Really struggling emotionally

LYaklin Member Posts: 16
I'm a new member here so I guess I'll start with an introduction. My name is Laura. I'm 45 years old and have been living with Stage 3A breast cancer since July 2008. Prior to surgery, my team of doctors all told me how lucky I was to have caught it so early. Early you ask, at stage 3A? Until they got in there they didn't know there was any node involvement and guessed my staging to be in situ to stage 1 at most. Four hours later when I came out I was Stage 3a ... they removed 19 lymph nodes, 16 testing malignant. Surprise!! I am triple negative and also BRCA negative.

Through it all I've had 3 mentors to turn to when I felt like giving up, or that it was too hard. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer in 2006. A very dear old friend was diagnosed with cancer in her brain around the same time I was diagnosed. Then out of the blue, a beautiful young lady showed up at my door offering her hand in friendship. She too had breast cancer and knew I'd probably appreciate a friend who understood. Now I've known the girl her whole life as we grew up together in the same neighborhood, but there is a 12 year age difference. Until that day I knew her as little Michelle down the street. Michelle helped me through the loss of my friend who had brain cancer, the loss of my mom in 2009, a new scare also in 2009 when they thought I had developed hurthle cell carcinoma, and then my recurrence and metastases to my bones this past fall. What is significant is that all 3 of them vowed we'd beat this together. This was not meant to be.

Michelle's recurrence started a few months after my initial diagnosis. We fought side by side in our chemo chairs every week, and by telephone in between. In November of 2010, our oncology team gave her the news that she needed to start putting her affairs in order. Her cancer had spread to her liver and bones. I'm the first person she called. She asked me to help her put together a slide show video for her funeral and to make the cd for her service. March 7, 2011 I got the call at 5:30 in the morning that my Michelle had passed away. She was only 34 years old and left behind 3 young children.

I'm lost! My mentors are all gone now and I am left fighting alone for the first time and I have no idea how to do it alone. I learned so much from Michelle. I remember a chemo day that I was mumbling and grumbling about having to go on my facebook page. Michelle who was too ill to get chemo left me a comment that said,"I wish I could get chemo." Talk about an eye opener. But it is exactly what I needed. Now whenever I start grumbling and dreading the lovely chemo after effects, I think of her words. And I am grateful to be going.

But I'm hurting so badly inside at her loss. I don't understand why I am still here and she is gone. I don't know who will kick me in the butt when I need it now. I honestly believe that as hard as it was to bury my mom, burying Michelle was harder. I saw what could be my end in bold reality and it terrifies me.

Sorry to have prattled on for so long. I just needed some place to put it, a place where maybe somebody will understand.



  • 3Mana
    3Mana Member Posts: 811
    Tears are rolling down my face as I read your post. I'm so sorry for you. Not only have you been fighting cancer, but you also lost your mom and now your best friend. Just know that you have alot of friends here whether we've met or not. I do not have cancer, but lost my husband just a year ago in March from lung cancer. And my mom, dad, and just recently, my husbands niece died from it also. Cancer Sucks! Please know that there's support here 24/7!! Carole
  • grandmafay
    grandmafay Member Posts: 1,633 Member
    You are a strong, gutsy lady who has faced way too much tragedy. My husband fought stage 4 colon cancer for six years. He used to say, "Today is a good day. I woke up.". Of course you are scared. Who wouldn't be? You just need to remember that we are all terminal. We are terminal from the day we are born. You are buying time with your care and chemo. My husband used to call it PPMM, the power of prayer and modern medicine. My wish for you is that you buy many, many years. Hang in there. You are not alone. Check with you local American Cancer Society to see if they have support groups in your area. Check with you doctors and nurses, too. Our group was wonderful. Come back here whenever you need to do so. Feel free to PM me, too. I'm not a cancer survivor like you, so I can only imagine what you are going through, but I do care. Fay