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how do you ladies do it? how do you ladies do it?

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  #1  
Unread 08-29-2002, 06:36 AM
how do you ladies do it?

i need some guidence on how to get through and go on day to day with all this cancer garbage hanging over my head. i'm not sure i'm "allowed" to post here...brief history...mom died of breast cancer, only blood aunt died of lung cancer, grandmother-lung cancer, great aunt-colon cancer. me- 6 yrs ago a breast calcification was found and is being monitored, last year an ovarian tumor (hence hysterectomy/bso/cervix) that turned out to be benign, last week basal cell skin cancer found on my face, today i have a 3"cut on my cheek and a black eye from surgery. i just need help not living in doom and gloom...every time i have a biopsy i swear i'll die of a heart attack waiting for the results. i am having a full body scan next week to see if i have skin cancer anywhere else. how do you ladies do it? cynthia
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  #2  
Unread 08-29-2002, 08:15 AM
how do you ladies do it?

Hi Cynthia,

Some days it was/is hard, but every day you just take one day at a time! For me, it was a wake up call about what is important in my life! My GYN/Oncologist also told me to remain positive and be upbeat, because it really helps. I tried to heed his advice, and I do think that it has helped me.

The ladies here refer to what you describe as "Cancer Head". To a lesser degree, I've experienced that while I wait for test results or post-cancer PAP results. I think it is normal to feel that anxiety, but perhaps it would be a good thing to talk with a counselor if you feel this anxiety/doom and gloom all the time. I guess our emotions have to come out in order for us to feel better!


Hang in there! 's
  #3  
Unread 08-29-2002, 09:35 AM
how do you ladies do it?

Cynthia,
It's a pain in the neck. I don't really feel fear but, I do feel dread. I pretty much trick my brain to view things differently. Like you, my family has cornered the market on cancer and it obviously flows through families. Because I know this, I am prepared. I know to get tested, to insist on further testing. Cancer caught early is cancer that is curable. Because I've had cancer, I get great medical care - very proactive which enhances that early detection. Early detection makes me feel lucky.

Fourteen years ago, a calcification was found in each of my breasts. I never allow "let's keep an eye on it for 6 months". I insisted on a biopsy. One breast showed errant cells, but extremely pre-cancerous. The surgeon who specializes in women's breast surgery only, removed all the area and that's all I needed. The other breast was fine. For three years after that I had breast exams with this doctor and the more in depth mammograms. Never had another problem occur.

Because I know my history, I insisted on a uterine biopsy when I started spotting. Again - cancer caught early, cancer curable. One of the tricks is to use "expert" care - a surgeon who specializes in women's breasts and a gynocological oncologist. They really do make a difference and can better deal with things and advise you than an internist or gyn.

Because of this, I live my life differently. I don't sweat the small stuff, feel energized very easily, share more with my family and make sure I get to do some of the things that make me happy. I definitely march to a different drummer.

Hang in there. If you feel doomed all the time, you should definitely see a counselor. It helps to put it in perspective.
s
Laura
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  #4  
Unread 08-29-2002, 04:47 PM
how do you ladies do it?

s Cynthia

It sounds like you are still very close to your basal cell carcinoma diagnosis. I think initially every person with a cancer diagnosis is stunned and dazed. I know I sure was. But only for a week. There was just too much to learn.
How do we do it? We probably all have a different answer. But the main reason would be quite simple. We have no choice. Life goes on. And we don't want it to go on without us. So we do what we have to do.
Eleanor Roosevelt said "Courage is doing what you have to do, inspite of great fear." Over the past 16 months I've repeated that phrase to myself many times. I do live life more fully. Truly appreciating waking up each and everyday. I have also met so many exceptional women. Who have each in their own way added so much to my life. It's also great to know how much your family and friends love and cherish you. But if I had a choice, I'd take back life before cancer in a mini second.
Best wishes to you.

karenann
  #5  
Unread 08-29-2002, 04:49 PM
how do you ladies do it?

Hi--

The best advice that was given to me is to take things one day at a time. If a day seems like too much to handle, then take things an hour at a time, 10 minutes at a time, or whatever you can handle. This is not a time to feel guilty about your feelings -- you are going through a lot right now and cancer is a scary thing -- my therapist has told me numerous times that it would be abnormal NOT to be have these feelings. I also have a lot of faith in God -- I truly feel that things are in His hands and I am allowing Him to guide me through life. I have a quote up at my desk at work that says "God never promised that life would be easy, but He promised that He will be with you every step of the way" and I truly believe that.

Love,

Cyndy
  #6  
Unread 08-29-2002, 05:26 PM
how do you ladies do it?

Hi Cynthia..
This whole cancer thing is a real pain but taking it day by day helps. I also found that making long term plans helps me. That way i always have something to look forward to.
Hang in there and do not dwell on things... It does get better.
Rosalie
  #7  
Unread 08-29-2002, 05:46 PM
how do you ladies do it?

HI, S

I THINK EVERYONE IS SHOCKED WHEN THEY ARE TOLD THEY HAVE CANCER. YOU ALSO WORRY ALOT WAITING FOR TEST RESULTS AND THAT'S THE BIGGEST HEADACHE , I THINK!!!
AFTER THE INITIAL SHOCK , YOU DO ACCEPT THINGS FOR WHAT THEY ARE AND GO ON. IT'S ALWAYS SCARRY AND TRUTHFULLY I NEVER STOP BEING SCARED, I JUST PUT IT OUT OF MY MIND AND TRY TO KEEP BUSY.
THERE IS A SAYING IN THE BIBLE, I CAN'T QUOTE EXACTLY BUT, JESUS SAID " CAN YOU ADD ONE MORE MINUTE TO YOUR LIFE BY WORRYING??"
I THINK OF THIS SAYING OFTEN.
  #8  
Unread 09-04-2002, 06:56 AM
how do you ladies do it?

thank you ladies for your replies. i am emotionally feeling better and i think the initial shock is wearing off. i was supposed to have my stitches out yesterday but i developed a hematoma that was drained (ugh) and they will try again of fri. to remove the stitches. still have my lovely black eye and many delightful colors on my face .

DARE--- where would i find a dr. that specializes in breast surgery? i used to live in massachusetts near a great hospital that was monitering my calcification, but i moved to florida and they only seem to think i need mammograms once a year with no magnifications...so this does make me nervous and i know i would feel better if i was monitored more closely.

as you can see i'm still cancer obsessed...i don't seem to know where the balance is between checking on things or being compulsive looking for problems...sigh.

well once again, thank you for your replies. love, cynthia
  #9  
Unread 09-04-2002, 09:19 AM
Breast specialist

Cynthia,
This doctor was recommended to me by my internist. Also, after going to her, every woman I talked to who had breast surgery all went to this doctor. She's amazing. One of her med school professors asked her to join his practice.

Why don't you call the hospital near you and ask to speak to the chief nurse in surgery. Whenever a surgeon is recommended to me, I call the hospital where they operate and ask to speak to the head surgery nurse. If she/he raves about the DR, good deal. If she/he says all their surgeons are good, I'd look some more. Fortunately, I've never had to look more.

If you know any nurses, ask them. They always know what's going on.

Good luck.s
Laura
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