RobertR_ACS's Journey with Cancer

Family/Friend: Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 16 years ago, Female, Age: 79, Stage I

  1. 1
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Got the call one evening several years ago, hearing the words you never want to hear from a loved one. "I have cancer." In this case, it was my mother who had a small tumor detected by her routine mammogram. She hadn't called me right way, but had waited until she knew the severity. Her breast cancer was non aggressive and slow moving...with a good prognosis. So, on the continuums of "Oh No"s it was the best that could be hoped for.

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  2. 2
    over 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    So from the perspective of a non-daily care-giver, the results of the radiation were not as severe initially as I feared they might be. Over time, Mom experienced some localized burning, soreness, and fatigue. While likely not directly related to the radiation itself, she also became quite sad an in need of familial support, which, of course, we were happy to provide.

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    over 5 years ago
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    Tamoxifin

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    As I recall, Mom spent some considerable time trying to decide whether to take this drug or not because of some of the potential side effects. As it turns out those side effects did not manifest, but she couldn't know that at the time. Because of her stage of life she may have been a candidate for estrogen therapy for other non-cancer related issues, but since that was contraindicated for her type of cancer she initially had to deal with hot flashes and depression.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    over 5 years ago
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    Depression medicine

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    To help combat the combined issues of Hot Flashes and Depression, Mom was prescribed Effexor. This drug took a bit of time before its full effect was seen, but it did provide substantial relieve to these symptoms and helped improve her quality of life significantly. Eventually, she needed/wanted to wean herself from the Effexor and the process for doing that was neither easier or harder than doing so for any other mood stabilizer. It required support from family and friends, but she got through that as well.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  5. 5
    almost 6 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    In supporting my mother through her Breast Cancer treatment, I found that her specific combination of circumstances made it difficult to find others with whom she could discuss her journey. WhatNext will provide her the opportunity to share that journey and hopefully prevent the next "her" from feeling so alone.

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