Trying to describe my feelings when I was first diagnosed is impossible. To cast my mind back to that day is almost too painful as in some way life changed forever. Life would never be the same, I thought. But I was wrong….. life did get back to ‘normal’ and although the ‘seed’ of breast cancer had been sown in my body, I was able to continue with my life as I had known it before.
All the physical signs of the harsh chemical agents began to wear off and although a few aches and pains from tamoxifen, I was ALIVE.
I had opted for a ‘lumpectomy’ followed my radiation as my surgeon assured me that the risks, in my case, were the same as having a mastectomy. The ravages of radiation and surgery were evident but they were so unimportant at the time. My son was 15 and studying hard for exams and all I wanted to do was maintain some kind of ‘status quo’ for him. I had brought him up alone and the news was devastating……. all I could do was think of him and I would feel sick inside.
I am not sure if he internalised his feelings, but we put up a brave fight and soldiered through all the treatments, even painting his bedroom a rather bright coloured orange!! I was determined to show how strong I was and continued to work as much as I could throughout. ( teacher) I felt full of self pity, anger and resentment and harnessed these to help me battle through.
I now realise that perhaps the first time round was a ‘wake up call’ …….. a knock at the door of my life to make some long awaited changes that were making me so unhappy. I did not listen or act.
This time round……….. I am