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Breast cancer spreading to other areas and the emotions that come with it! Help

jojolynn's picture
jojolynn
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2013

I was diagnosised with breast cancer in 2010. I had recontruction surgery Jan 2012 and dr found cancer removed it, but did nto need any treatment. I had a body scan done and no cancer spoted. Then I had a body scan done in October 2012 and there was cancer on my spine. i had to have radiation again and now take a chemo medication once a month and a bone medication once a month. Oncologist told me i now have chronic cancer and need chemo for life. Oncologist said cancer will keep coming back just wont know when or where. But that i can survive it.

Those words "will keep coming back but dont know where or when" has effected me so much and cant pick myself up. It has me scared. I dont sleep much. Its hard for me to get to bed but harder for me to get out of bed. The first time I got cancer I was able to fight it with a solid fist. Why cant I do it this time.  I have gotten so depressed this time. 

McMarty's picture
McMarty
Posts: 200
Joined: Nov 2012

Ah Jojolynn,  I am so sorry to hear that news.  That is so hard to hear, I know!  I have the same thing really.  So I heard that in 2009 and now it's 2013.  They have managed mine pretty well so far really.  I was like you the first time just fight, get it over with and go on.  The second time.  Not so brave.  Actually my Dr. didn't tell me how serious the situation was so it 'dawned' on me over time what a serious pickle I was in.

They keep wanting to 'give me something to help with the depression' and I think "REALLY?  You have a pill that can make this all OK?'  That must be some fancy pill!"  I think since I came to the realization slowly I didn't have unmanagable depression so I haven't taken anything but talk to your Dr.  you may need some help to sleep or get on top of that depression so you can get your head up and live each day to it's fullest.  EVERYBODY needs to learn that because no one is promised tomorrow.  My whole family learned at that point that everyday is a gift and we must make the most of it and a lot of my friends and their families started appreciating their days more too.

I'm glad you found this site and I'll be happy to talk to you anytime.  PLUS there are a lot of kind loving folks on here to support you. 

You'll get the hang of it and there will be MANY happy days ahead.  But don't be afraid to get some help!  You don't have to stay all sad.

Hugs to you!

Marty

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2198
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Jojolyn,

It is hard to accept that your new normal is now for life.  Unlike the first time, there was a light at the end of the tunnel with great hope to reach it and be "done" with it all.  When cancer returns to a distant organ, it does take time to readjust one's thinking.  One does.

Mine began in my ribs back in 2000, Arimidex for me gave me 8 years of NED (no evidence of disease) and I lived my life just as though I didn't have mets.  I did do my bucket lists, you know, all the things that I had held off doing until the time was right.  I realized it was now or never.   I am ever so grateful that I did as I wouldn't be able to do it now.  I injured my ankle while in Rome (Italy) and now wear a brace which makes it harder to walk.  No way could I do all the walking I did back then on my tours.

When cancer returned in 2008, I really believed that was it and here I am nearly five years later still working...  This time it retuned in both lungs, the pleura (lining around the lungs) with a pleura effusion.  

There isn't any cure for breast cancer at this moment but there is a lot of hope that some of things will eventually work out to help many of us with stage IV.  Fatigue is a biggie and one learns how to adjust one's limitations.  Basically, it's an adjustment.

There are quite a few women here who are dealing with mets, we are all in different places and hopefully they will reply to give their take on adjusting to a new normal.  Life does go on...

Wishing you the best,

Doris 

New Flower
Posts: 4096
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Jojo

sorry that you have to deal with methastasic cancer. I found out that my cancer has spread 8 months ago. It were 2 awful week after that I could not sleep, eat, dream, and laugh. Women on this site have helped me to carry on. I am fortunate enough to personally know two stage IV survivors

You can do it, we will help. 

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4015
Joined: Oct 2009

I have had mets since about 2005 (although not diagnosed "officially" until 2009).  I am doing fairly well on hormone therapy (faslodex) and xgeva (a bisphosphonate like boniva).  I am still working and I do tend to view this disease more like a (very serious) chronic disease now.

It is hard to live with this sword of Damocles over one's head.  I knew I could not deal with the anxiety when the mets was diagnosed, so I talked with my oncologist and he prescribed lexapro.  I started with a half of the lowest dose because I am really sensitive to meds and I have stayed at that dosage.  It seems to help keep me on a more even keel and, although I still worry, the degree is really much less.  And it definitely has made me less depressed.  Big (((hugs)))!

