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This can't be real...


Clematis

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I've been happily married for 16 months now to Helen, whom I love dearly. She is funny and interesting, brilliant and kind, and I feel good just being around her. She really does love me. I also have a new career direction and am doing psychotherapy online via Zoom. That is all terrific. On the other hand, I have been just diagnosed with breast cancer and that is not terrific. It is another loss, and a devastating one, because my life of rolling along happy in the belief that I could continue to be healthy via exercise and a healthy diet - that's all over.

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Oh no, that is devastating news, I'm sorry to hear! It must seem unreal. Your relationship with Helen sounds wonderful, no doubt that will be a great support. Wish you the very best for a successful recovery. (Music and cats, agreed!)  

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Laura, it's good to hear from you, it's been a while!  I'm glad your life has been going so well for you but sorry to learn of your bout with breast cancer.  One of my best friends has that and of the lymph glands, her husband just got out of the hospital with Covid, battling that, she also feels unfairly struck as she tries to eat healthy, exercise, be positive, etc.  She even has a business regarding positive gratification awards.

I do believe our focus on our health will not be in vain, even with challenges and setbacks, life sure isn't fair, if it was you wouldn't be tackling this, but knowing you, you WILL beat this!  Sending thoughts and prayers your way...:wub:

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On 11/1/2021 at 5:52 AM, kayc said:

I do believe our focus on our health will not be in vain, even with challenges and setbacks, life sure isn't fair, if it was you wouldn't be tackling this, but knowing you, you WILL beat this!  Sending thoughts and prayers your way..

Thanks, Kay! I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. It feels devastating to have this occur, after focusing for my entire adult life on optimizing my health with good diet, exercise, and avoiding any toxins I could. It seems to have done me little good. My doctor quipped, "Well, one out of every eight women gets breast cancer." I know that, but it seems like given my health focus I should have been one of the seven and not the one in eight. The only risk factor I have is not having had any children, and it doesn't seem like that should earn me cancer and the related treatments that ruin a person's life...

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On 10/31/2021 at 8:16 PM, MartyT said:

Oh Laura! It's so good to hear from you again ~ but I'm so sorry to learn this devastating news! Please keep us posted on your progress, and know that we are here for you as you face this latest challenge. You are in our thoughts and prayers . . . ❤️

Thank you, Marty! This really is a loss and the grief seems so familiar. I have times when I don't think about it all, and then it slaps me up alongside the head as I remember that my life is no longer what it was and I can't go back.

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16 hours ago, Clematis said:

It seems to have done me little good.

My friend Iris felt the same way but honestly, life seems random and unfair, we can't control what happens, only our response to it or in light of it.  You will fight for your life and to enjoy it with your partner and I'm glad you have support in this.  I've all but lost use of my hand after 11 debilitating injuries within two years (most of them dogbites) to them, and live with constant pain but giving up is not an option availed to me, I have to outlive my puppy and he could take me to age 83.  I don't want him to have to move either, he loves his life here so I do my best to remain independent and keep up this old place.  ;)  
This is shocking news that would be very challenging to anyone, I am so sorry it's you.  I support my friend with whatever I can do for her, we're leaving here at 6:30 am tomorrow to take her in to her port surgery so she can begin chemo.  She tried to heal it naturally through organic foods, eating healthy, exercise, positive thoughts and being good to others, still it grew so now faced with fighting this the traditional way or possibly leaving her blind husband alone...she's chosen to fight.  I will do what I can for her.

I don't live close enough to you to be tangible help, but am glad you DO have someone to be there for you and I will continue to pray for you throughout your journey to health.

Yes, we grieve even our health, the things that change that we didn't get a say so in.  :wub:

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16 hours ago, Clematis said:

My doctor quipped, "Well, one out of every eight women gets breast cancer.

We know this on an intellectual level but that does little to assuage our FEELINGS.  Of course you still FEEL unfairly struck...because you are.  People can try to lessen the blow by justifying but that makes us FEEL invalidated in our feelings, and right now you're experiencing this on a very emotional level, often the hardest to deal with.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/3/2021 at 6:02 AM, kayc said:

I don't live close enough to you to be tangible help, but am glad you DO have someone to be there for you and I will continue to pray for you throughout your journey to health.

Thank you so much, Kay. I had my surgery yesterday and am looking toward to all that other stuff no one wants to deal with, such as chemo ant hormone therapy. I am hoping that I can find a place that does cold-capping, so that hopefully I don't lose my hair...

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I'm going through this with my friend, she had her first chemo, they said on her second one she'll start losing her hair so she had her hair cut short and bought a wig...she hasn't had surgery yet, they're waiting to see what the chemo will do first, but she has it in her lymph glands as well.

I'm glad you had the surgery, got that over with!  Sending you healing thoughts!

Get through this.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thinking of you and wondering how you are doing...watching my friend Iris go through this, very nauseous with chemo.  I appreciate her positive attitude and spirit, even as her husband fights off the Covid effects (nearly two months now), they've had it piled on with way too much but thankfully have supportive kids taking turns helping them (they come from out of state so not easy).  I'm glad you have someone there with you, it's too much alone.  :wub:

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10 hours ago, kayc said:

Thinking of you and wondering how you are doing...watching my friend Iris go through this, very nauseous with chemo.  I appreciate her positive attitude and spirit, even as her husband fights off the Covid effects (nearly two months now), they've had it piled on with way too much but thankfully have supportive kids taking turns helping them (they come from out of state so not easy).  I'm glad you have someone there with you, it's too much alone.  :wub:

Thanks, Kay. I'm struggling along. The surgery went well and I am waiting for Oncology to step up to the plate and get things rolling. In these small towns it seems like STAT - at least now, during the pandemic - means whenever someone gets around to it. It's very aggravating and frightening.

