Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Recovery Phase: A Young Survivor

As much as I would love to have a positive report to give you, I just can't seem to find it in me right now. Let me just start off by saying I have been very fortunate in meeting some really great people through out this journey. Some are complete strangers that have reached out to share their experience with breast cancer. They all have been very helpful, insightful, and supportive as I embark on the next chapter of this journey, being a survivor.

For me, the actual fight was easy. It's life in recovery that is the toughest, and it's not just with healing but everything else that comes with the territory. First things first, the evil "T" word...tamoxifen. I have nothing good to say about this drug. None. I do not like putting anything synthetic in my body, much less one that has crazy side effects. Some of the side effects are: risk of blood clots, stroke, cataracts, bone loss in premenopausal women, mood swings, depression, hot flashes. Sounds like fun, right?! Luckily I am very lucky to to be physically healthy, so I'm not the least bit worried about the blood clots and such. However, I am experiencing the latter part of the list. I was off of it for almost 3 weeks until the oncologist told me start taking it again. I miss those 3 weeks post-surgery when I did not have to take it, as I have been an emotion wreck since being back on this hormone. I had been on it a week before surgery and experienced the same side effects, only it seems like they've gotten worse. When these moments occur, I toy with idea of just not taking it anymore. I don't feel like myself, and I don't like that feeling. I'm not one to lay the blame on stuff like this, but there just is no logical reasoning behind all this except for the hormone. I hate it. My mood swings and hot flashes are unpredictable. I don't sleep well at night, and I've been very forgetful. I. Am. Not. Myself.

Then there are the medical bills. I am very fortunate to have good health insurance, however, I still have co-payments....and they add up very quickly. There just seems like there isn't any end in sight. Again, I count my blessings as I am very grateful for not having to go through chemotherapy or radiation, as I can't even imagine the bills that come with that.

Even though I have been walking and increasing my daily activity slowly, it's not close to where I was before surgery. I'm use to being a very active individual. I miss my kids at work, I miss working out, I miss being normal. All these things make me happy. I feel like I've lost a little bit of my faith in the past 2 weeks. I had been told there is more to the journey than just the fight, but I had the slightest idea at the time. Maybe it was because I was choosing not to see what lie ahead of me, or maybe I thought I was strong enough to endure it. I honestly could not tell you now.

Yesterday, July 21, 2012 marked my 1 month anniversary of being a survivor. And what a recovery it has been.

That's all the energy I have for today. Just thought I would share a different aspect to this journey.


P.S. I appreciate the continued support of my avid followers. If you feel inclined to leave a comment, please do so...just make sure you sign off with your name. :)


  1. Love to you. Sounds like this is the hardest part. Know that lots of us are pulling for you. I don't blame you for hating the tamoxifen, given the side effects you describe :(-mina

  2. You were physically strong enough, thanks to all that training, but you weren't emotionally strong enough. That's where we get hit below the belt! I hate to be the honest reality checker...this is only the beginning. BUT, you WILL make it through and you'll be strong in both by the end. Chin up, buttercup! ;) Kellie