My story: "You have cancer, but we don't know exactly how to treat it"

KathiM
KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I sense that my advice/experience is not quite on target with others here. I am sorry for that, but I think a bit of explanation is in order:

The words in the subject were said to me December 2004. This was rectal cancer, stage III. I was given 6 months 'average' to 'get my affairs in order'. On a routine PET scan, to see where else the cancer had gone, an 11-year-old lump in my left breast 'lit up'. I was told that the rectal cancer would be treated and then 'if I survived', the other would be checked into. I never heard the IF in this sentence, I always thought that this was just something to get through. So, after a bowel resection that left me with a 'new' rectum made from descending colon (no bag, tho), I started over again, 3 months later, with treatment for stage II breast cancer. I got 5 (!) second opinions to find someone who would tell me I didn't need chemotherapy (even though it was different from the chemo for the rectal cancer) again. No one did. The last one said "Kathi, you fought so hard on the first one, why would you throw that away by not fighting as hard this time?". I was weary, down 45 pounds, and sick of it all. But, I took the doctor's advice, and fought again.

One year after all treatment was over, my ex-hubby died unexpectedly. 3 weeks later, my younger daughter died of neglect in an institution trusted with her care. This past summer, my beau's mom, who I considered to be my other mom, died suddenly. My beau has been hospitalized 5 times for problems with his heart. My sister was diagnosed with rectal cancer. I lost a very good friend to brain cancer. All of my cats were lunch for a coyote.

I guess the lesson I learned from all of this is to fight the good fight, be proud of yourself, and then reap the benefits (living life) you have earned from the fight. Otherwise, what is the point of fighting at all?

That's my 2 cents' worth. Sorry if I have offended anyone, it was never my intent. I will make an effort to fit in more in the future.

Hugs, Kathi
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Comments

  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    And they lived happily ever after
    I know, Kathi! You should definitely make an effort to "fit in better"...your story is SOOOO unlike any of ours! I have only noticed that all of us had, until diagnosis, been leading not just normal, but perfect lives! All of us have flawless children, great jobs with kick-**** insurance benefits, wonderful relationships, super-model figures, and even perfect weather~ no matter where we are! If not for cancer keeping us humble, our otherwise perfect lives would end up boring as we sunk deeper into the morass of being Stepford Families. Are you choking on the sarcasm yet??? (((((((HUGS))))))))

    You have reached out to us all on so many occasions, sweet lady! None of us is exempt from Life and all of its curves~ though I dare say your story gives Job a run for hs money!

    I am so happy to know you...you continue to inspire me with all you do and who you are. I love you!

    Hugs,
    Claudia
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    No Apology Necessary
    Kathi why are you apologizing? I've never felt offended by any of your postings here on this board. We all have opinions, experiences and stories to share and we read the postings and try to respond with sincerity and helpfulness. I've never once read a posting of yours that I found to be offensive. Honestly, I haven't read any posting here on this board that I would construe as offensive, not only yours.

    You've had a hard few years there and I am so honored and proud to know you. You inspire everyone to continue the fight. You are always upbeat and positive after everything you have gone through. I am sure that others will feel the same. Hugs, Lili


    PS. You can give me your 2 or 3 cents worth any time. Love Ya,
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
    Kudos
    Kathi,
    You have fought very hard for very long and just like the Energy Bunny....keeps on hitting that drum. Hit it loud for we march with you and beside you, each in our own way and abilities. Sometimes we will beat the drum for you and other times we will listen to soothing beat of your strokes. Angela
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member

    Kudos
    Kathi,
    You have fought very hard for very long and just like the Energy Bunny....keeps on hitting that drum. Hit it loud for we march with you and beside you, each in our own way and abilities. Sometimes we will beat the drum for you and other times we will listen to soothing beat of your strokes. Angela

    you inspire me
    Hi Kathy! way to fight like the woman you are. your strength is amazing and reading your story made me stop and think of what a soldier God believes you are, for we are told that He will never gives us more than we can take. Keep on marching...i'll be marching with you.
    God bless you and your family always
    Jackie
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    good fit
    I thought you fit in pretty good already. I hope you will just be yourself.

    Hugs back to you.
  • dorothyt
    dorothyt Member Posts: 103
    Marcia527 said:

    good fit
    I thought you fit in pretty good already. I hope you will just be yourself.

    Hugs back to you.

