Please, No More Stories or Home Remedies!

I have been bombarded with everyone telling me their personal stories…not really theirs but their mother’s, sister’s, husband’s, best friend’s, wife stories. If it’s personal to them, I love hearing them. If it’s someone else’s story that has been past down, I’ll pass. I think it’s helpful to hear from women who have experienced this disease first hand. I’ll listen to survivor stories all day long! However, there is NO “one size fits all” cancer treatment. Every woman is different. And if you haven’t been there, you don’t have a clue.

And food remedies…I have heard them all. Forming eating soy rather than meat, to soy not being good for you if you are ER/PR+ because it mimics estrogen in your body. I know preservatives are not good for me (they are not good your you either). Fresh is better than frozen or canned. And I know what healthy fats are and which ones to stay away from. And I know grapefruits is a “no no” when on Tamoxifen. And my personal chemistry set is nothing like your chemistry set. So what works for you, is not guaranteed to work for me.

Did you know breast cancer is actually 10 different (but that is a subject for another day) diseases? Every breast cancer is different on a molecular level. They will all have different “grades” and “markers” as well as affect each woman differently. There are as many options for treatment as there are types. What may be right for one woman may not be right for another.

I say all this to explain that I don’t want to hear about your great aunt, who died; or your mother-in-law who went through chemo for 6 months and was sick in bed the entire time and it came back. I don’t want to hear about any of your friends, family, or any stories that don’t have a happy ending! Do not tell me!!!! Keep them to yourself. Don’t treat me any different than you did before you learned I had cancer.

I have actually made excuses to leave because I just couldn’t bear to hear another story, or take any more sympathy. I am tired. It’s exhausting when you get to bed and lay there eyes open staring at the ceiling. You toss and turn a while, then you pray, get back up and clean house, watch a little TV, catch up on reading, shop online, (the sandman hates me, so I don’t sleep much) and I just need to be alone.

My life will be irrevocably changed because I’ve been baptized into the fire of cancer. Life itself is always uncertain and we should never take a moment for granted. I’m taking charge NOW….cancer won’t destroy me!

A positive attitude is everything in your fight against cancer (and depressing stories about your friends great-aunt dying is not positive). I believe in the power of prayer and God has given me a peace. He will be with me every step of the way…I already feel His presence. I know that He gives me what I need. I feel confident and ready to do battle with this disease!

Almost three years ago (a week before the breast cancer diagnosis), my thyroid was not quite working as well so now I’m on synthroid (but since taking Tamoxifen, my dose has more than doubled). Weight gain came along with that fun diagnosis. Three weeks later the bone density test show Osteopenia. So, they added calcium and D3 to my already multivitamin and B complex (Alendronate was added after the breast cancer diagnosis). One week later, Mammogram day turned into a week long project with the obvious diagnosis Breast Cancer. And it begins…Tamoxifen and all that goes with it. A Claritin every day to stop the rash, B12 to help prevent mouth sores, Biotin to help stop hair loss. The doctors have turned me into a pill popping fool, don’t try to add more my daily intake!

I know that exercise is important. I try to walk every day, but since it has gotten cold, I have. New set of problems…achy joints and chest muscles contracting until I cry from the pain. I want to start Yoga! I tried it and it is so calming and peaceful, I absolutely loved it (but my feet cramp up in certain positions). Now, I just need to open my schedule and go. Plus it is great for the body, being as there is no warranty on my body parts is wearing out!

I’m listening to my body and taking charge of my care. I have decisions to make, but they’ll be MY decisions….not what others think I should do. Self Care is not the same as being selfish! It’s just vital that I take care of myself in a way that works for me best. It’s requiring new priorities in my life.

Prayer is what I need from everyone. Support and perhaps a little help later on, but right now, I just need prayer.

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