How do I deal with so much loss of myself?

Hislilpet
Hislilpet Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
This is my first post, so I am not quite sure how this works, but here it goes.

I was 26 at the time of my first dignosis with 3 beautiful children all under the age of 10. Invasive breast cancer and cervical cancer. Two forms of this thing at the same time. So, I lost my right breast and my uterus within a week of each other. I took a year of chemo, no radiation, thank God, and was declared "In remission" because my Dr said there is no cure so he couldn't tell me i was cured.

Fast forward to 6 months before my 42nd birthday and another diagnosis of breast cancer, this time in my left breast. Not a recurrance, but a completely different cancer. Again, lost parts of myself, but i found a small bit of comfort that i still had my ovaries, i was still a woman, still female. This loss was difficult to deal with in some ways, but also easier in some. My new husband let me know everyday that i am strong, beautiful, and ALL of the woman he needs.

10/30/09 - 4 days ago counting today - I lost my ovaries, tanked on the table twice, and was sent home to heal all in 1 day. I cannot have HRT because each of my cacner's have been estrogen fed.

I informed my Dr that i cannot wait the 2 weeks he wants me to to go back to work, so he said 1 week, which of course is not good enough for my employer, but it is what it is.

My question, i guess, is.....HOW do i heal? How do i stop the tears, the grieving the loss of myself? I cry, i feel so angry, i have NEVER been one to allow myself to pity me, but i do NOT feel strong, i feel broken, not sure what is coming next, will my body change with this loss? My voice, my face, everything?

My Husband, God bless him, is my rock and tells me constantly that i am His beauty, but how do i convince myself of this?

Comments

  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    First of all, welcome to the
    First of all, welcome to the group you never wanted to join. You will find an amazing group of supportive, sensitive, caring, knowledgeable and just plain wonderful women, and men, too, on this site. We'll be here for you every step of the way. There are survivors on here of numerous cancers. I'm sure they will be along soon and can shed some light on your current plight. I am a fairly new bc survivor and still in the treatment phase. I can't offer alot of information but can say be very thankful you have a wonderful and supportive husband. That will certainly go a long way in your recovery. Just take it one day at a time and try looking at what you HAVE versus what you don't have. I'm sending you hugs and wishing for positive throughts for you too.
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    So sorry........
    My heart goes out to you.......Breast cancer sucks! I think what you are feeling is "normal" under the circumstances. Cancer of any kind robs us of so much. Have you considered reconstruction surgery for your breasts? You might want to look into it..if it's an option for you. I know it would mean yet more surgery, but it might help you regain your feelings of womanhood.......

    Best wishes to you
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    ((((((((((HUGS))))))) and
    ((((((((((HUGS))))))) and welcome to the Sisterhood of the most amazing group of warrior-survivors. On those days when you do not feel strong, or worthy, or beautiful, or anything posiitve, just know that we not only "get it", but that we will carry you through your bad days until YOU once again see the strong beautiful woman your husband knows you are. Cancer isn't just about the physical, as you well know. The emotional and psychological aspects of this beast can indeed be even more devatating than the obvious physical assault. It isn't just that mortality has tapped us on the shoulder, but our self-worth and femininity have been pulled out from under us. We really do understand....much as we wish we didn't.

    It has wisely been said here that "you are our past, and we are your future"~draw from our strength and insight and empathy; we have it in abundance.

    PLEASE...go to YouTube and search for The Cancer Crusade. Click on their 3 minute movie called The Survivor Movie~ it is sooo what you need right now! It will help to empower you and give you the boost you need without preaching or asking you to join something!

    Post as often as you like, or at the very least, come in and read. You will notice that we are much like you~ and together we are an incredibly strong army. And of course, avail yourself of the many antidepressants if you do not feel better soon. Many of us know we have "situational depression" and have been helped greatly by meds! Counseling and medication can work wonders....don't count that option out.

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • padee6339
    padee6339 Member Posts: 763
    Welcome Hislilpet
    I am so sorry you had to find us this way, but like it has been said before, you are welcome to our group and we, as a "family", will be here for you every step of the way. You are lucky to have such a wonderful and caring husband, they are a special breed. And although you have lost so much of yourself please remember you are still you. Nobody can take that away from you.
    Hugs and LOTS of support - Pat
  • roseann4
    roseann4 Member Posts: 992 Member
    What you are feeling is normal.
    Welcome. This is the place to come with your pain. You have been through an unbelievable chain of loss and fear. Give yourself as much time to grieve as you need. I wish you could take more time from work. What makes us women isn't our ovaries, or uteruses, or our breasts. This site is an example of what is best in us. We love with our whole hearts, we care for others, we express our feelings and on and on. You are blessed to have a husband who love you unconditionally. After a time of adjustment, it might help to start a gratatude journal. I know it doesn't look like there's much to be thankful for right now but you will find there is lots left in your life. It just takes time so be kind to yourself...you are definately a women in all the ways that matter.

