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Survivor?

mj_weis
Posts: 45
Joined: Sep 2013

I have only posted once but have watched all the post through out my treatment.  I had my last radiation treatment last week and I am very relieved.  Went through Chemo as well but ended up allergic to it so only had 3 out of 4 of my infusions.

Anyway, this is my question:  Since I have finished all my treatments, am I officially a cancer survior?

My daughter, who is a bit brash informed me that since I have had all my treatments that I'm cured, I should be back to normal and to "get over myself".

Accually, I don't feel very well yet, and am wondering if there might be something wrong with me.

 

Help, please.

 

MJ

 

 

coco2008's picture
coco2008
Posts: 406
Joined: May 2013

I finished my last chemo 8/15/13 and then had a BMX on 9/27.  It wasn't until about 2 weeks ago that I started to feel like a survivor instead of a victim.  The feelings don't come with the reality, but in their own good time.

I can't say I don't worry about recurance, but it's not an every day concern.  I feel my life is going to a new normal and that's good.

Sandy

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3547
Joined: Dec 2008

Sorry that your daughter is so brash and said that to you.  If you were "cured" then you never have to do follow ups for this disease.  What you are is NED (no evidence of disease) which is good and hopefully you will always be NED.  But cancer can come back and it can go to the organs (Mets) so follow up is key.  I thought of myself as a survivor the minute I began treatment and my fight against cancer.  As far as the get over yourself and get back to normal, not so easy to do.  Some are always haunted by the thoughts of recurrence and mets, others not so much.  But cancer changes most of us.  A cancer diagnosis for any type of cancer is a "I am not immortal moment".  Why we all know that eventually we die from something it is still harsh to face something that can actually kill us.  Tell your daughter that you will are doing your best to get through each day but that this was a life changing experience.  Also the effects of rads and chemo can remain for longer than a week. Sle probably means well but n the kindest way possible I think your daughter needs to get over herself.  Take your time, heal, hurt, cry, vent, laugh, love and do things at your own pace and in your own way.  I wish you NED forever and that you can find a new sense of normal or if you are one of those (I am one) that returns to their old sense of normal.   You have been through a lot and all of you needs to heal, body, mind and spirit.

Stef

sandra4611's picture
sandra4611
Posts: 121
Joined: Sep 2013

My oncologist said once you have cancer, you can always consider yourself as having cancer. There is no  cure for cancer. We get treatment and cross our fingers that it doesn't come back. Unfortunately it does come back in too many of us - certainly not all - but you never know. We read stories from our fellow warriors that they were NED (no evidence of disease) for years, and then it showed up again. The most common places for it to return are the lung, skin, liver, and bones. If it shows up in the lung, for instance, testing will usually show it is metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer. It is treated with the same drugs that are used in the initial breast cancer. 

Once you have been treated for cancer, the best you can say is you have NED - no evidence of disease, and hope you are among the many who never get a recurrence. People who say you should  "getting over yourself" are ignorant of the facts of cancer. There IS no cure.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2338
Joined: Jun 2010

So naive, so immortal, so selfish.  You didn't say how old your daughter is, but I'm guessing she's a young adult.  And life is all about her.   Let's cut her some slack and understand that she doesn't understand because she doesn't.  I had a couple of friends like this and it took me forever to learn to keep my worries and ills to myself - because they didn't want to hear about it and telling them only upset me because their reactions disappointed me so.  No comfort there.  Only pain in my disappointment in the trust and expectations I had of them.   I cried a lot about it, in fact.  If they knew I did they'd probably say I was being stupid to worry, stupid to be upset with them because they know better afterall,  and my feelings were wrong.  I was so hell bent on trying to make them understand that it was so much worse than it could have been (for me).  Your daughter loves you and she doesn't want you to have cancer anymore, so she doesn't want to hear about it and she doesn't want you to worry either.  Time will heal the hurt you're feeling - I hope.

It took me at least 6 weeks to feel better after chemotherapy, and I felt well throughout radiation, but it is not unusual for some to have lingering side effects after treatments.  Your body has been through a lot and has a lot of healing to do.  If you continue to feel punk and are concerned, tell your oncologist.  Maybe you're still anemic??   It will take a lot of time until anything you feel that doesn't feel right doesn't bring up all sorts of dark thoughts.  Our health care team doesn't judge us (at least out loud), but they do listen and address our concerns.  I'd rather feel silly for worrying about something that turns out to be nothing than stupid for thinking something is nothing and turns out to be serious because I didn't tell my docs about it.  It will take a while for you to feel comfortable with how you feel both emotionally and physically.  It just does.

