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Noris L. on July 11, 2010
I was Diagnosed with:
Stage two Breast Cancer
Type and Description of Treatments:
Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation, Her2 positive. Surgery was not available prior to the chemo based on the size of the tumor (right Breast)
How do you feel today?
I feel anxious and scared to this day I still feel that I don't know were I am going.
My faith in God tells me that everything will be alright.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
I realize today who I can count on and who I can't. I have always taken care of myself making it difficult to accept any help from others.
I have learned to struggle and realized that I could have lost my life if I didn't go with my gut feeling to do a biopsy. (I was not ordered by my doctor even after it was felt). I lost my hair and my nails are changing color they look like they may fall off I have gained 40 lbs in six months and I feel like the steroids are making me angry at everything. I don't sleep but if you see me you would say I look great and that I am doing fine.
My mother moved in the day I was diagnosed and is not willing to go home everyday is a struggle to get her to leave she does not want to leave my side.
What is going well for you right now?
I am two weeks away from my last chemo I have lost my appetite a little I guess at one point or another that's good. I was not hospitalized again as I was in the start due to blood pressure I had an open biopsy of the lung negative, and an open biopsy of the left breast also negative.
My tumor is now at the point of a lumpectomy. The chemo has shrunk it over fifty percent that's more them anyone can ask for.
What is not going well for you right now?
I have not been able to get any income so I have had to sit home the entire time making it very depressing.
The help that I am receiving is coming from family members.
I don't know what I will do once this is over what will I go back to work I don't even know if I will be able to stay in my house after 12 years.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
The complete change in your body...friends and family people look at you feeling sorry for you.
Not being able to concentrate on anything.
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
The computer, and I call friends to talk for a while.
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
Yes they truly have I am more secure about things than I thought; now they are clear as day.
I thought that I was living with a roommate and found that he is my soul mate.
I thought family was forever and realize my family is my daughter and that is the one I have to take care of.
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
I have no work at the moment my only job is to get better and start over.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
What has helped you continue to work the most?
I am not working
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Think about your health there will be plenty of time to work. Make time to get to know yourself so that there is a better connection between your mind and body. Take it a day at a time don't let the steroids take the better part of you.
One day at a time is the only way there is no insurance policy for this illness and we don't have any control other than how we choose to handle it we can be angry or just accept it and deal with it.
And remember that money can't buy the cure for this so if we walk away with our health we have won the battle.
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
First I was scared; nausea, metal mouth, no taste, tired all the time. I slept as much as my body needed, took meds for all the other side effects and they worked pretty well.
The metal mouth taste I still have not found a way to get rid of it.
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
Just take it one step at a time it's scary but no two cases are the same and what may work for you is not what works for some one else. Pay close attention to your body it will speak to you.
Have faith in God and he will have the final say; the doctors are just hands.