    Kathi, You were one of the
    Kathi, You were one of the first to give me a lift when I first came to this sight, I have read the post of the trips that you have taken and I think it's wonderful. You are blessed and you are a blessing to us on this web site. To a lot of us this is new and we really do not know how to handle it, so please keep helping us.
  • tasha_111
    tasha_111 Member Posts: 2,072
    dorothyt said:

    Kathi, You were one of the
    Kathi, You were one of the first to give me a lift when I first came to this sight, I have read the post of the trips that you have taken and I think it's wonderful. You are blessed and you are a blessing to us on this web site. To a lot of us this is new and we really do not know how to handle it, so please keep helping us.

    Kathi
    You can't offend me.............I'm too ignorant! ROFL!!!
    Hey you are an inspiration to us all, as well as just SUCH a nice person.. Hugs J
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    I like your advice
    And I would be disappointed if you changed one bit. There are different prospectives here and that's what's great about it. I find your particular outlook on life to be extremely refreshing. It makes me feel good and less afraid. What more can one ask? Like someone else said, I also like to hear about all the adventures and trips you go on. It emphasizes that cancer doesn't have to mean that your life stops. You can still live the good life. Oh and I love your new picture!

    Hugs,

    Mimi
  • EllieJV
    EllieJV Member Posts: 16
    Why anyone would take
    Why anyone would take offense to what you have to say, is beyond me. You have a story to tell, as we all do. You deserve all of our support, as we all do. You keep talking, as we all do! I'm proud that you are a contributor to this thread. Without people like you here, where would I be? Ellie
  • creampuff91344
    creampuff91344 Member Posts: 988
    mimivac said:

    I like your advice
    And I would be disappointed if you changed one bit. There are different prospectives here and that's what's great about it. I find your particular outlook on life to be extremely refreshing. It makes me feel good and less afraid. What more can one ask? Like someone else said, I also like to hear about all the adventures and trips you go on. It emphasizes that cancer doesn't have to mean that your life stops. You can still live the good life. Oh and I love your new picture!

    Hugs,

    Mimi

    Kathi, one of the main
    Kathi, one of the main reasons I enjoy these boards is you, and any insight you can provide for all of us is most appreciated. My oldest son made almost the exact same comment one day to me on the phone, while I was telling him just how bad this was, and why I didn't want to go through a particular procedure recommended by my onc. He said, "Why would you go through all that you have, just to give up now." Sometimes we all have a tendancy to get on the pitty pot, and question everyone and everything associated with this disease. Then we read about a wonderful trip you have made, and how much fun it was, and this puts all of us back on the right track with our thoughts and actions. You don't know just how much of an inspiration you are, having been through cancer bouts twice, and surviving day by day with such a good prospective on life. I, for one, appreciate your candidness, and will find myself being a little more brave, a bit more outspoken when someone posts something that hits a hot button, and certainly more tolerant of my caregivers who are in this fight with me. Don't apologize for being you, and giving those of us at the beginning of our fight the inspiration to fight harder. Maybe some day some of us can also inspire someone to be a warrier against cancer, and share our wonderful experiences of life for everyone to aspire toward. Thank you for being you.
    Judy
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Thank you, my dears!
    I appreciate the reassurance. I know my life seems unattainable to some of you, because it would have seemed that way to me, 3 years ago during treatment.

    I posted my 'laundry list' to hopefully encourage each of you that life will resume, with time. I must admit, sometimes I feel guilty about sharing my good stuff, because I know what misery it is during treatment. Thanks for understanding!

    I really love you all!

    BIG hugs, Kathi
  • Jan_M
    Jan_M Member Posts: 116
    Kathi
    No one is offended. Life for all of us is not easy. For some it is harder than for others. Here is a big hug going your way!
  • sueinspringfield
    sueinspringfield Member Posts: 7
    It seams that a black cloud follows us at times
    My husband was let go from his job Dec. 31 (Happy New Year!) Then on Jan. 13 I had my annual mamogram. On on Feb 10th Dr removed a 1.9cm tumor and 2 lymphnodes from my lift breast. Grade 3 cancer, non-hormone receptive but not in the lymphnodes! The good thing about Tim being out of work is that he is able to take care of me. Tim's last wife also had breast cancer and had the same surgery as I did. So he has been down this road before and has been able to answer alot of questions for me.
    When it rains it seams to pour! They say God only gives us what we can handle. Just wish He/She did not think I can handle so darn much!!
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    I am perplexed
    Kathi,

    I must have missed something because I have no idea why you felt compelled to defend your knowledge of cancer, loss and survivor-ship or the notion that you do not fit in in some way. You truly have always been nothing but caring and knowledgeable. We (meaning each and every one of us) come here with the knowledge that we all have a unique story and a unique battle we have fought. Each time I read something someone has written I take from it what speaks to me and being an adult leave what does not apply to me for someone else. You have in no way ever offended me and I truly hope that in the future you will continue to come here and respond as you always have, there is no need to alter who you are or how you respond. You are equally as valuable and any one of us and I personally am honored to share this little bit of cyber space with you.

