And Life Goes ON: Daily Support

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scootersmom
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Saturday, April 06, 2013 6:28 PM
I am so sorry for the stress that you are all going through because of "loved ones".  I've dealt with family members who were idiots during this whole thing and the one relief I got was that they didn't live me.  I don't know what is worse.  Having someone there that doesn't care or going it alone.  I had my mom with me that helped a lot.  I am not married and had no significant other in my life.  I just don't think I would have been able to handle the things as they came up if I had a spouse who showed me he didn't care or was detrimental to my positive attitude.

As Elaine said, you ladies are warriors who deserve love and respect.  You must do things for you.  You deserve it. You have come a long way and are continuing to demonstrate your strength. Don't let someone's insecurity zap your strength.  
Tina    
dx 2/1/11 DCIS
Lumpectomy 2/27 results DCIS/LCIS Stage 0 ER+ PR+
Bi-lateral Mastectomy 4/26 with expanders 
6/3 Surgery to remove contaminated expander due to infection.
7/22/11 Surgery to reinsert the expander. 
10/11/2011 Surgery to replace tissue expanders with implants.
 
 




Ilene
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Sunday, April 07, 2013 11:44 AM
Ruthie and Karen - I, too, am just seeing your posts for the first time, and want to tell you that, regardless of how your husbands are making you feel, you are wonderful, intelligent and emensley strong and resiliant women warriors, and deserve all the love that the world has in it.

Ruthie - I'm glad that you've found some clarity and your voice through therapy.  Therapy, with a good therapist, can be a good thing (so long as you're careful that they don't misinterpret things that have happened in the past).  We don't go through BC alone - not the support part or the disease part.  For those of us who are married or in committed relationships when the disease becomes relevant, it will, as we know, have a huge effect on our relationships (and not just the one with our significant other).  Yes, WE are the ones undergoing the knife and the chemo and the pain and personal fears, but our significant others are going through some of their own - the fear of loosing us, the feeling of helplessness and inability to be that strong man who can fix things and make us smile and feel better.  I'm not saying this to excuse behaviors, but, rather, to maybe shed light on what you may be living with now.  I've said so many times over the years, including during treatment, that there is a LOT of support for us warriors (thank God for Komen!), but virtually nothing for our families.  Sure, the hospitals offer, as an aside, Social Workers 'if your family needs one' to help them get through, but I'd imagine not many take them up on that 'by the way' offer.  I was fortunate that my husband was 150% there for me.  He came to appointments, checked me in for surgeries and then was paged when I was in recovery to come back immediately to hold my hand, changed drains .... BUT, I never saw him falter or be scared, as I was.  I know he was, but he isn't the type to EVER show anything less than positivity.  Gloom and doom is not his strong suit, so he covers with humor (so much so that, more than once, I had to ask him NOT to go into pre-op with me so I could meditate and not be pissed at him for joking around).  All that said, although we have an enormous love for eachother and are eachothers best friend and do everything together, there is no intimacy any more.  I'd like to blame it on breast cancer, but the intimacy lessened over the years before breast cancer, and, I think, was more a result of (1) my weight gain years before BC and HUGE gain after BC, and (2) the stressful job I had for 20+ years that required a long 'unwind' period when I'd get home. 

I've kind of lost where I'm going with this .... perhaps what I'm trying to say is, (1) we all realize, as survivors, that we suffer from a form of PTSD, if you will, and need to accept that the people who are close to us (our significant others), go through a form of PTSD as well, and need to accept that and work through it, if they will, by either talking to eachother or going for therapy, or finding an online support group, and (2) I know, for me, my level of allowing myself to be abused (be it professionally, emotionally, or otherwise) is tremendously lower than pre-BC.  I no longer am willing to remain in relationships that are toxic (haven't spoken to my sisters or father in years).  Regardless of which scenario hits home for each of you (Ruthie and Karen), your happiness is the #1 priority.  And, Karen, YOUR happiness IS even more important than your child's happiness, because they are inseperably linked. Do you think your son can be truly happy seeing his mother so sad and emotionally abused?  I watched my father verbally abuse my mother for most of my life (and it's worse now that they're in their mid-late 80s and he needs mom to care for him) .... all the dance classes, piano lessons, extra curricular activities, and 'stuff' in the world couldn't make up for living in that toxic environment (and THEY, believe it or not, to this day, claim that they 'love' eachother!). 

