stage 4 dx.
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User avatar
GingerSnap
Forum Moderator
Posts: 726
Joined: 06pm31America/New_York()
Diagnosed With: IDC
Cancer Stage: I
Node Status: 0/2
Tumor Size: 1.7
Tumor Grade: 2-3
Receptor Status: er/pr/her2+++

Re: Recovering Your Life After Cancer

Postby GingerSnap » 22pm31America/New_York()

But as I found out yesterday, your friends don't forget you ........ they remember how you dealt with it. How you took care of your family, how you went to work, got a 2nd job, took in a roommate, shopped at 2nd hand stores and still had time to donate at the food kitchen ...

It brought tears to my eyes to hear my friend tell me that she was proud of me and I never ever knew she was paying attention ... we just do what we do ...........
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