Category Archives: (3) Making decisions

When do I get to say, I had breast cancer?

So I did it. Yesterday, on my birthday of all days, I started taking tamoxifen. This is a medication that blocks your body’s production of estrogen – which is what was feeding my cancer. It is interesting, as the information package talks about how the medication is used to treat breast cancer. It is used to… Read More »

Celebrating my boob job and cancer language

Several women in the breast cancer blogosphere have commented on how inappropriate it is to say to someone with breast cancer that “at least you get a free boob job” or any variant thereof (see Reconstruction after breast cancer: It’s not a boob job). I agree. If you have never had breast cancer, you really… Read More »

Ups and Downs

Healing is full of ups and downs. One day you are doing really well, and then then next, not so much. Saturday I really over did it. I walked over 5km, then went to two support groups (so sitting for 4 hours). To top that off, I tried to taper my overnight pain meds …… Read More »

Denial can be a very powerful ally at times like these!

I shall be undergoing major surgery in less than 48-hours. Just before support group on Saturday, it occurred to me that the whole idea of surgery has become normalized for me. Within the breast cancer community, we often talk about surgery as if it were a ‘normal’ occurrence. After being immersed into the community for… Read More »

New energy means renewed ability to get stressed …

My energy returns and I’m stuck with the daunting task of prioritizing all the things on my to do list – all those things that I’ve been avoiding or just plain not doing because I could not concentrate, or did not have the energy. Now I’m finding myself so crazy overwhelmed with a to do… Read More »

Flyin’

Today will be my first post-surgery flight. I didn’t leave it too long  … it has only been a week since surgery. In the surgery, I had a sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) on both sides (bilateral). If I were to listen to the rhetoric on the various breast cancer support group sites, I should… Read More »

Ya, no …

Ya, no … That is pretty much what I thought when the resident on call suggested a catheter with a pee bag attached to my leg for the next week or so. I don’t think she really heard me right. I said I was having difficulty urinating, but I am still doing it! There is… Read More »

My first clinical trial

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I discovered that many people in cancer treatment participate in clinical trials. I wanted my experience to be meaningful, so wanted to participate in research in some way. Unfortunately, the bilateral nature of my disease meant that I didn’t qualify for a trial relating to chemotherapy (which… Read More »

Social media and patient engagement – #medx

Recently, I noticed a transition in my face-to-face support group – in that I’ve transition from the newbie going through treatment to the experienced breast cancer patient who can answer various questions about chemotherapy. A friend sent me a book (which I recommend ‘Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips‘), which has some great advice for those with… Read More »

Temper tantrums

Yesterday, I felt like a two year old having a temper tantrum. I don’t wanna! I screamed to myself as tears dripped down my eyes. I got a call from the surgery scheduler. They were awaiting word from my oncologist about chemo scheduling. After talking they conferred with my oncologist, I got word that the plan… Read More »