(Hopefully) At the end of my journey

CatPieCatPie Member Posts: 3
Hi everyone. I have been reading all your posts (thank you) and never wrote anything myself until now. I was diagnosed with a pretty small but aggressive tumour last June, and pretty quickly moved to a lumpectomy, then 4 dense doses of AC chemo, followed by a planned 12 weeks of Taxol (I only got to 8 due to peripheral neuropathy), then 22 doses of radiotherapy (including 6 'boosts'). 
I had some rotten times, AC chemo was difficult- I tried to work while I was having it but had to go on leave at about treatment 4. I had issues with almost all my procedures- my hook line had to be done twice (nearly 2.5hrs), I became febrile and had to be admitted to hospital, my veins collapsed, my PICC line removal was difficult to say the least and I ended up in hospital for emergency surgery, and right now I am battling the radiation burns. I lost ALL my hair, couldn't taste anything, felt nauseous and exhausted and am still having a heap of side effects. I live alone, so looked after myself pretty much all the way along, although I had heaps of support from my sister and some very good friends.  
But the most important thing I wanted to say to anyone starting out- nothing that happened to me was as bad as I thought it would be. I used mindful and meditation techniques when I was having my procedures and they worked for me- well most of the time. I fought a battle in my mind with cancer every day and I am so proud that I feel like I beat it many more days than it beat me. I just made up my mind that it wouldn't defeat me on a daily basis. 
I had a great surgeon, a wonderful oncologist who provided a positive and confident outlook, and all the doctors & nurses at the hospital were gold. I thought the chemo ward would be sad and upsetting- instead I found it to be a place of laughter and hope. I used a mix of public and private treatment and still see somewhere around 13 medical and allied health professionals while holding down a full time job. 
I didn't write this for anyone to say I did well. I wrote this to say DO NOT BE AFRAID. You can do this and there is lots of help if you need it. Reach out to this community, to a breast care nurse (thanks McGrath Foundation), to your family & friends, to the volunteers, a psychologist- people want to help you. 
Then when you get better, you can pass it on. Pay it forward. 
All the best of luck from me. Believe your mantra- mine has been: 
  • Things could be worse 
  • Accept the things you cannot change
  • Do not live your life in fear 

Comments

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,377
    Wonderful uplifting post - good on you for sharing

    Sending you a virtual hug
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 6,838
    Awesome post! Not saying "well done", but sending a virtual high five. K xox
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,094
    Welcome @CatPie,

    Nice work lovely and a great post.  Thanks for sharing.

    xoxox
  • DoodooDoodoo Member Posts: 358
    Good on you @CatPie. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it will help newbies to read this xx
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,860
    Woohoo for active treatment over and thanks for posting. 
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,865
    I think that's a great post @CatPie ; None of it is plain sailing but it's doable for most of us.  
  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 482
    Dear @CatPie, Thanks for your post and mantras and 

    from jennyss in Western NSW
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