Christina V. on November 29, 2017
I was Diagnosed with:
Recurrence of IDC breast cancer stage 3/ ER +
Type and Description of Treatments:
Chemo/masectomy in 2004 -worked through trmt Radiation/injections 2014 to present - work full-time
How do you feel today?
Tired at times, feel like I have to go the extra mile to prove I'm capable regardless of diagnosis.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
Since it came back after 10 years, I do not sweat the small stuff, material goods don't matter to me. God, my family, and loved ones are what matters. Accomplishing my dreams, traveling with husband, supporting my children are most important.
What is going well for you right now?
Cancer is stable, has not spread. My family has been amazing
What is not going well for you right now?
The way others see me, how it changes people's perspective when they hear your sick. You don't look sick, etc...
Explain that at a certain point when chemo and radiation are not an option any longer you looks like a healthy individual when your not on the inside.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Above statement regarding people's perspective
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
God, husband, church
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
I've learned to take one day at a time. Follow your dreams, love your family and friends, don't let things get in the way, no one is guaranteed tomorrow.
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
Full time, 10 hours a day. Executive job.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
People's perspective. Look at you like you're weak.
What has helped you continue to work the most?
Perseverance. Determination. Drive.
My background for almost 30 years has been in human resources. I know the rights of those in my position and ensure that laws are followed.
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Understand that you do have rights. Educate yourself.
There are times when accommodations need to be made by employers, don't be afraid to ask for them.
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
I'm not a complainer which can be a burden sometimes. Ask for help, admit when you are not feeling well. Do not feel ashamed.
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
It's ok to be afraid, angry, etc
But do not let it consume you. Don't let it become you either. Don't always acknowledge to anniversary of..etc. move forward.