Hi my name is Barb (lady koala), I call myself a survivor, as from the 29th of November 2013, my treatments will finish. I had my first 6monthly visit with the Specialist Breast Surgeon on Monday, and after viewing the ultrasound films, gave me the good news, I have no spots, meaning no cancer cells, I felt much relief at that news as has been a really hard year.
Now I have to learn to accept my new life and like my new self too. In time I will accept all that, but for now, I am still going through side affects, and emotions, as all survivors do.
Am looking for people I can talk to and listen to, as I will be finished at the clinic soon. The clinic has become a part of my life, and all too soon, I have to learn to live without it.
Is there anyone who would like to add me so I don't feel alone.
Barb (lady koala) 🙂
Hi Barb, I am a survivor like you too. Hooray to the survivors!!! I guess we're on the same page!
Being a survivor i've had to accept & adjust to a new life too. After reading your story it made me feel blessed that i still have my life. I'm guessing you would have similar feelings too.
I had a cancerous brain tumour(size of a pea) in 2000, & then i relapsed in 2007(the tumour was more than twice the size.) Having been cancer free for 6 years I'm in a position where i am looking forward to the future & have left, forgotten about the past(cancer) that is behind me. I hope you will get to the same position i'm in some day.
Have you thought about joining any of support groups(like there's the Warwick Foundation, there must be one for Breast cancer survivors?)
Best of luck, speak more soon
I guess you must be around your first anniversary of cancer now. I just had my third anniversary. I remember when I finished treatment how odd it was because it was obviously a happy thing but also it was weird being cast adrift from what had become the routine of going to the hospital.
I had chemo & a right-side mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. I'm have Triptorelin (monthly injection) and Tamoxifen (tablets) for another 2 years and 2 and a half years respectively.
I had menopause symptoms due to the medication turning off my ovaries - hot flushes in particular - but they have mainly subsided now. I started anti-depressants 2 years ago and I have been weaning off them over the last few months. I am very nearly off them - this week might be the week I stop them. I am pleased about that, I feel better without them.
I am still seeing a counsellor but while I used to cry buckets while talking to her, the last visit the only time I needed the tissues was when I had tears from giggling so much.
Sometimes when I think 'hey, I had cancer' it is such a weird and unlikely thought that I can hardly believe that it happened. But, mainly I think I have accepted it and absorbed it into my life.
What treatment are you having? I hope it is going well. That's great news that you are cancer-free now.
Thank you for adding me as a friend...it sounds like you are having still a bad time of it...and is completely understandable...Sorry I haven't been back to you...been busy making Christmas cards to send...and appointments to attend.
Love I suppose we all have that little fear tucked away in our memory boxes...that just has to surface occasionally...I tend to put it back there again...as I don't want to think about it.
Have been through the chemo, radiation, and only 2 treatments of herceptin left...after next Friday...there will only be one treatment and is all finished...will miss the lovely people at the clinic...the nurses and staff are very compassionate and caring people...I hope to find away to give something of myself back...in a way that will help other people with cancer or cancer survivors.
Well love...I have flapped my gums at you long enough...what have you been doing with your self of late and hope you are well...will say by-for-now...hope to hear from you soon.
Sending hugs to you take care.
Barb xoxo (lady koala) 🙂
Was lovely to hear from you...I am glad to hear you are free from the cancer...and yes love...I am glad I still have my life...and one day I hope to be in the same place as your self.
My older brother passed away September 2012 from a brain tumor...so I think you are lucky to have survived it...hooray for you...I think that is great...must have been terrifying for you...cant imagine how you felt.
Glenn...I attended a "Living Well after Cancer" seminar last month...and found it to be most informative...and now want to be an advocate for that...but will have to wait for my self to heal from the drugs...and have been told that will take at least another 12 months...but for now...I will be joining the Port Macquarie Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group...as where I live...there is nothing here...I have been told they are a very excellent group...is an hours drive for us...but that does not matter to me...as I need the support...have not heard of the Warwick Foundation...but will google it and have a look.
Glenn now that I have flapped my gums at you...will say by-for-now and hope to hear from you soon...sending hugs and best wishes and take care.
Barb xoxo (lady koala) 🙂
Hi Barb, so sorry to hear of your elder brother passing away last year. Everyday I count my lucky stars & remind myself how lucky I am to still be here.i think I know you know of that saying to "knock on wood". Wherever I am sitting or standing & see a piece of wood I can't help myself to knock it with my hand! I can only remember short flashes of what happened in my head(because I was so sick from the heavy chemo.) I think I was most terrified when the receptionist to the clinic, where my oncologist did his practice, called in the evening to say I had to go in & see my oncologist first thing the following morning. I remember having this sick feeling in my gut(in back of my head thinking that the cancer has returned.)