I hope you (Ruthie and Karen) continue seeking out YOUR answers and hope your husbands come around and accept that they, too, need to do some soul searching.  Life, as we know, is WAY to short to waste it being miserable.  Intimacy is one thing .... having someone you WANT to share your life with, whether a significant other, or just good friends, or even being happy living life in your own skin, is something entirely else.

Karen - I know you've had a lot of changes and obstacles going on recently, and one more change may be a lot to handle, but, you can't stay in a state of emotional abuse like you're describing.  Who CARES what your husband thinks about whether or not you'll find another man!  You don't seem to have one now (from what you're describing).  If you (as a couple) can't fix it, don't be afraid to save yourself and your son from the abuse.  Emotional abuse is just as harmful, if not more, than physical abuse ... we just don't think of it that way.

I love you both and hope you are both able to find a road to personal happiness and get joy back into your lives, and, if it's to be, your marriages.  <3
Ilene
Cali
Diag 1/2006, DCIS-left, IDC-right, ER+/PR+, Node Neg, Stage 1
Bilat Mast 2/2006
6 Rnds Chemo (FAC)
Right then Left exp infect/removed
Right lat dorsi 10/2006
Left lat dorsi 1/2007
EXCHANGE 4/23/2007!
On Tamoxifen since 2007 (on 10-yr cycle)

sharonma
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Thursday, April 11, 2013 12:48 PM
I promise NEVER to complain about the cold.  I promise NEVER to complain about the cold.    My hot flashes and I were perfectly happy in the sixty degree weather.  Go home 80s .... Its too early...
Now where is that ice pack?. That's sunburn, haha
dx ILC/dcis excisional biopsy 5/30/08
r segmental mast (partial) snb 6/4
node neg stage1 gr ll
er+/pr- Her2 - Oncotype Dx 11
R mast 9/22/08 w DIEP
tamox,now AI 
BRCA 1 & 2 NEG
davinci hyst/bso,  

Tricia Keegan
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:45 PM
Ouch Sharon!!!
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Tricia Keegan
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:53 PM
Karen I just wanted to echo what everyone has said to you and I'm sorry you're dealing with this emotional abuse, thankfully people who choose a partner based on looks alone are the one's you don't want or need anyway so thats okay! Never doubt your own inner strength and beauty, your husband makes himself feel good by putting you down, I wish I had Ilene's way with words but don't allow him to bring you down with any negativity, you've been through too much to take that crap from anyone!
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Susan
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Friday, April 12, 2013 1:28 PM
HI Farla! Are you my FB Farla? WOO HOO! I am reading all these posts to this thread. A lot of them sound like me, now! I will decide at the end if I have anything to add, which I doubt! Women here have always been smarter than me. :)
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

Susan
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Friday, April 12, 2013 2:14 PM
Ruthie, wish I had known this was here about a month ago when my hubby went wacky! I didn't realize you had gone for therapy. Didn't realize R and B were having similar reactions to our cancer. Hope all is better for you! Better would not be a good word for my situation, but it is a work in progress for now. Email, pm me any time. Sounds like we could sound off each other. BIG PINK HUGS
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

Susan
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Friday, April 12, 2013 2:25 PM
Skye, I responded to Ruthie's post today, when I found it, so will now respond to yours. Also learning a bit more about you! It feels good to know that I am not the only one that lost a "best friend"/close hubby while distracted with our fight! I really needed my PINK sisters and hubby, being military should get that, as he talks about his bond with his "brothers." Why does it seem impossible to have BOTH a best friend spouse and still have our bond with those that share things that spouses cannot share? That question made sense to me at least, LOL. You, Ruth and myself should have ourselves a private pow-wow. I may find others if I keep reading. LUV U SISTER. HUGS
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

Anna Rae
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Sunday, April 14, 2013 6:47 AM
Life goes on, and on and on...

