I believe there are three words a woman hopes to never hear during her lifetime, “Breast Cancer” and “Chemotherapy”. When I heard I had breast cancer, I could hardly believe the doctor. I cried all the way home from the doctor’s office. When I told my mother, she wanted to call the doctor and tell him “ that was a terrible thing to tell her daughter”. Up to this time, no one in my family had breast cancer, I was the first. I was really scared and felt that my days were numbered and the bottom had fallen out of my world. I had discovered the lump myself doing a self-breast exam. Which to this day I do every month without fail.
When I was scheduled for surgery, I told my doctor “I would survive and win this battle”. I was lucky; I didn’t have any lymph nodes involved. As I began my chemo, which I received for five days and then I had five weeks off to recuperate. I looked at it as another small battle to fight and win. When the doctor was telling me of all the side effects, I knew then it was going to be a much larger battle then I had expected.
I was able to go to work each day after I had my dose of “wonder medicine. Towards the end of the week I would feel as if I had fought a war. The treatments were over a twelve-month period. Yes, I lost my hair, was nausea and gained weight, still have it with me today. My hair grew back thicker than before the lose. I promised God if my hair grew back, I would never have “a bad hair day”.
I would take just one day at a time and not look forward to tomorrow and the next week. I kept a positive outlook on this phase of my life. I knew as time went by I would begin to feel “human” again. I had wonderful support from my family, they were always there for me which made my recovery go quickly and smoothly. There were days I wanted to have people around me, but didn’t want to talk, and they understood. My priorities changed after I had cancer, nothing is put off till a future date, live today. Each day is a gift from God and we should be thankful we have another day to use to the best of our ability. At the end of my treatments, I had a breast implant and have not had any complications. I was able to return to my “before cancer life” able to do everything just as well and I am now living a very healthy and busy life.
I believe my working each day helped me to feel good about myself, I was able to contribute my skills at my place of employment. My fellow workers were a good support as well as learning about
breast cancer- I was the second person at my place of employment - it wasn’t something that didn’t removed a person from a“normal” life during treatments.
I am often asked, “how are you dealing with cancer today”? My answer is “in a positive, way”, I believe I am a survivor for a reason, so I volunteer to help support ladies who are going through a phase in their life such as I did. If I can make it easier or be of comfort for them in some way, it helps me also. Everyone should “know” your body. Watch for any changes, lumps, indentations, discoloration, and soreness in the breast area or under the arm. Early detection may save your life and have a better chance of surviving breast cancer. Oh, I forgot to mention I am a survivor of twenty-seven years and closing in rapidly on twenty-eight years..