Mar 23, 2001 - 10:04 am
I just found this site through a friend who lost his wife to breast cancer. I am a breast cancer survivor. But, not having had others to talk to during my treatments who have experienced this, I wonder how others recovered from the chemo part of their treatment. My last treatment was late August and I'm JUST NOW feeling like I'm looking more like my old self and not a "cancer patient." My hair and eyelashes were very slow to grow back in. I gained my strength back fairly quickly, and initiated changes in my diet (both to fight future recurrence AND lose the weight I gained as result of the chemo) & exercise mentality, but my appearance was impacted for months. It is March 01, nearly 7 months since my last chemo treatment, and my hair is still very short (and very curly) and my eyelashes are nearly back to normal length. I just started wearing eye make-up again so my eyes don't look so "naked." I'd like to say this about my experience with breast cancer: I never had any history of it in my family, never even knew anyone who had had it (my only real experience with cancer prior to my diagnosis was the loss of a friend to lung cancer). I was absolutely stunned when the docs said "breast cancer." Prior to that day last May, I would hear statistics on TV and radio about how one in 8 women will develop breast cander - I would think to myself "not me." The week I waited for results of the biopsy, I was in total denial - didn't even tell my husband I had found the lump and was doing the biopsy. I was so sure I would hear the words "benign - nothing." After my diagnosis, I found tremendous support in my husband (and a deeper bond and strengthening of our relationship) and in his sister, Kathy. I kept a daily journal I called "The New Millennium - A Year for Reckoning." Then, just as I was finishing radiation in early November, Kathy was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was able to return all the support she had given me and help her in her battle. We now have a special bond we had never had before. You all know - that special bond we all now share as result of our experience with breast cancer. :) I have a new appreciation of life, have quickly learned not to worry about the small things and enjoy what matters most - my family and friends - and a new determination in helping others when I can, improving the quality of my life through taking care of my body. Since my diagnosis, I've lost a co-worker to stomach cancer, experienced a co-worker's loss of her 27-year-old daughter to adult leukemia, and a friend's loss of his wife to breast cancer. I am amazed at how prevalent cancer is - and I participate in Relay for Life and Race for the Cure every chance I get. I have a new determination to live as long as I can and ENJOY my life while I'm here.