My therapist knows the right questions to ask. For the past couple of years I've just wanted to focus on my paralyzing grief following the loss of my daughter. Wednesday she asked me about survivorship...

Fact is, I hate my implant. I hate it more than ever since I got the areola tattoo. I was OK with nipple construction. I was OK without the nipple construction.

Everyday I feel more and more awake. I used to say that I felt like I was having a perpetual hangover. I guess I'm sobering up to reality and I'm just not happy with it. And then I think, "well I didn't lose a leg or an arm, why am I complaining?" 

I am complaining because I have lost my self. Try as I might, I cannot find me. "New Normal" is a phrase that I just cannot bring myself to embrace. 

Anybody else ever feel like this?
Like Jerry said, What a long, strange trip it's been... 

DCIS Stage 0, Right Side Unilateral Mastectomy -  May 14, 2010
HER2+ BC Stage 3C, Right Side Lymph Nodes - 6 Months Later
End of Tx, June 8, 2012
NED - July 5, 2012

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annaraebamberggilder

Anna Rae

ElaineQW
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Sunday, April 14, 2013 8:23 AM
Hey Anna Rae,

I cannot even begin to fathom the loss of a child and there are no words.  I do know from others that with the passage of time the grief subsides (at least on the surface) but I'm sure life can never be the same.  That being said, life does go on, with our participation or without, so it is our choice which path to take.

To be diagnosed with breast cancer on top of it all is a WTF moment for sure!  I have never liked the phrase "new normal" because I want to believe that our lives are more than that.  They may be joyous, miserable, fun, agonizing, unpredictable, structured, frightening, etc. etc.  Normal doesn't even begin to cover the possibilities.  I totally understand what is meant by normal or new normal, but I feel constrained by the choice.  I see my life  as more complicated than normal or not normal and so that has never been my goal.

Everything we experience in life changes us -- I know you are strong (aren't you sick of hearing that?) I know you have a crazy sense of humor, I know there are things you feel that you've probably never expressed to anyone, I know you hate your implant :)  Take all those "I knows" and USE them.  I think you will 'know' what I mean.

Please forgive this philosophical post....It's just the way my mind works and how I muddle through to find happiness in spite of the opposing forces :)

Hug
Elaine


 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 
 






Ilene
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Sunday, April 14, 2013 10:07 AM
Elaine said it so well, I have no words.  I know what it is like to lose a child, though. My stepson was taken from us in a blink of an eye almost 13 years ago, just before his 18th birthday and high school graduation. Although he didn't live with us, he was still a huge part of our lives and our family. I will tell you, it DOES get better.  Sure, there are times we see or hear or do something that we know he would have loved, or that remind us of him, but the pain has subsided a lot, and all that remains are the good memories and funny stories.  They are never gone from our lives as long as they have a place in our hearts.

As for the 'new normal,' I agree with Elaine .... what the heck is 'normal?'  I didn't have a 'normal' life before BC!
Ilene
Cali
Diag 1/2006, DCIS-left, IDC-right, ER+/PR+, Node Neg, Stage 1
Bilat Mast 2/2006
6 Rnds Chemo (FAC)
Right then Left exp infect/removed
Right lat dorsi 10/2006
Left lat dorsi 1/2007
EXCHANGE 4/23/2007!
On Tamoxifen since 2007 (on 10-yr cycle)

