reflection & where to now?

joadavis Member Posts: 28
edited October 2016 in Community news and events

Hello my fellow pink sisters! I hope you are all smiling and laughing- well as much as you can be!

Its been a long time so I am going to write a long blog today so apologies! I finally finished 12 months of  herceptin 6 weeks ago! yay!!!!!!!! but im back there next week to get my port flushed! bbooooo! how long did people keep their port after treatment? Im gonna miss my port when they take it out lol!

Its been an emotional rollar coaster these past few weeks- me finishing herceptin, my mum had a massive heart attack, and a close friend of mine (Tondra Taylor) passed away- 3 weeks after finding out her cancer spread to her body. Both of these traggic things have really put me in a place of dispair. I cry alot, I ask why them? but im also cherrishing everyday more than I ever had. I had dyed my new hair BLOND haha it came back Black after treatment! i got another peiercing in my ear. and im getting a tattoo next few weeks...its like im rebelling in life. Im finally doing things that Ive never had the balls to have done. I also wanna do a makeup course and do of charity work amongst other things but I cant think at the moment haha!:)

Im helping at the glen shopping centre and chadstone selling merchandise for pink ribbon day, doiing a talk at a morning tea about my journey and also starting the encore swimming program on October 10th :)

Im finding Im wanting to get involved more in breast cancer things like going to the living centre in the city every week to do different programs, but then I find I need to pull away for my own sanity...does that makes sense? I need to find who I am and sometimes too much "cancer" talk can be upsetting. So at the moment Im trying to find a happy medium. As you can tell from this post Im all over the place! my oncologist has booked me into a menapuse clinic at monash clayton as Im not coping well on Tamoxifen and Zoledex. They also put me in contact with another Psychologist as well :) i had a pap smear done again last week and boy did that kill! apparently im very dry and swollen "down there"! so im on some cream and oitment to help me lubercate again! haha TMI i know sorry!

Im currently looking after my mum as well.... shes ok but they has a few doctors appopintments and now getting tests for a stroke! poor mum....upsets me just writing it. She is the rock of our family and this has devastated me and my sister something shocking...and I cant help but feel guilty. what if I didnt get sick...would she be ok? i know silly but I do feel a little responsible. I got married during my treatment too and the stress of that and my father (wanka) put her into a terrible place..... ok slap me now- i know i shouldnt be thinking this!

and the friend that passed...she finished rado 2 days before me..and then started getting pains, got diagnosed with secondary and 3 weeks later- gone! we were close and I miss her everyday...this disease is so shit! and my best friend merylee (silly sam) is going in for a dble masectomy tomorrow....her reacurrence has knocked me for a 6 as well. i love her so much and appreciate her frienship to the moon and back and i feel guilty that I havent helped as much as I wanted too.

 I fear cancer everyday....reaccurrence is everywhere I look, people on same treatment plan as me and scares the shit out of me! I felt a lump a few weeks ago and doc said its a rib! can you believe it! I get sore back every few days and its hard to walk...i think cancer in the spine... i get head aches... i think cancer in the brain.. does this feeling ever go away??!! they checked my stomach a few months ago for cancer as I was bleeding out of my bowel...doc said "you have symptoms of bowel cancer" lovely! but no all clear :) thank god!

 this journey is def a hard day im laughing and loving life, the next Im hundled in my room crying to my husband "i hate my hair (when it was dark) and I dont wanna walk in public". But I know I will get through this as I have ALL OF YOU holding my hand! THANK YOU!



  • Mich x
    Mich x Member Posts: 1,530
    edited March 2015

    Oh Jo you poor luv, you have been doing it tough now for quite a while.  With everything that has gone on in your life you are allowed to be feeling all over the place.  I know I am and I haven't had to endure half of what you have.

    I have finished chemo in July and finished radiotherapy a few weeks ago but then got bronchial pneumonia which I am now getting over that as well.  I am now back home and pretty much on my own with hubby working away.   My moods chop and change every day all day. Sometimes I luv the time on my own and sometimes I just feel so lonely and isolated.  I have an appointment for the hormone clinic in Perth coming up shortly as well.  I was on Tamoxifin but got changed to Femara.  I am a lot older than you and I  feel it is even tougher on you because you are so young.  I have lived a large part of my life already, yours is just beginning with getting married etc.  You have so much to look forward to my lovely.

    I really  hope you have a lot of wonderful support around you and I know you do in Merrylee and Jo and I am sure your hubby and I am glad that you felt you could turn to your pink sisters to be there for you also and offer you as much support as possible.

    You are stronger than you know sweety cause if I was you and been through what you have  I don't honestly know how I would have done it.  BUT you have done it and you are working through your feelings.  You are allowed to have these feelings as long as you are doing something about them and not just letting them fester and you are doing that so well done.  The fact you are having some good mood swings and they are not all bad is also a good sign.  You will get through this precious I am sure and you know all your pink sisters will be here rooting for you to get well and have that beautiful smile on your dial all day every day.

