Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting Over It!

Does anyone ever "get over it?" I mean does any breast cancer survivor ever really get over it and move on? The question comes to my mind as an early cancer survivor just released from my hospital haven and now going on in the real world. I read so many times on the Susan Komen message boards about women who have had so many health issues related to BC(breast cancer) that prevent them from getting over it. Most people don't realize that with cancer comes a whole lot of other issues. Not only scars from surgery, hair loss and the obvious but other issues that sometimes remain with a person for the rest of their lives. Bone and joint pain, diabetes, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, teeth and gum damage, hot flashes, depression, sexual dysfunction, and loss of self esteem. I read about these issues daily and after reading yet another sad story about another woman facing these realities, I am so thankful that I AM able to move on and get over it. I am really very lucky and thankful that I have no side effects (as of right now) that limit my daily activities of life. Aside from my physical scars and baldness I feel pretty much the way I did before I was diagnosed, except for some hot flashes (and I can live with that). I really truly believe that I have recovered physically and mentally in excellent shape due to the fact that I was very healthy before I headed into the BC world and my positive attitude. I had some bad, bad days, don't get me wrong, but I had more good days than bad and if I did have a bad day I kicked myself in the ass and got back on the bandwagon. I was not going to let cancer beat me, no way! I met with a friend the other day and she asked me "is it sometimes hard to believe that you actually had to go through all of that?" and the answer is "yes" It is hard to believe that six months of my life were on hold until I got through treatment, yet at the time the days seemed long and never ending. Do I think about cancer every day? I think because I am bald and I see myself in the mirror first thing in the morning I am reminded of my cancer, but I really tend to not dwell on it. I ran into a mom at a recent swim meet who had no idea what had gone on in my life over the past few months and she commented on how cute my hair was. I just smiled and said "thanks" I actually did not really feel like going into the whole story. Being a pretty private person, sometimes I would just rather not tell my story. I don't want breast cancer to define me as a person. I am the same person I was before cancer, with just a little more kindness in my heart.

6 comments:

Netherfieldmom said...

You and I must be cut from the same cloth. I was just thinking today that it seems like it didn't really happen, almost. It's over and I'm walking away from it. My breast surgeon said some people just never get past the diagnosis--it becomes their life. Not me, PTL. That's why I had to stop reading BC bulletin boards; lots of bad info and advice and lots of spiraling. I just can't go there and I can't save everyone else from themselves. I'm watching it in my rearview mirror. You go Girl!

Sara said...

Hey Gail,

I too finally feel I can get past this bc crap. I think because I was in treatment for soooooo long, that made it difficult. My lingering health issue have probabaly cropped up sooner rather than later becuase of all of this. However, they are all manageable.

We'll get together soon and I'll get you cuaght up.

Netherfieldmom said...

Hey Gail--I'm reading a book I thought you might want to check out: Anti Cancer, A New Way of Life. VERY interesting by a doctor who discovered his own brain tumor 17 years ago...David Servan Schreiber

Anonymous said...

Gail -

AMEN! Your words are my thoughts! Looking forward to spring and baseball!

Eleni

Anonymous said...

Gail:
Thanks for a wonderful evening. It was great to get together. It was fun to laugh and reflect. You are such a strong, wonderful, caring person and I am honored to know you and be a part of your life.
Sharon

lpschmakl@embarmail.com said...

I am an eight year survivor of BC. Ten years ago a brain tumor. Your words of encouragement were wonderful. I am trying to walk away but it seems to always"nag" me. Thanks for your words.