THANK YOU for writing this. Despite receiving care at one of the best cancer centers from a terrific oncologist, I have felt adrift since "graduating" to the once a year visit. I am profoundly grateful to be in this position, but still.....My life was turned upside down by cancer, and nearly seven years after my diagnosis, I still can't get it together.
Unfortunately, I lost two close friends during my treatment. Both were there, and extremely helpful, during my mastectomy and first round of chemo. Then they disappeared. That's been 7 years ago, and I still am a little bitter about the experience. However, I try to focus on the positives....my brother and grew closer, for example. Plus, I'm NED. I'm sorry for the loss, and the losses experienced by others who have posted. But we move on. It's all we can do. I have to accept that some people just can't deal with the big "C," for whatever reason. And then I have to let them go.
I really enjoyed the article and Bonnie's comments. I'm 5+ years out from surgery, a bilateral mastectomy with implants. My implants are uncomfortable; the right one (my "wandering boob") has shifted to the point that it's almost under my armpit; and they just don't look good or natural, just lumpy. I'm seriously considering having them removed and going flat. Do you have any physical pain from the scars, nerves or whatever? Seems to me that it has to be more comfortable than what I have now.
Thanks to both you of for sharing your stories, and being so dang inspirational! Kathy
Thank you, Jane, for this straightforward discussion of fatigue. I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in 2012, endured a double mastectomy, infections, extra reconstruction surgeries (wish I'd never chosen reconstruction, but that's a different topic), chemo, Herceptin, Perjeta and now the dang AI. Everyone seems to think that because I'm "this far out" that I shouldn't be fatigued. BS. I am, and when it gets bad, I allow myself some "jammie days." Sorry. Cancer is not as simple as taking an antibiotic for a sinus infection. The treatments have severe side effects for some of us. Yes, some may return to their previously active lives. Others of us struggle with the new normal, and
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have the same issues, but it seems no one takes it too seriously. I'm told to exercise more. Jeez. I'm doing as much as I can. I finished chemo in February 2013 and immediately started on Letrozole. I don't feel like I ever recovered from chemo. Then there are the side effects of Letrozole. I seem to have all of them...lucky me. I finish that in February 2018, and I am so looking forward to getting off of them. The pain is often intolerable, but I am determined to finish this.
I am so grateful for the advances in breast cancer treatments that have allowed me to
Rhondalea, I'd like to copy your response and hand it to every doctor I visit. I couldn't agree more with you. I do make lists, and I've moved to a paper calendar system. But that doesn't help me when I'm in the car and I can't remember where I'm going, how to get there, or which way to turn. It doesn't help me when I can't get the correct words out of my mouth during a class. Of course, it doesn't help me when I forget the lists!
I'm one of the "lucky" ones whose oncologist told me about chemobrain before chemo. I have friends with the same problem, so I was aware, but didn't think it would happen to ...
Bonnie, I respect your decision to stop the aromatase inhibitors. Your decision required great strength and faith. I was diagnosed with Stage II BC, 3 + lymph nodes. After the bilateral mastectomy, other surgeries, chemo, herceptin, and infections, I've been taking letrozole since February or March 2013. I don't know when I started exactly, because like you, I didn't want to take it. I left it on the kitchen counter for several days before starting it. My oncologist warned me that about 2 months into it I'd feel like I had a severe case of the flu, and she was right. While the severe flu symptoms passed, the other side effects are debilitating. I'm sticking with the ...
Whatever. Cancer and its treatment have robbed me of much of my life, including financial stability. Chemo brain is a daily companion, as are neuropathy, vertigo, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, shortness of breath, etc. I can't work...can't manage my money...private disability insurance has stopped paying because I didn't remember to send them the reams of information they requested, and I'm losing my house. I am not unique by any means, and am much better off than many. The real question is not whether the glass is half full or half empty. I don't care. I care that my body has been, and is continuing to be poisoned, by toxins that (hopefully) killed cancer cells, but also killed ...
THANK YOU so much for writing this!!! Barbara, you have said eloquently what my chemo brain doesn't allow me to say! I had chemo in 2012-13 and still have the same fog. Aromatase inhibitors don't help with this either. My former career is gone...too many details, too many numbers and too much stress. I'm trying to live each day to the fullest and be grateful than I'm NED (and I really am grateful for that). However, my fights with disability insurance and their tons of paperwork only underscore the reality that many still do not acknowledge how serious chemo brain really is. Thank you for speaking up!!!!