Suzanne      

Rague
Posts: 3388
Joined: Aug 2009

'Survivor' means different things to different people.  To me, every day after DX, we are a survivor.

I don't know what type your BC is, nor does it matter,  at this time there is no "cure" for BC - the best we get is NED (No Evidence of Disease).

I do not have a daughter but I think yours is probably as scared (or more than) as you are.  Watching our loved ones go throught major health issues is extremely hard.  I lost my Mom to Aneorxia in the 70's.  I won't go into anything else on that but to saythatyour Daughter is going through a lot also and very well may be in denial.  Sometimes we do need a good kick in the 

posterior to get us going again.  Perhaps some counciling is in order for your family.

Wnyan - The Power Within

Susan

 

 

 

 

mj_weis
Posts: 45
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you all.  You have made me feel a ton better.  I guess I should post more oftenSmile

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1059
Joined: Dec 2010

Your daughter is ignorant and rude. She can not and never will not completely know what it is like for you if she never had cancer.

It can take a long time to get over the treatments we receive for cancer. Some take longer, some take less time, and there may be side effects that never go away.

Since you have had cancer, you will never go back to being the same person. Lots of say we get a new normal for ourselves and it very individualistic.

You have the right to feel under the weather. You have the right to not be the same person. You have the right to not put up with crap from your daughter. Only you can know how to deal with her ignorance and rudeness. I can see how she can't understand what you have gone through...the waiting, more waiting, biopsies, surgeries, treatments, the total devastation and fear when you hear the words that you have cancer. And it is always in the back of the mind. Somewhere back there we know there is a chance that the cancer may come back.

Cancer and the treatments for it  not only takes a huge toll on our bodies physically, but emotionally and pyschologically. We are NEVER cured. Like others have said, it is called NED, No evidence of disease.

When I first joined CSN when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I was told I was a survivor from the moment I got the diagnoses. If I was alive, even with cancer, I am a survivor. While I am NED, I am still a survivor. Either way, I am a survivor until the day I die.

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1059
Joined: Dec 2010

double post

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5520
Joined: Oct 2010

I found this sight due to NOT THINKING I was a surivor , until I was with a friend. She said she was a survior after surgery to remove cancer from her leg and NO treatments. So I came here to ask..

I had surgery and radiation!

 

I was told any cancer with or without treatment is a survior.  Congrats

Denise

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5520
Joined: Oct 2010

Sorry your daughter made such a coment. My oldest is not mushy-never came to my surgeries etc or cared for me. I just know that is her and not pay much mind to her. She ironcially worked in imaging center and would have other mom's cry on her shoulder about their cancer. She never consoled me once (living in same house). My younger daughter made up for it-caring for me 120%.

 

Denise

RozHopkins
Posts: 477
Joined: Dec 2010

Aren't families weird and complicated.  I know my children were worried sick but never showed it.  I had no idea what my mum went through until I did myself.  Females know how to hurt other females and usually end up tearing themselves apart later with regret.  So hope yours is just young and going through a stage.......   We are never cured.  May not return but may return.  Heavens sake of course you feel ill.  I took months to shake off exhaustion and now three years later suffering from side effects which have to be treated or kept an eye on.  If you have others who understand you better I should lean on them, your daughter should be made aware of the heightened possibility of hereditary cancer in order to bring things home a little on the seriousness of the disease.  Please try not to worry about her so much and look after yourself at this time.

Intrepid
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2012

Whoa!  The official term survivor is used as soon as you're diagnosed! They should have told you that then.  But now you know.  It does not depend on "finishing" treatment. You are officially a survivor!!  As long as you're breathing, you're a survivor.  You're considered "cancer-free" when your doctor tells you they got it all or there are no signs of the disease, so ask her.  YOU'RE CONSIDERED "MEDICALLY CURED" when there is no sign of the disease and your chances of recurrence are less than or equal to the general population getting it in the first place..  So for that you might need some genotype statistics. (For breast cancer, the general population of women has a 12.5% chance of getting it throughout their life span.)  If your daughter needs you to get over it, she could really be saying she's scared she'll get it herself.  

SAvent's picture
SAvent
Posts: 51
Joined: Nov 2013

Commonly with young people they will minimize something and take the "blah! its no big deal!" approach as a defense mechanism because after all if they maintain in their minds that ur over it and you need to get over yourself then they dont have to be afraid of losing you right? its cold and callous but to protect their young feelings it is actually smart on their part. So please try to forgive her and take it with a grain of salt. She wants your cancer to be done and disappear and never have to deal with it again.