Willow8510
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Sunday, April 14, 2013 12:24 PM
I have not posted for a long time, and I feel the need to add my thoughts. When I was diagnosed in 2008, I did not respond like others, because I had lost my beautiful six year old son in a horrific car accident in 1986. There were several thought forms. The pain that I felt(and still feel) from my missing my little boy diminished my own diagnosis. It made every part of my chemo/radiation a lot easier. I remember my psychiatrist telling me that everyone has their own pinnacle of pain. Some people feel that losing their jobs is the ultimate. For some, it is losing a parent or a divorce. Yes, being diagnosed made the whole chemo/mastectomy/rads/made my pain easier. I kept thinking about what my child had gone through (death), and this stupid(breast cancer) went into the background. I do not wish to diminish anyone's angst or pain, but we all can get through this, and if we live long enough, will experience the entire gamut of life's unfortunate valleys. I take every moment of my day as an experience, and not accept, but acknowledge what my life has been. By the way, I did not have early breast cancer. But I am still here for as long as I am able.
diagnosed 8/6/08
IDC/Stage IIA/3.5 cm tumor
ER+/PR+/HER2-
RB Mastectomy 9/3/08
SN initially clear, later 2 micromets
10 Axillary LN taken 9/22/08 (all clear)
No reconstruction
4 AC/12 Taxol Completed
Avastin trial (unblinded on 2/25/09 was Arm B)
30 Rads April '09
Femara/5 years
3  Year Bone Trial with Zometa (iv)

Tricia Keegan
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Sunday, April 14, 2013 4:27 PM
Willow and Anna Rae, there really are no words and although I too have lost a daughter she was only a few weeks old so my loss was not as deep as you two ladies. I think the saying that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger is true, I'm not sure there is a new normal and I long for times past at certain times but what we go through is what shapes us as people and each of us somehow must find a way to get through our own pain. I do feel for both you ladies so very much and I love Elaine's words and would echo them.xx.....Ilene I'm so sorry for your loss also.:(
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Anna Rae
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Sunday, April 14, 2013 6:17 PM
Once again, you are here for me. Tricia did I know that you lost your daughter? I am sorry that I have forgotten. Willow, I know what you mean, chemo/radiation/mastectomy were easy compared to this. Ilene, Willow and Tricia, we are bound together in grief as in recovery.

I'm not sure that with the passing of time that my grief will get easier. Today it has not been easy at all. Most days I'm OK, I have not been "on Top of the World" for 3 years. Every month, week, day is different. I never know what to expect. Not always bad, yesterday was good.

Y'all know how I love to garden, right? I have not set one foot in my garden, Joanna's Garden this year. Not like "Me" at all.

Everything that everyone of you wrote I read twice. and I thank you for taking time for me. I also hope that the comments were helpful for others. I believe that when we help others, we help ourselves.

I love you, I really, really do,
Anna Rae
Like Jerry said, What a long, strange trip it's been... 

DCIS Stage 0, Right Side Unilateral Mastectomy -  May 14, 2010
HER2+ BC Stage 3C, Right Side Lymph Nodes - 6 Months Later
End of Tx, June 8, 2012
NED - July 5, 2012

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annaraebamberggilder

Anna Rae

sharonma
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Monday, April 15, 2013 8:14 AM
Anna, Willow, Tricia, Ilene,

I dont know the right  words could ever come from my mouth or "fingers" that could ease the pain that must come with losing a beloved child.  

Anna,
I remember that you wrote about Joanna's garden, and it thought it was a lovely way to remember her,..flowers blooming every spring.
dx ILC/dcis excisional biopsy 5/30/08
r segmental mast (partial) snb 6/4
node neg stage1 gr ll
er+/pr- Her2 - Oncotype Dx 11
R mast 9/22/08 w DIEP
tamox,now AI 
BRCA 1 & 2 NEG
davinci hyst/bso,  

annette53160
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Monday, April 15, 2013 10:28 AM
The loss if a child has got to be the most difficult loss to endure.  You ladies are all in my thoughts and prayers.  I guess I just can't figure out why there is so much pain and suffering in this world.....especially if a loving GOD does exist.  I believe he does exist but I guess it is a question without an answer.....at least for now.
IDC October 2009
Lumpectomy x2 to get clear margins
Stage 2a Grade 3
1/11 nodes positive 
er+
4 DD A/C
12 Taxol
Radiation
Femara

