Survival

In 1991 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a mastectomy with reconstruction and 9 months of chemo. In 2006 another mastectomy with reconstruction, however no chemo this time. So May 28, 2016, was my 25-year mark. I was fatigued, figured it was work, taking care of my mom etc. Then, one of my breast scars opened. I went to the dermatologist, then a rheumatologist got bounced around, meanwhile, my WBC was going up. So I went to see an oncologist, who ordered labs, then a bone marrow biopsy. When I went for results, he said, good and bad.

What is the good news?

The good news is you are being admitted to the hospital at 8 am tomorrow, bad is you have MCL stage 4. I thought this is it. My mom had passed away the week prior, what else can I take? I survived. I have been ok for a year, but my mental status, losing my job, friends etc. I am home alone during the day. Sometimes I go out, but crowds scare me. If someone coughs or sneezes, I figure I am going to get it. This is why I am home. Plus I fall a lot from neuropathy. I survived, but worry about when and where it’s going to come back.

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Comments

View Comments (8)
  • Ann Harper moderator
    6 days ago

    I’m so sorry you’re going through so much. I will say a prayer that your neuropathy gets better and the cancer doesn’t come back.

  • Crystal Harper moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi Joy. First, I want to say how happy I am to hear that you’re once again in remission! Also I want to say that I can 100% relate to what you’re going through with life after cancer. In many ways, dealing with the aftermath of treatment was harder than the treatment itself! I wrote a post about this exact topic not too long ago and I wanted to pass on the link so you know you’re not alone. Wishing you all the best as you continue to search for your “new normal” and please know we are all here for you! https://blood-cancer.com/living/surviving-survivorship/

  • joy author
    6 months ago

    Daniel, Thank you. You made me feel a little better with your comments.
    Joyce

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    6 months ago

    @joy Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is filled with emotions and situations that I have experienced myself when dealing with my lymphoma. I did not get neuropathy that badly, but I did experience it in my fingers, and since I am a writer here on this site and other places, well, that was just about the exact luck that I expected. Keep on keepin’ on, Daniel P. Malito.

  • joy author
    6 months ago

    I have neuropathy in on finger. It acts up some days. How do you do your job if your a writer? I worked in healthcare, but after being on chemo for 8 months I was terminated since I still could not have patient contact. I was to emotional and sick to fight it. I worked for 15 years for this hospital.
    I worry every ache and pain. I have had pain in my lower abdomen going to my back all week, and a new deformity in my wrist, seeing orthopedic today, see oncologist next week.
    Keep up your good deeds. Joyce Gass

  • Ann Harper moderator
    6 days ago

    Hopefully the neuropathy in your fingers will get better so you can continue with your writing pain free.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi Joy,
    I’m lucky to only have a light neuropathy sensation in my left thumb. It’s not a constant thing, so that’s where the luck comes into play. I think that’s horrible losing your employment! I send you positive energy as you get through this emotionally, mentally, and physically. Let us know how you make out at your appointments. Best!

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    6 months ago

    @joy That’s a raw deal, I’m sorry to hear that. I totally understand not being able to fight because you used up all your fight to beat cancer and get through chemo. It’s probably why I didnt even notice my wife was doing things that should have told me she was leaving. I also get worrying about all the new aches and pains – I’ve been in the ER three times now thinking my heart was getting another attack when it was just simple, harmless, PVCs. It’s just a normal symptom of having a serious illness – you’ll find a way to live with it, even though it never fully goes away. You WILL find a way through to a new life that looks like something you never thought of before. Trust me. The journey just looks impossible because there’s so many hills to climb, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a finish line, just cause you can’t see it now. :). Keep on keepin’ on, Daniel P. Malito

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