Thursday, July 23, 2009

One year ago today

One year ago today I was diagnosed with breast cancer! It is hard for me to believe that a whole year has gone by. I clearly remember how overwhelming it is when you first learn you have cancer and you are not in control of the situation. Doctors, surgeons,appointments, biopsies, oncologists, surgery or no surgery?, lumpectomy or mastectomy? and chemotherapy. I have gone through 4 surgeries in the past year, 6 chemo treatments, two of which failed, countless visits to Hotel Froedert, my oncologist and plastic surgeon and weeks of feeling like crap. At the time I had thought time had stood still. I was bald, boobless and feeling pretty ugly. Now it seems somewhat long ago.

Today my health is excellent, probably better than before. I walk, run and have just started biking again. I exercise almost daily! I have lost almost 15 pounds in the past year. I have boobs! I have hair again! My next surgery will be in October when the soft tissue expanders are removed and the real implants are put in.
My days are now filled with work, family, exercise and staying healthy and fighting my now curly hair! And I love it!

My life has changed but for the better. I can truly say that "life is short" don't waste a minute of it. I wouldn't wish this path in the road for anyone. It takes a toll on you both physically and emotionally. You will either play the cards you are dealt with and move on or let cancer overtake you and beat you up. This journey has taught me about true friendship, love and support,hope and faith, patience and motivation.

I believe I am a better person because of having had cancer!


Joan S said...


Congrats on surviving this year. I have followed your blog and it is great to seeing you doing so well. Hope to see you soon.

Cathy said...

Wow - well said Gail. You've remained so upbeat throughout all this - I admire you and love you with all my heart!

Koolcat said...

Gail - You have put into words my exact feelings. I was diagnosed 2 years ago on 7/31 and I dealt with the cards same as you. Thank you for putting into words what so many other survivors feel. You are an inspiration to us all. Glad you are doing well. Perhaps you could "inspire" me to lose the 35 lbs. I gained during treatments - LOL

God Bless You - Cathy Cooley, Bryan,OH

Anonymous said...

Congrats, on one year! I agree with you that cancer has made me a better person and life is short, so we all need to embrace and enjoy! You have a great way with words, and I am glad we met through Sara and cancer. Have a fabulous day, and good weekend!

Netherfieldmom said...

Yea! I'm so glad I checked in on you--what a coincidence!! Congratulations--your blog has been a boost for me many times. Just so you know, the implants are much nicer than the expanders. I'm much happier with my look now. Thanks for being a sister in the trenches!

Sara said...

Gail - Happy Cancerversary! I'm so glad we celebrated last week.

Anonymous said...


Cristl said...


I am not sure if you remember me but I met you online when you were dx last year almost exactly the same time as me. Mine was 6/25/008. My year has also been full of chemo, surgeries, treatments, etc. I love your blog and your positive attitude inspires me. I am so happy you are in a better place this year!! I wish you the best of the years to come!