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by Judy C. on July 1, 2009
I was Diagnosed with:
Stage 1 Breast Cancer in left breast (1.4 cm tumor)
Date of Diagnosis:
March 10, 2006
Employment Status:
employed full time as a Ph.D. level research scientist
Age:
49
Type and Description of Treatments:
see my entry on March 7, 2009
How do you feel today?

Today is going well. I've been sleeping much better since I put some special foam on top of my mattress and changed my pillow. I had a colonoscopy last week since I'm approaching my 50th birthday. The procedure wasn't bad at all, and I had a really nice doctor. He found one polyp, but he thought it was probably benign. I should be receiving the results soon.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

See my entry on March 7, 2009.

What is going well for you right now?

My state legislature passed a bill this session that had a provision in it for a study I had originally submitted to a legislative commission last December that wasn't selected for funding. A fantastic legislator liked my proposal, and she took the initiative to include it and expand the scope of it in a bill. That was pretty neat as my Agency would not have done anything this quick to advance the proposed project. This female legislator was a real role model to me as I seem to be to some younger staff where I work. The bill went into law today so now I'm figuring out the details of how I'm going to do the work! I've also been leading a new international work group on a particular scientific topic and the group is really starting to get off the ground now....very interesting! We're also starting to get some decent summer time weather where I live, and I'm enjoying going to outdoor music venues and seeing friends. I have a number of flower gardens around my house, and my lilies are just starting to bloom...very pretty. The bunnies were chomping down on my lilies last month, but a retired neighbor and I set-up box traps to catch 4 of them and release them to a nature preserve. A new bunny has arrived, but it doesn't seem to be making salad out of my garden like the other ones were. I think I'll let it stay. I had a family gathering recently to celebrate my mom's 91st birthday. Remarkably, she still works. Had a good visit with her and other family members. Also, I'm heading to Australia in November for a 3.5 week vacation/adventure. I really want to go sea kayaking in Tasmania if my wrists are better then.

What is not going well for you right now?

I haven't heard from my guy friend in months that I had a romance with in Maui last Sept. and visited in California over Valentine's Day. He was going through major changes in his life and was having trouble keeping it together last March. Still, I wish guys could just end things than drift off into nothingness. It's hard to get closure. I haven't met anyone new, but I am not looking very hard. It's hard to meet men where I live, especially since I'm not from this area and the people can be kind of aloof to outsiders. I'll keep trying, though. In other health things...I had another minor worker's comp injury to the same wrist I injured a year ago at work. Darn! It slowed me up for a few weeks, but now I'm back in the swing of things. I also haven't been out in my sea kayak, yet, due to the injury, a windy spring, and other activities. I'm hoping to get out this weekend. Last week, I found out someone in the sea kayaking community I had worked with in the past on development of a water trail died of kidney cancer after a 6 yr battle. He was a wonderful fellow so I felt some sadness last week. His wife and daughter are going to have a celebration of his life in a few weeks at a local music venue. I think that is a good way of capping off your life; they're going to have stories, slides, music, dancing, and refreshing beverages like he would have wanted. I'm sure I'll need to wear some waterproof mascara to this event, but I think it will be very uplifting. This fellow accomplished an amazing amount in his 61 years and was well-liked and respected. I also found out recently that two of my close kayaking friends are dealing with cancer in their mothers. One mother is in hospice care from Stage 4 ovarian cancer and doesn't have much time left, and the other one was recently diagnosed with endometrial cancer and had surgery. I feel for my friends.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

What has helped you continue to work the most?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.

If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?

See my March 7, 2009 entry.