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Hang in there, yes medical care does not seem what it once was, I've been waiting since my referral to a gastroenterologist for an appt for two weeks now, they still haven't called, now snow is coming and I may have to wait until Spring...it's already been a year...meanwhile I've found something else and don't even know who to see, will start with my dermatologist next month if snows permit.

Iris has had two chemos, seems it take a week to feel yourself again....she goes every two weeks but will soon be once a week, that's the part that scares me.  Try to focus on the outcome before you.  You've weathered a lot already, that perspective will aid you greatly in your fight.  :wub:

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/3/2021 at 6:02 AM, kayc said:

...I don't live close enough to you to be tangible help, but am glad you DO have someone to be there for you and I will continue to pray for you throughout your journey to health.

Yes, we grieve even our health, the things that change that we didn't get a say so in.  :wub:

Thank you so much, Kay, for your kind words. I just started chemo this week and am exhausted, but working and doing ok...

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On 12/7/2021 at 7:43 AM, MartyT said:

We're all pulling for you, Laura ❤️

Thank you, Marty. I just started chemo three days ago, and although exhausted, I seem to be doing ok thus far...

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I'm amazed you are working, my friend is doing chemo and she's got someone taking care of her fulltime, not doing anything but trying to survive it (double medicine/chemo every two weeks).  Pulling for you, keep focused on getting through this!  There's an end to this!  

Get Well bears.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/15/2022 at 6:23 AM, kayc said:

There's an end to this!  

Thanks, Kay! I am working...it's been hard in a lot of ways. Cancer gives a person a lot of extra things to do; not only are there the appointments for treatment but you have to have scans, do lab work, go to followups, and so on. I also have been doing a lot of research, because my medical oncologist is dishonest, unethical, and incompetent. He makes up stuff, which I discover by looking it up later. He has made a LOT of errors. He told me that the kind of cancer that the surgeon and pathologist identified does not exist, and he followed the algorithm for pre-surgery rather than post, telling me that it was the same thing. He never did give me any information about my prognosis, although it was clear that he was choosing overtreating me with chemo. I decided to stop the cytotoxic drugs after two cycles, after figuring out by way of research in medical journals that for me chemo was not  likely to have as big a benefit for me as the surgery, Herceptin, and estrogen lowering drug. The oncologist was furious and threatened to fire me as a patient at the clinic. Fortunately, he is a "locum" or temp, and I am continuing with someone else, but it heightened my fear and anxiety.

It is infuriating and terrifying to have doctors - and nurses with them - close rank to defend each other, while denying the patient access to correct and pertinent information. Nevertheless, when I relate some of these events to other health professionals, they are startled in a way they can't hide, even though they don't directly refute the doctor. I keep joking that I am like a cat at the vet - why try explaining anything to a cat? Not all that funny. Other than that, things are getting better. Helen and Lena are taking good care of me. How have you been?

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On 12/6/2021 at 7:11 PM, enna said:

Hi Laura,

I am just reading this and I'm so sorry that you are going through this.  I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Anne

Thanks, Anne. I appreciate that. How have you been?

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8 hours ago, Clematis said:

close rank to defend each other, while denying the patient access to correct and pertinent information.

OMG, I am so sorry, I'm afraid what you're saying is true too many places.  Medical care is lacking.  I've been every step of the way with my friend, seeing what she goes through, hers in the lymph glands and breast, she has two more chemo treatments, last one will be 4/4, then meet to discuss what's next, likely surgery.  I hope and pray this will take care of it all for her!  Chemo is horrific.  Rashes, throat burning, loss of taste, extreme tiredness, it's just horrible.  She has wonderful support, thankfully, I'd be up the creek, I'm afraid.  How do you do this alone when you live 1 1/2 hours from the cancer center!  
She did hold her ground with her oncologist about her options and they listened to her, thankfully, albeit last minute.  She had a very adverse reaction to one type of treatment and they wanted to load her with tons of steroids and continue!  NO!!  There are alternatives, they needed to just utilize them.  I'm proud of her.  In the end, these are OUR bodies, and as I've always said, that gives us a vested interest in them!

I join Anne in prayers for you!!  Thank you for dropping in!

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8 hours ago, Clematis said:

How have you been?

I've had a mysterious throat/tongue condition for over 14 months, very painful to live with, and I have yet to find a doctor who will look down my throat and do a biopsy!  My old doctor of 33 years would have handled it same day!  Everyone refers, no one does anything.  Covid has worsened that.  I have an appt for a "consult" with a gastroenterologist in April, 1 1/2 hours away, have to make the same trek three days beforehand to get tested for Covid, OMG, I can quarantine beforehand, why do I have to go through this again!  All that and I STILL won't have an appt. for a scope yet!  This is insane.  I got treated for thrush doubly, twice, did nothing (it goes away on it's own in two weeks, obviously not that).  I went to an allergy specialist, nope, not that either.  A friend has had the same thing for 14 months longer than me and already went to all of the ENTs in the neighboring city (all over an hour away), no help.  How can it be this hard!  Of course, I've scoured Dr. Google...nothing, nada.  Maybe we'll have to live with it.  It doesn't resemble cancer.  My gut is healthy.  I don't know. :unsure:  Other than this, things are okay!

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4 hours ago, kayc said:

Other than this, things are okay!

Yeah - the pandemic is a scary time to have any kind of medical problem. I hope you can get somewhere with this!

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