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

a little over a year ago.  I think I almost found it more devastating than the initial diagnosis 2 years before.  What someone above said (I think Doris) is exactly how I felt--first time (after getting used to the idea that I had breast cancer), it was--fight, fight, fight.  I can beat this beast and win.  With mets, for me, it was much more final and dark.  It took a lot more time to process.  I also went on Lexapro just to make things "even" and not so sad.  I'm still on it and have no reason to go off.  Like Cypress Cynthia, I am on monthly injections of Faslodex and Xgeva.  So far, so good.  A PET in October showed NED!!  I know my time is limited--but whose isn't.  It WILL come back--just don't know when.  So, I'm trying to live life to the fullest.  Always wanted to go to Paris--we're going in June for 2 weeks.  My attitude now is--as long as we can afford it and I want it, we're doing it. I try to live more in the moment now and enjoy the simple things.

 

It's not easy, but I'm trying not to squander the life I have left.

 

Good luck to you.

 

Hugs, Renee 

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2198
Joined: Jun 2010

Good for you!  Paris, is a wonderful city.  You will fall in love with Paris.  

My brother and sister-in-law are going in April.  I wish that I could go back.  Walking is a real problem for me these days.  I did a lot of walking in Paris and climbing stairs.  I knew why the Parisians didn't have a lot of heart problem.  It wasn't the wine, it's all those stairs they climb all the time.

There is so much to see and do there and it is so well laid out as a city.  I never once got lost.  

There is a lot of fun in planning a journey almost as much fun as going on one.Cool

A bientot!

Doris

 

Unhappy
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2012

So sorry you are having to deal with cancer a second time .Hoping for the best for you. There are woman on here that can help you they know what it in like to be told that .I can't imagine what that would be like.

Julia K
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2012

In 2009 I started this thing as a stage IV with mets to my liver. Honestly it is almost harder dealing with it now. I go for treatments every three weeks just like clock work because I know this is the only way I'll survive. I hate having to deal with this new normal. I also hate having to be constantly reminded while every one else can just pretend that I'm fine. And worse of all I hate having to wait for the other shoe to drop. 

 So sorry you are having to deal with it too. Most days I can be happy and cheerful, but some days...we all have them.

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks, Doris--I am so excited about Paris, I'm giddy!  Julia K--I so know what you're saying when you say that you hate having to be constantly reminded while everyone else can pretend I'm fine.  To look at me--looks like nothing's wrong.  Everyone I see--the first thing they say is "wow, you look great! or you're doing so great!"   I guess that's good, but somehow makes me feel, I don't know, I guess the word is invalidated.  Like you, most days I'm happy and cheerful, but some days--just plain suck.  I don't dwell on the cancer, but it's never truly out of your mind.

 

Anyway, I guess we each have to do the best we can and live life as best we can.  Having mets is a whole different animal completely.

Hugs, Renee

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2198
Joined: Jun 2010

Please read my reply under the Lance Armstrong post.  

It came from a blog from this Ann "You can do it, Look at Lance"  and it is worth reading.  Just what we all understand and how Lance spoiled it.   I am not at least interested in his cycle career gone amok!  I always said, he didn't have the kind of cancer that most people have with stage IV.   His cancer was cureable!  Unlike the rest of us.

Doris

 

 

Julia K
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2012

I get the same. People say I look good but have no idea that I'm still dealing with it. I usually just go along, but every once in a while the devil gets me and I throw it back out. Mean I know, but we all know those people who whine about every grey hair and hangnail. I just want to give them a dose of reality...or at least my reality. I know that there are many, many people who are so much worse off than I. I try to always appreciate the fact that I am here and that is a miracle. 

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

In my case, I was only NED for 4 months.  I didn't really have time to get used to that reality, so it feels like I've been constantly dealing with cancer since my original dx.  At the same time, I also think of my original treatments seperate from my current treatments.

Jojo, as someone already said, you do get used to it.  There becomes a routine, and once that happens it gets a little easier.  Yes, you can expect to have some dark days.  I think if you have more dark days than good ones, that's when you should ask about medication.  Most of them take a few weeks to have an impact.  I take celexa, because I deserve, and my family deserves the best me I can be.

Please come back and let us know how you're doing.

Hugs,

Linda 

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