Ilene
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Saturday, April 20, 2013 9:38 AM
Annette, I read in a book once (I think it was 'Conversations with God') that if you don't have to face challenges and pain, then the joy of life is overlooked.  I truly believe everything happens for a reason, but, sometimes, we won't get a clear message as to what that reason is/was.  For me, BC led me to more life-long pink-sister friendships and bonds than I ever have had in my life.  The loss of my youngest stepson brought my husband and I closer to our eldest stepson - we (my husband and I as well as our eldest stepson, Ryan) all have learned how valuable our love and relationships with eachother are and no longer take it for granted.

Anna Rae .... put on your grubbys and get yourself out into that garden TODAY ... no excuses, even if it's raining (don't go out if there is lightening, though!). Even if you plant one pretty flowering plant or one packet of seeds, that's fine.  I don't care if you don't feel like it .... fake it til you make it!  I expect to see photos of your new garden soon!  Your garden has been your sanctuary - get in there!
Ilene
Cali
Diag 1/2006, DCIS-left, IDC-right, ER+/PR+, Node Neg, Stage 1
Bilat Mast 2/2006
6 Rnds Chemo (FAC)
Right then Left exp infect/removed
Right lat dorsi 10/2006
Left lat dorsi 1/2007
EXCHANGE 4/23/2007!
On Tamoxifen since 2007 (on 10-yr cycle)

Pat Patterson
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Saturday, April 20, 2013 11:53 AM
I don't even know what to say....just know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers always.  We all carry each other's pain and suffering, and I hope that helps a little to know your burden is shared. 
DX 5/13/08 Clearwater, FL HER2 +
IDC Stage IIIA changed 12/2/08 to IIB Grade 3
Taxotere, Carbo & Herceptin  6/11/08
Part Mas 11/5/08 SNB neg & addl node neg - CLEAN MARGINS!
Arimidex 11/25/08  35 Rads 12/15/08

ElaineQW
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 1:16 PM
Not to add to this sad subject, but I will anyway because it's an example of how it never really goes away.

I lost a child in my six month of pregnancy....I went into labor and delivered a baby boy.  That was in 1967!  In 2002, I was taking a Shakespeare acting class and after I did a monologue, the teacher asked me to 'tweek' it a bit.  In order to bring out more 'grief' he handed me a cloth dinner napkin shaped like a swaddle and said "make believe this is your dead baby in your arms" and do the monologue again.  I thought nothing of it, until I actually looked down at the napkin I was holding and immediately and without notice, started to bawl uncontrollably.  My classmates just stared at me in horror...when I calmed down I explained about the loss of my baby 35 years ago!  What happened next will stay with me for the rest of my life.....they ALL got up from their chairs at the same time and surrounded me, putting their arms around me in a group hug and held on to me very tightly.  

Hug
Elaine



 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 
 






DJ64
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Re:And Life Goes ON: Daily Support - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:20 PM
What a lovely story.  

I do think that teacher should never had said what he did.  One doesn't know what tragedies are in someone's background.

Better he had given you a napkins rubbed with a raw onion to help with the tears.

Best,

DJ
"Prepared for the worst, hope for the best and, live each day to the hilt"


Stage IV  lungs, lining, ribs, left scapula and left clavicle - Used all the hormonal drugs - tamoxifen, arimidex,  , Faslodex 250 mg,  femara, , drug break using own estrogen (progression in 7 months), rebooted femara (progression on next scan) Faslodex 500 mg ended 18 1/2 years on hormonal therapies - 2013,  Taxol - 2014 now on Doxil. 

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