Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Joy C. on October 15, 2009
I was Diagnosed with:
Breast Cancer
Date of Diagnosis:
October 30, 2008
Employment Status:
Full time Mom/Part-time cleaning service
Type and Description of Treatments:
I had surgery to remove a tumor in my breast. Then radiation which is all that I should have had if it was up to me. But my Oncologist told me I needed Chemotherapy. So after just one dose and one week later, I almost died. My white blood count was so low I couldn't fight an infection in my appendix and part of my stomach area (which I didn't know I had in the first place). During surgery to remove my appendix I had a heart attack that almost killed me. Luckily, my Surgeon saved my life. Then after probably 5 days of living in a vegetative state I woke up. I thank God and everyone who prayed for me and for my wonderful Doctor who saved my life. I’ve had two more surgeries to repair my stomach. I highly recommend anyone having Chemotherapy to get a thorough examination before having it.
How do you feel today?

My strength is 75% back to normal. I am able to do most of my daily Mom chores but I can't work and I'm not sure if I'll be able to for a long time.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

My faith in God. I believe more now than I did before he is really there for me.

What is going well for you right now?

My family has been so supportive through all of this. I don't know what I would have done without them.

What is not going well for you right now?

Knowing that I could have died and seeing all the divorced woman out there that were comforting my husband throughout my ordeal is disheartening. They were almost like a cat ready to pounce on him if I would have died. Not that I would have wanted him to move on. But it's just the fact that he still communicates with them is not good for me right now. I mean, hey, I'm better now chicks, so back off!!! And shame on my hubby for talking to them in the first place.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

The Chemotherapy and how lethal it was to have almost taken my life. And getting my strength back. Losing my hair and my nails looking gross.

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

Prayer! I truly believe in God! He is wonderful!

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

Well, before I was diagnosed with breast cancer I was applying for some pretty great full-time jobs and now there's no way I can even try for any of those jobs. I am happy to have my strength back enough to be of help to my own family.

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


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

My faith in God and I don't like my husband talking to divorcees.

What has helped you continue to work the most?


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

Radiation is a good treatment but make sure you have a thorough examination before even considering Chemotherapy. I'm now on Arimidex once daily for the next five years. Hopefully this is all I'll need!

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

Cried and prayed!

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

Breast Cancer is nothing to take lightly. Have a mammogram have the surgeries and radiation treatments, but rethink having chemotherapy!