    God bless!

    Roseann
  • ppurdin
    ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181
    Love and Prayers going your way.
    I don,t have alott to add that the others have not said.Hang in their,Cancer takes alott out of us and away from us.But we have to hang in their for us and the people that love us.My Prayers are with you.Keep us posted on how you are doing.Love and Prayers.(Pat).
  • Sunrae
    Sunrae Member Posts: 808
    ppurdin said:

    Love and Prayers going your way.
    I don,t have alott to add that the others have not said.Hang in their,Cancer takes alott out of us and away from us.But we have to hang in their for us and the people that love us.My Prayers are with you.Keep us posted on how you are doing.Love and Prayers.(Pat).

    You are Strong
    With everything you've been thru you must be an incredibly strong beautiful woman. I can't add anything much that hasn't aready been said, but girl, you have heart! Looks like you have an incredible caring and supportive husband. There are many prayers being lifted up on your behalf. May God bless you and your husband. I was feeling sorry for myself until I read your story. You are an inspiration already to a lot of us. You will get what you need here on this site from all these other brave and loving people. Wishing you better days and soon.
  • natly15
    natly15 Member Posts: 1,941
    Hislilpet--you are more than
    Hislilpet--you are more than your body!! Yes your are physical, but you are also soul, emotions, and brains. You are you with or without ovaries and breasts. It's very natural and important to grieve our losses. When you get thru the grief, and come in to acceptance of what is, you will find an even stronger you. I have no uterus or ovaries, but I'm still sensitive and feminine. Your face will remain beautiful, your wrinkles will show your character, and your voice will have a certainty that warriors have. Yes your body with all it's scars has changed in physical appearance, but nothing can change the rest of you. Grieve, cry, rant, scream, allow yourself some slack and even have small and short pity parties, all of this will make you stronger. The only things that will change are the things you allow to change. God bless you and that wonderful man who is standing next to you. This cancer walk is not easy and as I continue to read and reflect the thoughts and knowledge of the people on these cancer boards, I realize I'm walking among some of the strongest. You have endured much and you are strong. I believe that when we are at our weakest, if we have faith, that's when we become our strongest.
  • fauxma
    fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member
    natly15 said:

    Hislilpet--you are more than
    Hislilpet--you are more than your body!! Yes your are physical, but you are also soul, emotions, and brains. You are you with or without ovaries and breasts. It's very natural and important to grieve our losses. When you get thru the grief, and come in to acceptance of what is, you will find an even stronger you. I have no uterus or ovaries, but I'm still sensitive and feminine. Your face will remain beautiful, your wrinkles will show your character, and your voice will have a certainty that warriors have. Yes your body with all it's scars has changed in physical appearance, but nothing can change the rest of you. Grieve, cry, rant, scream, allow yourself some slack and even have small and short pity parties, all of this will make you stronger. The only things that will change are the things you allow to change. God bless you and that wonderful man who is standing next to you. This cancer walk is not easy and as I continue to read and reflect the thoughts and knowledge of the people on these cancer boards, I realize I'm walking among some of the strongest. You have endured much and you are strong. I believe that when we are at our weakest, if we have faith, that's when we become our strongest.

    Well put, Natly. I can't
    Well put, Natly. I can't add anything except that my prayers are with Hislilpet. This is so difficult to deal with on so many levels and many times the emotional is the worst. Listen to all your friends here. They will guide you.
    Stef
  • marilyndbk
    marilyndbk Member Posts: 238 Member
    I feel your pain and want
    I feel your pain and want you to know this is a great leap of faith and strength to come to this board for help. We are stronger than we think. You are beautiful and deserve to feel that. With all the loss you have been thru you have the right to feel any way you want. Tomorrow is a new day and hope it will be better for you. Take good care of yourself. Marilyn
  • terpsi
    terpsi Member Posts: 33
    coping
    We have so many different stories about this journey with breast cancer, yet, we all share similar reactions, emotions and fears. I remember the first time I was diagnosed, my body would shake through most of the night while I clung to my loving husband and tried to draw strength from his warmth.

    You will read from so many women about our having been strong, confident, effective in our jobs and our personal life. And, then, we come face to face with a foe we could never have imagined would challenge us as fiercely as it does. Aside from the physical effects of the surgery, the radiation, the chemo, we experience life-altering feelings of fear and depression. I have never been one to cry about anything but others' happy or sad stories, but I have had episodes of sobbing that came from nowhere. Fear is something that comes and goes without warning.

