Karla W. on November 27, 2017
I was Diagnosed with:
Leiomyosarcoma of Uterus Stage 1b
Full time Medical Receptionist
Type and Description of Treatments:
Complete abdominal hysterectomy only no chemo or radiation.
How do you feel today?
Physically amazing. Mentally still struggling.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
Everything has changed. I've changed!! I truly found out who my friends were & were not. I lost the support of my 2 brothers. I feel like I'm in the middle of an ocean surrounded by sharks just waiting to be bitten again. I have PTSD/depression/anxiety and find it really difficult to do my job where before I was the one who encouraged patients. Ive become very outspoken and set pretty heavy boundaries. I cry over the littlest things.
What is going well for you right now?
Ive been NED for 2 years
What is not going well for you right now?
My depression has increased. I'm in the middle of a divorce my choice because I'm not the same person I used to be.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Keeping my focus off the why ifs.
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
I do things now really just try to take one day are time.
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
40 hours a week, which is overwhelming. Ive worked for 2 great doctors for 25 years but listening to others illnesses especially cancer just takes my breath every time I hear of a patient either newly diagnosed or a reoccurance or death. I'm on intermittent FMLA.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
It's much harder to be empathetic. When patients complain about colds aches and pains I feel like saying "you have no idea what it feels like to be really sick." I know that sounds awful. Also I find myself saying "why did I get cancer i took care of myself didnt drink or do drugs or smoke and you do why dont you have cancer, It's not fair". My coworkers treat me differently and I try to act and put on a face. By the end of the day I'm mentally exhausted. But I go to work. I feel my sou is broken.
What has helped you continue to work the most?
I know I am or was good at what I do. Ive saved lives. Also I can't quit until July 2018 or I lose my pension.
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Just try to stay out of your own head. Also don't ever let Any one "should" on you. Meaning dot let them tell you how you should be more positive or you should do this or you should be happy etc....
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
Only side effect I've had is menopause and PTSD/ANXIETY/DEPRESSION. And I'm not dealing very well with it all.
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
Omg so so much, but I think the most important thing would be do it now get divorced quit the job do it all at once so you can heal from all the pain.