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What a difference a year makes

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2827
Joined: Jun 2010

July 1 marks the first anniversary of my hysterectomy; May 11 my partial mastectomy. Prior to that, I didn't even know the word stage or grade or how many different types of both endometrial and breast cancers there were. What an education I've had.

Just received news this evening that a friend's endometrial biopsy contained some serous cells. She will have her surgery Friday. A year ago, I probably would have been as cavelier about this as some of my friends were toward me. Not this year.

I'm being trained as a peer navigator for newly diagnosed cancer patients at the cancer center where I receive my care. It's a wonderful program that I know is effective simply because my best support during my emotional roller coaster ride has been from women on this board and the breast cancer board. My involvement in the program to date has been very rewarding and I'm anxious to finish training and have my first "patient".

I hope I can provide Mary the support and help in person that you all gave me from cyberspace. While I didn't have the same cells as she has, she will likely become my first unofficial patient to "peer navigate" through her treatments.

Yes, this past year has made a huge difference in my life. Except for the being sick part, it has actually been rewarding. It forced me to be more introspective than I've ever been and to grow both emotionally and spiritually. You all played an important role in that. Thank you.

Suzanne

susafina
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2010

A toast to your one year anniversary. Congratulations. Being a navigator sounds like it could be aa wonderful experience to both partners. I am sure anyone that has you to personally help them will be very lucky.

You have been through so much yourself but you are also so supportive to others. I may not always post but I enjoy and value the information that you share on theis site.

This friday will be my first anniversary since my last chemo. I am scared since I will see my oncologist and have bloods drawn and a follow up scan will be scheduled. I still feel fatigued and not back to where I'd hope I would be. Friends sort of don't understand because they keep saying your cancer is gone what are you worried about. I would like to believe them but with Stage 3 one never knows if the other shoe will drop. Here I know that everyone understands. It is just scary each time a CA-125 is drawn or a scan performed. Hopefully this will get easier in the future.

But I wish you a bright and happy future, one that is filled with the many joys that life has to offer all of us as warriors and most of all as friends.
SUE
I

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Suzanne, what a wonderful program and you will be such a terrific "navigator"...your experience, knowledge, communication skills and your caring spirit! Your "patients" will be so fortunate to have you by their side!

Best wishes to you always!

Karen

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

It's amazing how much of an education we acquire when our lives are at stake. Congratulations, Suzanne, on your anniversaries; may you always be well.

I think your role as a peer navigator will be an amazing gift to the women you support. You are always supportive to the women here; and in person will add an extra dimension of support.

My cancer center has a program called "Woman to Woman," which pairs a woman who has completed treatment for a specific cancer with someone about to go through the same treatment. I have helped a number of women so far, and I am so gratified when I sense that their fear is reduced by gaining information about exactly what they may go through with treatment. Also, I have a chance to discuss the anticancer diet, something that my doctors and nutritionists did not think was very important.

I am very sorry about your friend, Suzanne; but she is so lucky to have you. You are doing a very good thing.

Love,

Jill

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1978
Joined: Nov 2009

Congrat Suzanne!

I am happy for you on your anniversaries. It is funny how strong we can become when faced with many challenges.

Sending prayers and comfort to your friend, Mary.

Kathy

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

Congrats Suzanne on your anniversaries - may the years of counting go on and on!

The peer navigator sounds like a wonderful program and I know you will be a most-appreciated navigator to whomever is lucky enough to be paired with you. Yes it has been quite an education ... it is hard for me to imagine how I got thru any of the early parts as little as I knew about gyn cancers. I'm glad your friend has you to facilitate her path thru the treatment not to mention the physical and emotional roller coaster to come.

Annie

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