    You are, indeed, grieving. You are grieving for the perceived loss of so many parts of you that made you feel good about who you were. The parts of your life that were important before may change; you may be able to do things you did before but at a different pace. So much of who I was was an active, super energetic woman. I loved stylin', sassy conversations, quick repartee and, generally, driving others a little crazy with my ideas and need to be spontaneous. Now, I'm wearing a restrictive back brace and have to use a walker to keep myself from falling over. Excuse me, but WTF, how is it I have to use a walker at 58 when I've danced and choreographed my entire life and expected to challenge students until I was 90. I still have moments that I don't share with others because, as they will remind me, I'm lucky to be able to walk.

    So, how to cope. First, allow your loving husband to be there for you. He will help chase away the fears. Express your fears so he will be able to understand what's going on with you. Second, definitely keep and cultivate your relationships with women friends, new and from the past. Sometimes you'll find friends will change during this journey; some cannot deal with it and you will need to let go of them. You will find others, however, who will be there for you. Girlfriends are extraordinary; we share so many fun, sometimes silly, moments that transcend the sharing we have with the men in our lives. Third, go with the flow. When you feel tired, sick, whatever, be gentle with yourself. Lie low and allow your body to sleep and rest. When you feel good, though, take advantage of it and do something--not too extravagant, though, because you will often run out of energy sooner than you'd thought you would--go for an ice cream, a drive with a friend, do a little dance, sing a song, paint a picture, take a photo, make love, cook a (quick) favorite meal, whatever . . . I have to do things I love when I can (even for just five minutes) or I feel that I've let this stupid cancer get a little more than I want to allow. It helps me feel I have a bit of control--and that's part of what you're grieving: the loss of the control that you used to feel. Doing little bits of what you love will really help you feel that you still have some control.

    Alas, I've written way more that you're probably able to read in one sitting LOL. I'll stop now so you can recover.

    There are many cool women here that will help you along the way. You can post or not, depending on how you feel on a given day. Either way, we are all connected and share a special bond and an unconditional love for each other. That will give you strength.

    Love and hugs,
    donna peach
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    I'll just say living means
    I'll just say living means constant adjustments. I'm not trying to compare cancer to other life adjustments but we all just take one day at a time. Maybe make a blessings list to look at from time to time. It's about priorities. You are still here to watch your children grow up. Healing will happen. You are just too close now. Hang in there and if you feel depressed and it doesn't get better, talk to your doctor about medication.

    I do know what you mean about wondering what will be next. But you can't dwell on it.
  • Wolfi
    Wolfi Member Posts: 425
    Your husband
    You convice yourself that you are HIS beauty by looking into his eyes. When he looks at you he doesn't see part of a woman - he sees HIS WIFE. The one he fell in love with and vowed to be with until death. If he was in the same position you are in you would support and love him no matter how much his body had to change. Why do you think he should feel any differently towards you than you do towards him? Let his arms around you be your answer to how you can deal with this.

    You don't need to be strong right now if you don't feel up to it. Cry, get angry, yell, stomp your feet - whatever you feel like doing. You have the right to express any and all emotions you have had, are having, and will have about any of your life changes. Your body will change (I'm not sure in what ways) but that is not much different than how bodies change as people age.

    I am unable to have any more children (even though I still have my ovaries) and both breasts are gone. I came to terms before my bilateral mastectomy that this was going to be the "new me" and I would embrace the change and look for the benefits - getting rid of the cancer, not having to wear bras if I don't want to, and not watching my breasts sag as I get older. (I know, kind of lame points, but they are important to me.)

    Take care, keep posting and let us know if you need anything. This is a great site with many caring people (that's why I come here).
  • BELIEVEx3
    BELIEVEx3 Member Posts: 24
    Grieving........
    Dear Hislilpet, I read your note the other evening and attempted to write to you, the site was down...........I want you to know that it is ok to be broken, to feel weak and frightened, My gosh you have been to H and back and are now facing it again..........I have been through this 3 times now and you need to take the time to work through the pain before you can begin to heal. The uncertainty can be unbearable at times. We do what we need to do to save and protect our lives for ourselves and those we love...I know that you know that your beauty comes from within your heart and this is what your husband sees, the beautiful person within your soul.....For now it is ok to grieve, to miss what once was and worry about what will be........let your husband share this with you......and in time you will be able to feel beautiful again............Do not try to be a hero you already are.......
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    natly15 said:

    Hislilpet--you are more than
    Hislilpet--you are more than your body!! Yes your are physical, but you are also soul, emotions, and brains. You are you with or without ovaries and breasts. It's very natural and important to grieve our losses. When you get thru the grief, and come in to acceptance of what is, you will find an even stronger you. I have no uterus or ovaries, but I'm still sensitive and feminine. Your face will remain beautiful, your wrinkles will show your character, and your voice will have a certainty that warriors have. Yes your body with all it's scars has changed in physical appearance, but nothing can change the rest of you. Grieve, cry, rant, scream, allow yourself some slack and even have small and short pity parties, all of this will make you stronger. The only things that will change are the things you allow to change. God bless you and that wonderful man who is standing next to you. This cancer walk is not easy and as I continue to read and reflect the thoughts and knowledge of the people on these cancer boards, I realize I'm walking among some of the strongest. You have endured much and you are strong. I believe that when we are at our weakest, if we have faith, that's when we become our strongest.

