Today, I feel great. My plastic surgeon releas...Save as Favorite
- I was Diagnosed with:
- Breast cancer
- Date of Diagnosis:
- November 18, 2005
- Employment Status:
- Type and Description of Treatments:
- Surgeries including left mastectomy, port, bilarteral TRAM reconstruction, nipple reconstruction and tatooing, complete hysterectomy and oopherectomy, chemotherapy and radiation
- How do you feel today?
Today, I feel great. My plastic surgeon released me last month after 2 years and 4 months. I am energetic and active. I continued to work out with a personal trainer during my treatments with short breaks due to limitations after surgery. In the last 6 months, I have started running with other survivors in 5K races. When necessary, I work long days at my office and have made 3 business trip in 2009 after not traveling in 3 years.
- Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
I have increased my nutrition levels eating only whole foods and many organic products. I listen to my body and rest when I need to rest. I surround myself with positive people and I tell my family and friends I love them a lot more often. My life stayed remarkably the same throughout diagnosis, treatment and recovery. We tried very hard to keep things normal for our children, families and employers.
- What is going well for you right now?
My physical fitness is going very well. I am enjoying running and weight training.
- What is not going well for you right now?
I am experiencing some other health issues including the finding of a colon polyp. I continue to research the potential effects of my treatment and the other illnesses and diseases that may be related to breast cancer. I also have to renew a life insurance policy and will have a rating for 5 more years as a result of the breast cancer.
- What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Worrying that I will not be around to see my children grow up, graduate from high school and college, and get married. They were 5 and 8 when I was diagnosed. Today, they are 8 and 11.
- When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
My husband has been my rock. He is very spiritual and faithful. We have a wonderful church family. My friends, including my new survivor friends, have been awesome.
- How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
I focus more on short term goals now than ever. I had always been a planner. Now, I focus less on planning my retirement and more on relaxing in the moment with my family.
- What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
I work full time. I arrive at my office my 8 a.m. and leave between 5 and 6:30 depending on children's activities and projects.
- Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
My work life has stayed the same since my diagnosis. My boss and employer have been incredibly understanding.
- What has helped you continue to work the most?
Work has been a form of therapy for me. If I could be at the office, I could think about something other than cancer, feel valuable, and feel "normal."
- What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Listen to your body. If you need to rest, rest. However, don't get lazy. Working out really helps.
- How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
Luckily, I did not have many side effects. I did rest a lot after work and on weekends.
- If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
Have faith! You are never alone. Look for fellow survivors sooner because they will be great help to you. Drink lots of water!