1 year anniversary of being diagnosed with DCIS

334455 Member Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
How do you deal with the 1st year anniversary of being diagnosed? Last year I had a mammogram, diagnostic mammogram, core biopsy, MRI, 4 surgeries: Mastectomy with removal of lymph nodes; breast reduction and temporary implant placement; permanent implant placement; nipple reconstruction and revisions made to area of permanent implant. This year was followed by tatooing of the permanent implant (sterile saline).

There hasn't been much time in-between all of this. I had a mammogram this month and follow up with an MRI next month. I found myself very emotional when I had to return for the mammogram this year.

Just when I have almost finished paying off what was not covered by my insurance from last year I am now hit with meeting the duductible for this year with all the visits: surgeon, oncologist, plastic surgeon, mammogram and MRI, etc.

How do others cope with all of these transitions in your life? When does it get better? Unless you have experienced these circumstances, people don't really understand what you are really feeling and going through. I could really use some support as well as friendships with other breast cancer survivors. Please help. Thank you for taking the time to read this.


  • Christmas Girl
    Christmas Girl Member Posts: 3,682 Member
    Hello, 334455
    Although I do understand your feelings - because I've been there, too... Actually, your 1 year anniversary of diagnosis is a milestone for celebration. So, heartfelt congratulations to you! I marked my own 5 year anniversary of completion of all invasive treatment (surgery/chemotherapy/radiation) this month by joining this group. Later this year, I'll hit my 6 year anniversary of diagnosis.

    My first mammogram following treatment nearly gave me a panic attack. I don't know why I did it (survivor instinct, I guess); but, when I registered for my appointment - I asked if I could speak to someone privately, before sitting down in the general reception area to wait. Luckily, they were accommodating; and, I completely explained my history, my anxiety, etc. It was the best & smartest thing I could've done for myself. If you haven't tried this approach, I highly recommend it. You'll probably be amazed by how differently you'll be treated by the mammogram staff.

    Does it get any easier with time? Yes, sorta, a little, at least. Even now, I get totally stressed when simply calling to make the appointment. In fact, I find it's better for me to arrange that darned mammogram as far in advance - months - as possible. So that I can forget about it until it's time to go.

    The enormous medical costs, even with insurance, suck. Unless someone's wealthy, I guess. But, what's more important than your own health? Without good health, nothing else matters.

    It does get better, with time. You know that old expression: time heals all wounds. It's simply true. The first year after treatment, I had some sort of BC-related appointment every 6 weeks. Second year, every 8 weeks. Third, every 12. Etc. ... you get the picture.

    I spent an enormous amount of time & energy trying to "get my life back" - it took me a good long while to finally realize that I couldn't get my "old" life back, because I have a "new" life. It's not the same, it's different... forever changed by BC. That's OK, I'll take it. With grace, dignity & always gratitude.

    We travel the journey together; yet, the experience is unique for all of us - because WE are unique, with varying circumstances. We must strive to find the coping mechanisms that work for each of us individually. What works for one may not work for another. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that maybe I've provided you with at least some assistance. I trust that you will find your own way - especially with the help, support & encouragement you will find here amongst this group.

    Kind regards, Susan
  • djteach
    djteach Member Posts: 273
    1 year anniversary
    I think Susan spoke with eloquence when she answered you post. I'm sorry for your financial hard ship and having to deal with insurance companies in this emotionally draining time.
    Do you have someone in your life that you would trust to handle all of your insurance need, from paying the premiums and fighting with them when they decide not to cover something that should be covered?

    I was lucky enough to have my father take over that part of my treatment and I didn't have to worry about it. I was kept in the loop so I knew what was going on, but Dad did all the work and arguing with them. Don't give up, delegate this to someone to trust.

    And you can count on us to be here for you 24/7 giving you any type of support you need.
    Please take care and let us know whathappens.

    Love and Gentle Hugs,