    Sending you lots of loving hugs your way today and every day.

    LOL, Mich xoxo

  • helen anne
    helen anne Member Posts: 265
    edited March 2015

    I'm a Pink Sister too (recently joined) and I heard of Tondra's was very sad and my heart goes out to all those who knew her.

    Our stories have many similarities - like you I lost a friend who had been diagnosed with endometrical cancer 2 wks after me.  She died in April while I was still having treatment.  I was too ill to go to her funeral which I found very hard to accept.

    My hair is growing back black too!  Weird isn't it!  I was a red-head - god knows where that's gone, but I kinda like the black for a change.  I've been told it sort of looks like Twiggy's old style (if you know her - a 60's model).

    Like you I had to have a port because of numerous reasons.  it was taken out shortly after I finished treatment.  And again I had exactly the same thing happen to me about the bowel thing - I had to have a colonscopy and specimens of my bowel taken, as well as a gastophy (down the throat).  I also had a scare with the same type of pain and in the same location on the opposite side to  my mastectomy....this resulted again in numerous tests and lots of worry.

    Luckily all proved negative.  So I can really relate to your fear of reoccurance.

    I was going to man the North Blackburn shopping centre for the Cancer Council but stupidly they hadn't sought the permission of the Centre Manager and so it was cancelled.  They did offer another location but I preferred to stay near to home as I have an ill father (also heart problems).

    I am doing some other charity work however for the Cancer Ward at Box Hill Hospital as a thankyou for all their care and patience (I was their No 1 patient and a regular over a period of 9 months!) by holding a large fundraiser in November for them.  So far it's coming together nicely.

    Finally I am friendly with Merylee too - I met her on the CL training and she introduced me to the blogs.  I am sad for her that she has to take this path, but i strongly believe she is doing the right thing.  She needs to do this not only for medical reasons but also to free herself from this terrible fear of reoccurance. 

    Don't feel guilty that you haven't supported her as much as you think you should have.  She knows you're there for you and she understands what you're going through.  We all do.

    It's ok to be angry or upset or even guilty if that's how you feel.  Just go with the flow and accept the feeling at the time, then try to move on.

    Yes it's terrible what happened to Tondra, yes it's terrible what happened to my friend (and I have truly struggled not to feel guilty for surviving) and yes it's alwful what Merylee is going through.  There's no denying any of that.

    But Jo, remember also you're a symbol of hope for others.  You're doing some charity work, addressing a morning tea and changing your life to become more like you (by dying your hair).  How fantastic you're get a tatt - I wish I could ...but alas i cannot.  We'd luv to see a picture of it on this site.

    And well done to starting up the Encore program - that is something to look forward to as well.

    Life has a strange way of playing out for each and every one of us and while some of us have long complicated journey's with much pain (both emotionally and physically) along the way, I always have felt that this happened for a reason, that I'm meant to learn something from all of this and I hope that in time, you may feel the same.

    Take care and good luck with your presentation

    Luv H (aka Helen Anne)

  • Mich x
    Mich x Member Posts: 1,530
    edited March 2015

    Hey Helen

    You have put things into perspective so beautifully, well done and I am sure Jo will be very grateful for your wonderful support as you are obviously a very caring, loving and strong person who has endured her own amount of things to deal with on your journey and I am sure you can relate to Jo and Jo can relate to you which is what we are all about.

    Wishing you all the very best.

    LOL, Mich xoxo

  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
    edited March 2015

    Gosh,you have been having such a rough time of it.Sometimes you get a whole lot of crap rain down on you at once and none of it is your fault Jo.Crap just happens-we don't always know why and it's often to the nicest people.I am so sorry about your friend passing and your mum having a heart attack.What a sad time for you.Your mum needs you and you also need time to grieve so don't overload yourself with commitments.I know what you mean about wanting to be more involved with"pink"work and then sometimes wanting to get right away from cancer.You'll find a happy medium.It's like anything in life-you don't want to be doing it 24/7. I think we all worry about a recurrence and the only thing that will ease that is time. Since I've gone past the 2yr mark,I don't dwell on it so much.But it only takes a lump or a pain and you are right back there ay! All your pink sisters know how that feels.Sending you hugs Jo and "well"wishes for your mum.I hope life goes a little easier on you both.

                           luv Tonya xx

  • janet_s
    janet_s Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2015
    Wow, sounds like you've been through a lot lately! Gotta love the emotional roller coaster - NOT! I was a mess after chemo and I still find I cry more easily than before. And I'm so sorry to hear about Tonya and your mum, but don't blame yourself, that's a burden you don't need to carry. It is what it is.

    And yes, I was scared of every ache and pain after chemo (almost 4 years ago now!), but the aches and pains eventually go away and now the only time I go to the doctor is for my check ups and mammograms. I still have days where I'm scared or worried, but the good days far outnumber the bad ones now. Looking forward to the day when you can say the same!

    Lots of hugs to you and your mum! xx