Cancer Decisions – Choices and Life

Good Morning Everyone,

Spring is waking up slowly in Seattle, and this is early for us!  I can tell because my beautiful Sheltie is starting to shed her undercoat which never happens till late March.  I am so glad its coming!

I am grateful for many things, and seeing spring come is definitely one of them.

I forgot my password, and could not even get into my account to post an update.  Forgetting things has definitely been a problem for me the month of January.  I have figured out that I need a set of tools to deal with this.  Starting with a list everyday, is helping.  Keeping the list handy with a pen, is even better because if I don’t write it down then I forget!! LOL  I also have a calendar close by.  I could keep it online, but then I would have to find it…

Sometimes having anesthesia will temporarily do this to you, and I hope its temp!!  And I had it three times, so go figure!

One area that I get concerned about, is early cancer and the crap people do or do not tell patients about.  Mostly its do.  There are sites where supposedly RNs are giving advice, and I know some of this advice is not entirely correct.

My Advice:  Stay positive but stay smart. 

Do what’s best for your body and your life, using your oncologist’s input, and have your family help if they will.  Now, I hear the groans from them; but remember your loved one is probably on pain meds, overly stressed, and not sure what to do.  Hopefully family members are ‘present’ and a help to the patient.  They need help, or at least a discussion, to help with a decision.  Don’t be afraid to say anything. We are all in this together.  The patient can still make up their own mind, and that’s okay.

I will give you an example, for me.  I was on pain meds from the first decision to have a lumpectomy.  It wasn’t clear margins, so of course they want to do another lumpectomy, and get clear margins.  No, that did not work either.  So I had a few weeks to make a decision, which was terrifying me and I was on pain meds, and anti anxiety medication.  Gosh, is that a good time to make a life choice?  To decide to lose part of your body?

Now, shut up and don’t tell me well ‘you already made the decision and you just live with it’.  I know that. That is not what I am talking about.   But maybe it will help somebody else to know – to ask for help, in making this decision.  Not just feel like you are left out there, in the fog to make this decision.  I wouldn’t change what I did.  But my decision was partially based on the fact they said if I had lumpectomy, I had to do radiation….even if it was three lumpectomies.  For my early  stage BC, I could have decided not to do that.  It is a lot of decision making to do while under extreme pressure.

I can tell you that my experience is that there are a lot of choices. Having somebody close to you that helps with the decision is nice, but again, ultimately it is your choice.  You have to live with these results!

And nobody tells you, at the time, how you are going to feel about your body when it is missing a major part.  And how long it is going to take to recover.  That is another whole story which is individual and when I feel physically and mentally able, I will write about that.

I am glad that I have a high self-esteem.  I might have a missing breast, but I am a nice person, contribute to society, work hard and enjoy my life.  Cancer does change you forever, but it certainly can be for the better. I don’t see all of that YET, because I am so new.  But I can tell you that after surviving a major car accident in 1998, and breaking two vertebrae in my neck which resulted in my developing type 2 diabetes – it was one of the best ending results…I cleaned up my diet.  I can do better.  I paid attention to life and have kept side effects under control for 15 years.  I am not on insulin yet, but that wouldn’t be the worst thing either because it works to control blood levels, whereas pills work but are not as swift.

And I promised to mention a word about family…which has a wide definition.  And I hope my family is listening.  I feel that each of us in this situation did what we could do.  If  you did nothing, that is fine too.  This was my journey, and each of you did what you could do, and for that I am grateful.  Even if it was nothing, I let it go.  I might have needed nothing at that time.  So don’t think I am beating you up in my head somewhere, for what you may or may not have done….because I am not. I love you for who you are and where you are, and I am okay with it.

We need to all cut each other some slack!  :)   It is OK.

So I have survived a lot of things in my life, death of my best friend Olga, boyfriend Barry and Mike before that, diabetes, and now breast cancer!  I am survivor, whether I get three years or 20. I am going to live that time to the best of my ability, with what I have, and love my friends and family to the best of my ability, and let the rest go like a bunch of filled balloons floating off to the heavens.

Have a great day!


About Bonnie

Breast Cancer survivor owned by one old Shelty and a 3 pound Yorkie named Mimzy!
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