SharonD's Journey:

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 7 years ago, Female, Age: 69, Stage I, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Shock and fear. I was terrified. I called my children. Not my mother--she couldn't handle it. My husband was very supportive. My doctor gave me his wife's surgeon. But how do you swallow such a concept as cancer?

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  2. 2
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had family with me, but I felt so very alone.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    As you feel the chemicals that save you and poison you at the same time go through your body, it is very hard. The nurses and techs were great, but the awfulness was a little overwhelming. I had pain and nausea after each treatment. I slept a lot. I lost my hair. That was pretty traumatic. But the chemo, as bad as it was, worked, and I'm feeling fine now.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Radiation sucks! The technicians were wonderful, but the treatment, although not painful while they are doing it, resulted in burning and irritation. I couldn't even bear to have a t shirt touch my breast. But I guess it worked. I'm healthy now.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    I was tired, depressed, moody, weepy, and I guess angry. On the outside to strangers and even to friends I acted like I was okay.

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  6. 6
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    SharonD's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    I hated losing my hair. I missed it terribly. Losing it was pretty horrible. I was bald! Bald! Bald! I got good at wearing wigs and faking how much it really bothered me. You can get cheap wigs at local wig shops. Don't buy the expensive ones. I had a wig for every mood--short, long, curly, straight. Wigs kept me sane. My hair is growing back now. It's not like it was before, but it's all mine.

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  7. 7
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    SharonD's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    Your whole body is a soldier against the disease. It hurts as it fights. It gets better. Really it does.

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  8. 8
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    SharonD's Avatar

    Other

    Celebration

    I never really had a celebration. I feel like I should have. My hair is coming back, however.

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  9. 9
    • SharonD
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    SharonD's Avatar

    to help someone else

    Decision Point

    I decided when I was nearing the end of this journey that I would try to help the next person who needed encouragement. I got lots of help and support from women who had gone through it ahead of me. I want to do the same. Writing this, however, has made me realize that I'm not really over the emotional side of this battle. I need help too.

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