    I agree with Natly
    having organs should not define a person.Your personality more than your breasts or ovaries.
    Hislilpet you are 18 years cancer survivor and inspirational story for this board.
    It is tough and very difficult. My heart goes out to you.
    I, myself had a mastectomy, chemo, radiation and reconstruction. And of course induced menopause.
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    terpsi said:

    coping
    We have so many different stories about this journey with breast cancer, yet, we all share similar reactions, emotions and fears. I remember the first time I was diagnosed, my body would shake through most of the night while I clung to my loving husband and tried to draw strength from his warmth.

    You will read from so many women about our having been strong, confident, effective in our jobs and our personal life. And, then, we come face to face with a foe we could never have imagined would challenge us as fiercely as it does. Aside from the physical effects of the surgery, the radiation, the chemo, we experience life-altering feelings of fear and depression. I have never been one to cry about anything but others' happy or sad stories, but I have had episodes of sobbing that came from nowhere. Fear is something that comes and goes without warning.

    You are, indeed, grieving. You are grieving for the perceived loss of so many parts of you that made you feel good about who you were. The parts of your life that were important before may change; you may be able to do things you did before but at a different pace. So much of who I was was an active, super energetic woman. I loved stylin', sassy conversations, quick repartee and, generally, driving others a little crazy with my ideas and need to be spontaneous. Now, I'm wearing a restrictive back brace and have to use a walker to keep myself from falling over. Excuse me, but WTF, how is it I have to use a walker at 58 when I've danced and choreographed my entire life and expected to challenge students until I was 90. I still have moments that I don't share with others because, as they will remind me, I'm lucky to be able to walk.

    So, how to cope. First, allow your loving husband to be there for you. He will help chase away the fears. Express your fears so he will be able to understand what's going on with you. Second, definitely keep and cultivate your relationships with women friends, new and from the past. Sometimes you'll find friends will change during this journey; some cannot deal with it and you will need to let go of them. You will find others, however, who will be there for you. Girlfriends are extraordinary; we share so many fun, sometimes silly, moments that transcend the sharing we have with the men in our lives. Third, go with the flow. When you feel tired, sick, whatever, be gentle with yourself. Lie low and allow your body to sleep and rest. When you feel good, though, take advantage of it and do something--not too extravagant, though, because you will often run out of energy sooner than you'd thought you would--go for an ice cream, a drive with a friend, do a little dance, sing a song, paint a picture, take a photo, make love, cook a (quick) favorite meal, whatever . . . I have to do things I love when I can (even for just five minutes) or I feel that I've let this stupid cancer get a little more than I want to allow. It helps me feel I have a bit of control--and that's part of what you're grieving: the loss of the control that you used to feel. Doing little bits of what you love will really help you feel that you still have some control.

    Alas, I've written way more that you're probably able to read in one sitting LOL. I'll stop now so you can recover.

    There are many cool women here that will help you along the way. You can post or not, depending on how you feel on a given day. Either way, we are all connected and share a special bond and an unconditional love for each other. That will give you strength.

    Love and hugs,
    donna peach

    I start crying as I been reading
    Donna ,
    Thank you well said.While I started crying as I finished reading.Last time I cried 6 months ago
    Probably I am still coping and not completely healed myself too.
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    Wolfi said:

    Your husband
    You convice yourself that you are HIS beauty by looking into his eyes. When he looks at you he doesn't see part of a woman - he sees HIS WIFE. The one he fell in love with and vowed to be with until death. If he was in the same position you are in you would support and love him no matter how much his body had to change. Why do you think he should feel any differently towards you than you do towards him? Let his arms around you be your answer to how you can deal with this.

    You don't need to be strong right now if you don't feel up to it. Cry, get angry, yell, stomp your feet - whatever you feel like doing. You have the right to express any and all emotions you have had, are having, and will have about any of your life changes. Your body will change (I'm not sure in what ways) but that is not much different than how bodies change as people age.

    I am unable to have any more children (even though I still have my ovaries) and both breasts are gone. I came to terms before my bilateral mastectomy that this was going to be the "new me" and I would embrace the change and look for the benefits - getting rid of the cancer, not having to wear bras if I don't want to, and not watching my breasts sag as I get older. (I know, kind of lame points, but they are important to me.)

    Take care, keep posting and let us know if you need anything. This is a great site with many caring people (that's why I come here).

    Good points

    Very good points. Sometimes I think that professionals who suppose to help cancer patients and survivors should tale a lessons from you ladies. Thank you for very good thoughtful discussion.