Home Now what? The highs and lows of survivorship



One Year since the diagnosis feeling strong and well

Hi, today it is exactly one year since my bc diagnosis and I am a little reflective. What a ride it had been. I still remember clearly the phone call and shock, terror, nervousness, sadness etc with that news. What took place after that news was a roller-coaster ride of treatments with physical and mental and emotional impacts.

In the last 12 months I have had 2 surgeries, 4 months of chemo and a month of radium and now pills. It was tough for sure but I made it through.

I think I am very fortunate as I didn't have too many side effects or set backs. I was fatigued for sure and pretty emotional at times. I did my exercise which I think contributed enormously to my well being. 

I am grateful to my husband and son for their support. I had a couple of good friends and family too. I am grateful for the doctors and the skill and knowledge. I am also grateful for the support I received here on bcna. I would have been lost without this group at times, especially in those wee hours of the morning. Thank you!

Today I feel strong. I am proud of myself for getting through this. I am grateful for my resilience and determination and courage. While I never wanted to join this group, I have made good friends and I have grown and healed in many ways. BC has given me a different life and view of the world and I am thankful for that. 

I have much to look forward to including various road trips, fun times with friends and family, my walks in national parks and the beach, my exercise and just everyday life. I am also going to be a first time grandmother later this year which is super exciting. I love babies.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for reading my story and being there for me. 
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Comments

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,121
    Good on you @Cath62 ... you’ve done the hard yards and can now reap the rewards! You know now that whatever you put your mind to - that you can achieve it! 

    You are so right ... none of us wanted to join this group, but thank God, we all did!  Valuable and caring friendships have been formed with common bonds - a sharing of  knowledge that helps everyone.  But best of all, welcomed with opened arms, no matter how far flung we may be in this great country of ours.  Shoulders to lean on, shoulders to cry  on. 

    How wonderful to learn that you will become a Grand Mum .... @iserbrown and @Annie C will be able to help out with baby patterns, if you are a knitter or crocheter (not sure if I made that term up!?)

    GO GIRL!  Take care xx 
  • Cath62Cath62 Brisbane Member Posts: 785
    Thanks @arpie
  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 341
    Hi @cath,

    Fantastic. Great that you are feeling strong and positive. Its one heck of a journey.

    Hugs x
  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 373
    Well done Cath! Let the good times roll!!! XXX
  • Cath62Cath62 Brisbane Member Posts: 785
    Cheers @FLClover 🥂
  • Julez1958Julez1958 SydneyMember Posts: 396
    Hi Cath62
    I love your headnote.
    Because we post and read here for a whole host of reasons , to vent, to ask for practical advice , it is important to clock  the milestones and the positive experiences and feelings .
    So all the best and a message for everyone on here, life has its good moments too!
  • MazbethMazbeth BrisbaneMember Posts: 191
    Hi @Cath62 your post was so good to read and will be very reassuring to a lot of people - especially those who are experiencing those terrifying few days after the initial diagnosis. Thank you for letting all of us know how you are going. You should feel incredibly proud of how you have come through all of this, it is fantastic! M x
  • Cath62Cath62 Brisbane Member Posts: 785
    Thank you @Mazbeth and @Julez1958. I wanted to put something up to mark my 1 year anniversary and I know all shitty cancer moments i had, but life is life and it goes on and we do as well. It's good to be happy and at peace. I do have some long term side effects for sure but my focus is not those. My focus is living my best life. 
  • Potter_21Potter_21 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks Cath62! I needed to hear that atm. I am 4 weeks newly diagnosed, had surgery and waiting for treatment plan. I have so many worries and apprehensions but hearing your story gives me hope! Thank you! 🙏❤️
  • Cath62Cath62 Brisbane Member Posts: 785
    I am pleased @Potter_21. I remember those first terrifying first weeks. I cried for 2 weeks really and then it was surgery, 3 weeks later chemo etcetera. No time to breathe but just push on. There was alot of processing and I had to make changes to how I manage life especially stress and I have done that. I am not perfect but I am happy with myself and who I am. I wish you all the best with your treat
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,885
    Well done @Cath62. As you say, we need more stories of good lives beyond diagnosis. It’s not possible for everyone and while treatment is still
    a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a walnut, it’s getting better all the time. Like you, I have a few side effects but I’m also conscious that things happen besides cancer, and none of us can predict what unforeseen medical issue might arise in the future - COVID-19 being the obvious example! 
  • AZ79AZ79 Member Posts: 8
    Cath62 said:
    Thank you @Mazbeth and @Julez1958. I wanted to put something up to mark my 1 year anniversary and I know all shitty cancer moments i had, but life is life and it goes on and we do as well. It's good to be happy and at peace. I do have some long term side effects for sure but my focus is not those. My focus is living my best life. 
    Can I please check what long term side effects you have? 
    I’ve had my surgeries and now waiting for my treatment plan and I’m a bit terrified. I don’t want to go for chemo and radiation, I’d rather to everything naturally, with alternative non toxic treatments. But I also feel like I should just do it. :(
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,885
    @AZ79
    If non-toxic treatments had a reliable and replicable rate of success, we’d all be doing it. Unfortunately they don’t. As for natural, well, the taxane group of chemotherapies are sourced from trees! One day, we’ll have less invasive treatments, every year we get better and better options. But right now we still have to face some difficult treatment. It can be hard but it’s doable. Trust your feelings and do it. Best wishes. 
  • Julez1958Julez1958 SydneyMember Posts: 396
    Totally agree with @Afraser
    i was totally freaked out by the idea of radiotherapy ( not to mention mastectomy) but I asked my radiation oncologist “ what would you do if it was you” and she said she’d get it .
    The urge to live is too strong for me not to have done it ( I was not suggested to have chemo).
    The potential side effects of all the treatments are well documented but the alternative ( death) was not very palatable either.
    No one said this stuff was easy.
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