Year of first diagnosis: 2003
Kind of cancer: breast cancer metastasized to bones
What was my initial reaction? I didn’t think it was a big deal. I thought, “OK, what do I have to do to get rid of it?” The doctor told me. I said, “Really? That sucks.” I really didn’t put much worry into it. No one in my family had cancer. I thought, “Oh, I have to have surgery and chemo and radiation after. Let’s get this over with so I can go back to normal daily life.” So I did what I had to do. I didn’t think much about it until the cancer came back six months later. Then I felt the reality of it. I finally faced the horrible fear of cancer. When it started slowing me down, that’s what affected me the most. More chemo. More radiation. When will it stop?
When the doctor told me at first that my cancer was not curable, only controllable, I didn’t seem to understand the reality of cancer, until it kept coming back and back. More radiation, then new chemo treatments. The tumors kept coming back. Now I feel the terrible side effects. I fear it more every day!
My greatest learning experience is that I learned a lot about medicine and the effects it has on a person. Never take your health and the ones you love for granted. Enjoy every minute with your family.
My son and daughter have kept me going all these ten years. I want to see my children grow up, God-willing.
My spirituality has been enhanced. I talk to the Lord more often. He has held my hand and kept me strong.
What would I say to someone who has cancer? Be strong, stay close to your family and God. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Live every minute. There is always someone worse off than you. Enjoy life while you can!