Tracy W. on December 8, 2017
I was Diagnosed with:
ER+ invasive ductal carcinoma left breast
Type and Description of Treatments:
Lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, started on Tamoxifen 2 times a day, 30 treatments radiation, post partial hysterectomy from March due to Endometriosis, now post 2 weeks ovaries, tubes removed and bladder mesh sling. Discontinued Tamoxifen, started Anastrozole take for 5 years.
How do you feel today?
Today I plan not to repeat yesterday. I am trying to understand the forced changes I'm going through.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
My outlook, my relationship with God. Why I was chosen. How God is using me to save lives of others through advocating, support and prayer. My relationships with who I thought were friends, my new Christian friends, closer to my sister, God's plan for my life and why this is all happening.
What is going well for you right now?
It is Christmas time, I'm alive, my 21 year old son is healthy, I'm loved for once in my life by a wonderful man, i can look ahead with God by my side.
What is not going well for you right now?
Going on 3rd week of 6 week leave from work. 3rd surgery since March I've continued to work full-time, went to work before doctors suggested after 1st surgery, wentcto radiation everu morning at 7:50 then to work. Nurse fulltime. Im exhausted, fatigued, joint, muscle pain, depression and anxiety, insomnia, ferling of helplessness, abandonment by friends, last of compassion and support at work. My emotions and changes I'm going through overwhelming. I'm in constant prayer to over come and stay strong.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Pushing through exhaustion, depression after my hysterectomy, unhappy at work, trying to understand what is going on, accepting this is happening to me and the realization that it will never be over. It's a part of me now! It won't define me but it has changed me.
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
I rely on God, scripture, reading, other cancer patients testimonies. Occasional support groups.
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
My renewed relationship with God. How he is and will use this trial to come closer to him, prepare me, build me to be ready for his plan. I know now I'm not in control he is. I never was. He is the ultimate healer and physician. I've been humbled!
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
I am on 6 week leave but before and after I work 40 hours a week Monday through Friday. I am also a lead singer in a band. I was doing 3-4 hour shows, festivals etc in between since March. My last show was first of October. I am booked New Year's Eve short set. Then gigs booked already in January.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
I am a nurse. I work in detmatology, assist in surgeries for skin cancers, very demanding, exhausting on your feet all day. Just the wear and tear of 23 years in nursing has now caused chronic back pain, plantar fasciitis, stress, now cancer and all its glory.
What has helped you continue to work the most?
I didn't have a choice. Im the bread winner in my home, I own it, pay all my bills and medical insurance coverage.
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Draw closer to God. People will come out of the woodwork to offer their story, advice, etc. But Reading scripture, praying, listening to Christian music, learning discernment, surrounding myself with godly people has been my biggest blesding and support. And realizing I don't have to apologize to anyone how I've handled my breast cancer. People come and go. God doesn't!
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
Through prayer, reading, educating myself but still very new to me. After recovery from surgery I plan on starting back to working out, eating more healthy as possible.
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
I honestly wouldn't change a thing. Take it day by day. Don't worry about tomorrow. Live in the now.