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    Ddancer posted an update

    I've been away - trying to make sense of it all. A year has come and gone. Chemo is done, surgery for BC is done, cancer gone, going to wear a prosthetic, and the 33 radiation treatments which burned me pretty bad are done, but I'm getting over it.

    Not too happy about the range of motion I've lost in my left arm/shoulder being a dancer and all, but I continue to work on massage and exercise hoping it will be alright one day.

    Yes, I lost my eyebrows, etc, did keep my hair, but not the length, cold cap therapy helped there.

    Went through a few months of depression (probably should have kept talking to you all) so went and talked to nurses, a mental health nurse, group meetings, even a traditional medicine man to try and me find myself - who I am. I felt I lost myself, my identity.

    One nurse said basically "get on with your life - I have a new one and what am I going to do with it" or do I want to stay living with the old one. Been given a gift, another chance.

    A new life for sure! I did find my spirit again and my husband and I are going to celebrate (plannng a get away in May).

    There is a line in the movie, Shawshank Redemption: "Get busy living or get busy dying". I DID IT EVERYONE AND SO CAN YOU, BUT I DID NOT DO IT ALONE! TALK TO PEOPLE AND TAKE THAT NEXT STEP! All the best to each and every one. DC

    • goodbyegirls' Avatar

      I was diagnosed a year ago (my second bc diagnosis) and am still having a hard time. Lost my waist length hair, both breasts and my job of 17 years. My severe scoliosis got much more painful with the stress of chemo. My daughter came home and helped during chemo (I am so grateful!) and has now moved back to a city 850 miles away (I miss her). My amazing, supportive husband is suffering from depression which he has had problems with for his whole life. We are way over our heads in debt, even though we always have lived frugally. People I worked with for years aren't interested in keeping in touch. It takes time to move on.

      I try to focus on the positive. I'm healing well from the chemo and surgery. Yoga helped me with range of motion. I am collecting disability, which is a big help even if not as much as I was earning. I actually like my hair short, it's so easy to care for it and people like how it looks. The boss who fired me (after telling me my job would be waiting for me when I felt better) has left me open for other possibilities. I'm squeezing these lemons for lemonade as hard as I can! It's not a linear process, there will be strides forward and set-backs, but life is a process and change is inevitable even without serious illness. We have to decide how we will accept and work with the change. And we need to give ourselves time to grieve and then move forward.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Ddancer's Avatar

      Goodbyegirls - I'm with you on the yoga! It saved me, I'm serious! The instructors were wonderful and still are. Helped me along, put up with my tears and even catered a class or two for me while I was wearing those drainage bags! I still go 1-2 times a week to help my mind and body. Never thought I would. KEEP AT IT!

      I still have bad days GBG. . . .really don't care for how I look, my hair was to my knees, up in a bun for dance mostly, but I was proud of it - all my sisters have long hair and it's gone. Think I miss that more than my breast! Grieving, yes, that will still happen, how can it not, but how we handle it is something we can handle. Just shed tears, again, being frustrated with my range of motion. . . . talked it out with my husband, did some massage on myself and went to yoga!

      Just told a colleague today that we pay the bills that will keep us in our home and stuff with interest, and the doctors will get paid when they get it, so we do what we can a little at a time. What else can we do. . . . but do what we can when we can.

      Sounds like you have a great husband too GBG - I'm so glad for you. MAKE THE TIME to do things together; we play cards, watch movies, he helps me now in the kitchen - wow things get done faster done together and we just sit and talk in the morning while watching the birds.
      Spent many hours doing what you just mentioned, deciding our next steps, what we can and can't do right now - things will change, again, but what can we do now.

      Also sounds like you have a loving family. Let them know what you need. Another patient in What Next talked about being tired of being asked how "we are". Well, I told people when I needed help and I got it.

      My huband SAVED extra $ he made this past year making and selling his knives - he's a bladesmith, so that's how we are doing that. Is there a better way to use the $ . . . . ? probably, pay some bills, but my poor husband wants to go and be with me no matter how I look so we are going. He put up with so much.. . . . all my tears and moods and pain. . . . . .

      I'm going on and on GBG. . . . hopefully I helped a little. Keep in touch if you like, if you need me! DC

      almost 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Happy you have found a way to move on. Now try to enjoy the rest of your life. That's a good quote to live by, "Get busy living, or get busy dying".

      almost 4 years ago
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    Ddancer asked a questionBreast Cancer

    Radiation side effects

    10 answers
    • little_fut's Avatar

      I'm begining my third week of rads, my nipple hurts and I'm tired, but compared to chemo....this is a walk in the park. Although I've noticed the last few days I having difficult time with thinking and my speech is slightly "off", but that may be coming from my M.S. not the cancer. Also feeling very sensitive...depressed maybe, but just knowing this may be side effects makes me feel a little better. ok, I forgot what I wanted to say to you. Sorry. Good luck to you.

      about 4 years ago
    • Julie99's Avatar

      I still was dealing with chemo fatigue when I started radiation in June until July 25th (28 treatments). I had learned to manage the chemo fatigue by working around it but found a different fatigue with radiation. Just heading there every day was exhausting for me. Just over a week out and I'm now starting to get more energy but I still hit that wall when I do too much.

      The burns started during week 3 and by week 4 I had to stop wearing a bra all together. My skin is still itchy but mostly getting better. It got a bit worse after radiation ended. I use Aquapure with a prescription of Liodocane for the itching and to moisturize the entire area. Still not wearing a bra until the area is completely healed.

      Just remember that everyone is different and to listen to your body.

      about 4 years ago
    • janstar47's Avatar

      Everybody IS different but similar in reactions. I did great on Rads. I did not have the fatigue many mention. A lil tired I guess but I truly was able to deal with the slight redness and using the Aquaphor each day a couple of times WORKED great. You can't have any of that on WHEN you go for radiation tho. MD Anderson oncology recommended that along with a couple other lotion/ointment treatments. Radiologist - that's who recommended it. When the sunburn began to heal you will get an itch. I bought Aloe lotion at Whole Foods. And put it in the refrigerator. Boy, that cold lotion felt so good and hushed up that itch. I pray you do just great. Blessings, Janstar

      about 4 years ago