This is a very nice essay sent to me by a woman who attends my post treatment support group. Her thought was that it might be encouraging for others, closer to treatment, to read. I agree. I also know that we all move forward at our own pace, that some days/weeks/months are harder than others, and that there is always a thin ledge between feeling secure and panic. Here is the start and then a link to read more:
This entry was written by Linda Oken. Linda, a dedicated LBBC volunteer, also blogs regularly about her quality-of-life experiences:
Remembering … or NOT
As that time of my life moves further in the past, I find that I have forgotten so many details of what the experience of treatment was like. Starting from the day of the biopsy, the next 7 months of my life included diagnosis of my triple negative breast cancer, then lumpectomy surgery, followed by more than 6 weeks of daily radiation and 6 months of twice a month chemotherapy. All of that was more than 11 years ago!!
Those 7 months came with a lot of anxiety, fatigue, side effects, discomfort and worry. As I focused on each decision (lumpectomy or mastectomy? chemo or no chemo? where to go for treatment?) I read and learned all I could in order to make an informed decision at every step. My mind was filled with information overload. I called it "All this stuff I never wanted to know about." Often I would wake up in the middle of the night and review the overwhelming amount of info in order to make the next decision, and hope that it would be the right one for me at the time, and for my future.
But today, if you were to ask me about what absorbed me so completely in those days, I am no longer able to remember many of the details. What was the name of that medication I had to take exactly every 6 hours for 3 days after each round of chemo? Who knows anymore? And at this point, why should I care? Because now, if I were to have a recurrence or a new cancer, a lot of what I experienced 11 years ago would be irrelevant today. So much has changed.