• Has anything caused you to recall those hidden memories of that "dark period" between diagnosis & first visit with surgeon or oncologist?

    Asked by JennyMiller on Friday, December 28, 2012

    Has anything caused you to recall those hidden memories of that "dark period" between diagnosis & first visit with surgeon or oncologist?

    I watched a Movie on Lifetime called "Living Aloud". It is about a woman who is diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Watching the movie caused me to recall memories that I had hidden away & as I watched the movie, I found it hard to believe that I actually experienced these events - waiting for that phone call where minutes seem like hours -- answering the call with butterflies in my tummy -- the phone frozen to my ear hearing the words I dreaded -- the whole room becoming blurry -- my immediate entry into the "twilight zone" of the cancer world -- feeling so alone and separated -- telling family & friends something that I did not believe myself -- trying to make light of it to convince myself that it was going to be okay -- huddled on the couch getting butterflies every time I would think "I have cancer" and then make the butterflies go away by thinking about survivors that I heard about -- laying awake in the dark crying & trying to muffle it so I don't wake my husband- SUCH A DARK TIME!

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      Actually, on Christmas Day, I was visiting with some friends who live out of town and my friend and I started talking about last Christmas when they had also been in town. I had forgotten what exactly we had chatted about last year but I knew I was waiting for my biopsy which was scheduled for Dec 30. She said that when we were sitting by the pool chatting, I told her "I cannot have cancer!" I had been through the loss of the last 2 family members the year before and another serious medical issue. And I felt like I just couldn't handle it if I had cancer. I just started crying because of course it ended up that I did have cancer. But I had surgery, went through chemo and my scans were clear in September. It brought back so many painful memories but also made me realize how far I have come.

      over 4 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Due to family history, I was expecting to hear the diagnosis of cancer at some point. I looked at it not so much as a threat, but as one of life's challenges which remained in the future. Later, I found an enlarged lymph node behind my left ear. Something told me that this was "it." Yet, my my diagnosis was not to arrive for almost three months. My brand new primary physician gave me anti-anxiety meds, apparently believing that I was imagining things. My diagnosis did not arrive even after both excisional and bone marrow biopsies, since the pathology lab missed the malignancy. If there was such a period in my journey, it was the frustration and bewilderment, as I was told that neither biopsy showed cancer. Yet, I was quickly worsening, with B symptoms. DW made an appointment at a major research facility, where I was quickly diagnosed with an inoperable blood cancer. The only surgeon after that was 83 year old Dr. Robert Hickman, who implanted the port in my chest. This was like an episode of Twilight Zone, in which I knew that something horrible was happening, but could not convince anyone of it. It was like being accidentally locked in a padded cell while on a tour of a psychological facility, then not being able to convince anyone that you did not belong there. Yet, 4 1/2 years later, all has come out far better than expected.

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I used to cry much more (actually I can't cry) for anything related to BC....I remember watching the movie "I wore lipstick to my mastectomy)....I had tears streaming down my face......I guess I just "don't go there"!!

      over 4 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      Visiting places this year that I had been to last year between diagnosis and surgery. One place was a high end home decorating store that always had great Christsmas displays. Went back this year to see their Christmas displays and was hit by the memory of being there last year with an oxygen tank and in a wheelchair and thinking it was making a memory with and for a friend. (Can't say I like that store anymore.) It was more a twilight zone than a scary place.

      over 4 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      I wrote in my journal every day of my journey and I go back and read it from time to time. I still write in it but no longer daily. I never want to forget those days. I don't want to relive the feelings - they were intense, painful, joyful, overwhelming and I don't really want to endure all that emotion again. But a year down the road, the memories are still there, fresh, but the feelings have faded. I find I can now look back and remember the way I felt. I can remember in a way that makes me feel I am watching myself. And I can feel sympathy and caring for that "Cancer Girl" as I think of myself then. I can now embrace her, love her, and include her in who I am. That Cancer Girl was brave, endured a lot of pain, kept her sense of humor and protected her loved ones from the worst of her experiences. I am glad I got to know this part of me that otherwise I would never have known existed.
      Fight On,

      over 4 years ago
    • CountryGirl's Avatar

      I went to see We Bought a Zoo with my children, 11and 12, and started bawling as soon as I figured out the mom was dead. Two years had passed since my diagnosis, since I sat at work crying, wondering if I would live to see my kids graduate from high school with the words "malignant" and "aggressive" looping through my mind like a carnival ride. The movie, WeBought a Zoo, brought the moment back.

      I cried the entire film--loud, sniffling, uncontrolled sobs.

      During one of my treatments, a therapist walked through the infusion room to speak to a patient who had expressed difficulty dealing with the emotions that come with a diagnosis. I asked her what she says to a patient like me. She said, it is similar to treating war veterans--we have faced our mortality, pulled through with scars and sometimes disfigurement, and are separated from the mainstream because of our experiences. This statement helped me deal with my emotions frequently and, to me, explain the strange triggers and flashbacks that sometimes send us in a tailspin.

      over 4 years ago

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