    Sending gently hugs,

    RE
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    KathiM said:

    Thank you, my dears!
    I appreciate the reassurance. I know my life seems unattainable to some of you, because it would have seemed that way to me, 3 years ago during treatment.

    I posted my 'laundry list' to hopefully encourage each of you that life will resume, with time. I must admit, sometimes I feel guilty about sharing my good stuff, because I know what misery it is during treatment. Thanks for understanding!

    I really love you all!

    BIG hugs, Kathi

    Good stuff
    Kathi,

    Good stuff is important to read, it gives one hope to know someone who has fought the fight has found their way back to the "Good Stuff".

    Love Ya!

    RE
  • fauxma
    fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member
    RE said:

    I am perplexed
    Kathi,

    I must have missed something because I have no idea why you felt compelled to defend your knowledge of cancer, loss and survivor-ship or the notion that you do not fit in in some way. You truly have always been nothing but caring and knowledgeable. We (meaning each and every one of us) come here with the knowledge that we all have a unique story and a unique battle we have fought. Each time I read something someone has written I take from it what speaks to me and being an adult leave what does not apply to me for someone else. You have in no way ever offended me and I truly hope that in the future you will continue to come here and respond as you always have, there is no need to alter who you are or how you respond. You are equally as valuable and any one of us and I personally am honored to share this little bit of cyber space with you.

    Sending gently hugs,

    RE

    Offend never, Inspire always
    Kathi
    One of the people that most impressed me on this board was you. You never offend, you continually inspire. You add so much to this board. Re had it so right. Each unique story and battle gives us knowledge.
    Stef
  • NorcalJ
    NorcalJ Member Posts: 187
    fauxma said:

    Offend never, Inspire always
    Kathi
    One of the people that most impressed me on this board was you. You never offend, you continually inspire. You add so much to this board. Re had it so right. Each unique story and battle gives us knowledge.
    Stef

    Offend?
    Are you kidding? It's hard to offend me, and people HAVE tried.
    Like the rest said, I love your survivor adventures of life after---and that there is life after all this "stuff" (see? I don't want to offend anyone else by using my usual "sailor on shore leave" vocabulary).

    But I think Claudia may have been on to something, I keep looking for my perfect kids, highly paid exciting job, paying for everything insurance---has anyone found them yet? I'm offering a big reward, no questions asked.

    Are you writing all this because you're having a down day? I'm not sure if it's the wet weather, the economy, or the fact that all my favorite singers didn't made it to the top 13 of American Idol, but I think it's time for a big wet, 40 kleenex cry! Makes me look like Bozo the Clown with a cold, but sure is cleansing! Want to join me?

    Big ((((hugs)))))

    Jan
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    puts things into perspective
    Your story made me ashamed that I was upset about my hair! We love you, Kathi.

    Ohilly
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Dearest Kathi...
    You are at the top of my "hero list". You have been since I joined this board.

    Love ya girl!

    CR
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143

    It seams that a black cloud follows us at times
    My husband was let go from his job Dec. 31 (Happy New Year!) Then on Jan. 13 I had my annual mamogram. On on Feb 10th Dr removed a 1.9cm tumor and 2 lymphnodes from my lift breast. Grade 3 cancer, non-hormone receptive but not in the lymphnodes! The good thing about Tim being out of work is that he is able to take care of me. Tim's last wife also had breast cancer and had the same surgery as I did. So he has been down this road before and has been able to answer alot of questions for me.
    When it rains it seams to pour! They say God only gives us what we can handle. Just wish He/She did not think I can handle so darn much!!

    Welcome Sue
    I did not want your post to get buried in this thread. You might have already posted somewhere else, so please forgive me if I didn't see a separate topic. I'm sorry for all you are going through right now. Please post to introduce yourself in a separate topic. It will then be easier for other members to respond to you specifically. Hang in there, Sue. I have a similar dignosis to yours and a very good prognosis.

    Mimi