 

From my personal experience I would say you are recovering from cancer because you just finished treatment and havent fully come back into ur normal self. Once you do that and you have had some follow-up appointment to confirm NED then at that point Id say Survivor. For myself, I am in second year of NED but I am still on tamoxifen so I consider myself a Survivor Still Fighting. But thats just how I choose to look at it. When Im done with the big T (7 more years) and still NED then I will consider myself simply a Survivor.  Again this is just my opinion and hopefully helpful to you.

Congrats, God Bless & Good Luck!!

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2735
Joined: Jul 2006

I use my diagnosed date. it is the day I went to the MD and he thought it was Cancer. I thought it was cancer also. But at this time I hadnt had the tests yet. Someone told me the diagnosis date is used because not everyone has the same treatment. But everyone has a diagnosis date. 

My diagnosed date was 8/5/2003. 

a lot of people don't realize what we go through so hang in there.

 

sandra4611's picture
sandra4611
Posts: 121
Joined: Sep 2013

I'm not finished yet and don't quite feel like a survivor. I'm still fighting in the trenches. Tomorrow I am going in for surgery #3. I had a BMX three months ago but got an awful infection in the hospital which required a second surgery. I lost parts of three muscles, most of the soft tissue under my arm and the outside part of the new implant. The implant was replaced with a tissue expander. The other side was fine and has never given me one second of trouble. This new surgery is to continue reconstruction under my arm, replace the TE with a new kind of implant, and replace my "good" implant with one of the new kind to match. I am terrified of another infection or some other kind of complication. There will be a fourth surgery in a couple of months for fat grafting. When I'm finished, I'll feel like a survivor. Right now I'm a warrior. Three surgeries in three months hasn't given me the time to feel like a survivor, but I understand and support all the rest of you. We all have to find out own way through this nightmare.

mj_weis
Posts: 45
Joined: Sep 2013

My Heart and Prayers are with you and hope that all your surgeries go infection free and you have two beautful boobies to show for it lol!!!!

 

Prayers,

 

MJ

smishik
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2013

Tell you daughter to get a life and realize that not every thing evolves around her.  I am so upset right now that she could even have said that to her mother I could spit.  That is one not nice person.

mj_weis
Posts: 45
Joined: Sep 2013

You know, after talking to the group here, I'm not as angry as I was.  I really do think she just wants me well and (she has never know how to say the right thing) and that is the way she just wanted to say she wanted it all to go away so she didn't have to worry about losing me anymore.

 

I'm not sure, but I can't wallow in it becasue I am still having problems with my recovery, and I really need to concentrate on that.

 

Thank you so much for thinking of me, I really need this

 

MJ

Rague
Posts: 3388
Joined: Aug 2009

There is no one 'right way' to say anything to anyone/everyone.

RozHopkins
Posts: 477
Joined: Dec 2010

Yes you know your daughter best.  Just concentrate on getting stronger, exercise and eat well and keep positive you don't need upsetting right now.  Christmas just around the corner enough to be thinking about, don't overdo it though.  What doesn't get done doesn't get done.  If your daughter doesn't help as much as you'd like over the holidays, perfection is not the important thing, you being there to enjoy Xmas is the important thing. if you get anxious drop us a note to vent, we get it.  

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

Sorry to hear about your daughter's brashness and lack of compassion!!   It took me 7 months before I could hold a pen and sign a check because of the neuropathy in my hands.  Each morning I was in pain getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom right next to my bedroom.  I absolutely had to sleep 8 - 10 hrs each night and often go through periods where I need to do the same 2 years after treatment.  The sad part is that my family too thought once I was done with treatment everything should be back to normal right away.  They too couldn't understand and probably never will unless they too go through it which I hope they never do.   What I understand is that there is no cure for cancer, it just goes into remission and you want to do everything you can to take care of yourself to minimise the chance of it rearing it's head again.   Your daughter just doesn't understand and has no business telling you to 'get over yourself'.  It is a very harsh treatment that takes its toll on your body.  Wishing you well.

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2052
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi, I am st 4 incurable and terminal, undergoing palliative care only, I am NOT a survivor... Just surviving this day

 

mj_weis
Posts: 45
Joined: Sep 2013

I am so sorry for you and send you my prayers.  Sometimes I lose sight of what all I have to be thankful for.  God Bless you and I will pray for you.

 

MJ

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