Survivor Does Not Describe Me
I almost feel guilty….I’m NOT a survivor surely. Yes, I had breast cancer, I had 2 outpatient surgeries for lumpectomy and margin revision, and will undergo radiation treatments. Then will take hormone suppressant medications. Does that make me a survivor? I don’t feel like I deserve that term. My cancer was found on a routine mammogram-AND I was 2 years late in getting it done. So when they started with the phone calls, and talking about things like biopsy-I knew what I had. My thoughts were definitely self recriminating–it’s my own damn fault! I should’ve known better, I mean my mom had breast cancer also! I’m a nurse too! I should have been on time with these! When the pathology came back, I was shocked! Not because I had cancer, but because it was caught early, sensitive to hormone and slow growing. Hmm, so guess that means I’ll live I thought! I had not even shared any of the work up with my adults kids-I wanted to wait until I knew what was going on. My husband was somewhat aware of my workup, but not believing anything was even wrong since I do tend to over react most of the time. My oldest daughter had flown in to surprise me for my birthday, and 4 days later we had the very first family meeting to let them know what I knew so far. That was the very hardest thing of this entire process! There were tears, fears, and questions-some I knew the answers to, and some I did not. The surgeries were very easy and uncomplicated. The new lease on life made me realize, well since I’m going to live, guess I should take better care of myself, and immediately went back to the gym and lost 30 LBS-25 more to go though. Radiation will begin next week, and then the oncologist will prescribe the medications I need to prevent this from coming back! None of this makes me feel like I deserve to be called a survivor! I think the survivors are my co-workers, who so kindly have been covering my shifts without complaint, and my family who is willing to listen to me when I want to talk! My son put it aptly- “Mom, you know you found out you are ‘cured” in October – ” yes, son I do, October is breast month! Guess I’m living proof huh? My daughter said, “Mom, you know you found out your margins were clear the day before October?” Yes, I know, and it’s good to know the meaning did not pass my kids up. October is a good month for me. I feel so sorry for woman who are struggling with chemo and just trying to stay alive. I know quite a few who have in my past, and currently are struggling. Prayers for you all who are fighting. You are the survivors-I am just a reminder of early detection success!