The Breast cancer support group you will be going, I hope it is supportive & helpful for you. I am apart of the Australian Pituitary Foundation, which organize lots of events. But to participate in some of them you need to pay & I can't work due to my poor STM(short term memory) & poor eyesight. But I am slowly improving so I'll wait & see was happens in the coming future. I was a part of CanTeen who were fantastic.
Best wishes & big hugs to you
Hi Glenn love...thanks for that love...and yes I understand what you went through...all of the emotions of being told of cancer...to the visits and procedures...then the op.
I say I understand...as my cancer was an aggressive one...so the doc decided it should be treated aggressively...6x3 weekly doses...it really knocks one's socks off...so you poor love...know what you went through.
Ah yes...the good old 'knock on wood' theory...lol...I have been saying that most of this year...it is only this last week gone I stopped as the breast ultrasound showed no cancer cells...WOOWOO...my first clearance for the next 5 years.
Enough of me...how are you doing now Glenn...are there any improvements...and are you still with CanTeen...as I am and oldie...I only know that it is for young people like your self...what do they actually do to help young cancer suffers?
I haven't joined the group as yet...am just waiting till I have had these last 2 treatments of herceptin...then my 12 months of treatments will have finished...but I have spoken to a lady from there and have heard all good about it...have to travel to it (45mins)...as there is no support group where I live...anyway love...will say night for now...will chat soon...take care my new friend.
I wish you well with ❤️ and hugs
Barb xoxo 🙂
I'm glad your nurses are so nice. My nurses were all wonderful too and made the hospital a pleasant place to be. I liked my Herceptin visits - it was just a relaxing morning hanging out in a comfy chair, chatting to friendly staff and eating free food. There was the needle in my arm but nothing's perfect and it was no bother.
I am a runner and my running is going quite well at the moment. It is much nicer now that daylight savings is here.
I work as a computer programmer and we are working hard on a new version of our software. Just found out I have to go to interstate for a week in December to train a new customer. I've never done that before so that will be exciting. (I try to think "exciting" rather than "scary"!)
Making Christmas cards sounds fun. I used to always do that when I was little, with coloured cardboard and texta and stickers. I'm sure yours are much more sophisticated that mine were!
I don't really worry about the cancer coming back. I feel safe that it is all going to be ok now. Having said that, I am having my regular mammogram & ultrasound this week and I will glad to get some good results from that.
Hi Barb, I am doing well, I feel I am at a pretty good place in my life right now! So I have no complaints about that. Thanks for all your thoughts. That's fantastic to hear you are cancer free for next 5 years. When I think of that feeling you get when you are told by the doctor that you're cancer free(you could bottle that!) Currently I am going to yoga, gym classes weekly & doing an art class at the CAE. So if that's not proof that I haven't improved from when I'd finished cancer treatment in 2007 I don't know what is!
With CanTeen, I joined them towards end of 2009 & finished with them in June 2011. It's for young people between 12 to 24 years old who have a sibling, parent or themselves been affected by cancer. When I was with them, they held camps, rec days things like those for its members. So the activities were a distraction from cancer treatment & living in hospital. All of its funding is from donations only. Even though I was with them for a short period of time, I met some wonderful people there.
Wish you well with how you go with your remaining treatment.
Sorry love I haven't been back to you! Just been so busy...appointments...and visiting the vampire factory so they can take my blood again for testing...LOL...talk about feeling like a pin cushion!
Currently love...I am not doing much exercise...the heart wont allow me to till I have finished the herseptin...and that is not far off now...the last one is on the 28th of this month...am on a week strength of a heart tab...that helps to control the fast heart rate...is not life threatening...just awfully uncomfortable and makes me feel very week at times...but that will wear off in time after the herseptin.
Glenn love...are you doing ok...and how are the exercises going...and are you still receiving support from a group...cause that is also very important to have that.
At the clinic early October...they had the bandanas for sale for Kids Canteen...so I bought 3 of them...and now wear one everytime I go out...some one asked me the other day...why am I wearing that scarf on my head...I said for 2 reasons...no 1...by buying a bandana...you are supporting the young people with cancer and families and/or careers...no 2...I still have bald spots where the hair has not grown yet...but I do love wearing them...with my outfits and jazzy earrings...LOL.
Love all my donations go to cancer research now...whether it be Men's...Women's or Children's cancer...last month was Women's breast cancer awareness month...and Kids Canteen...this month is Men's cancer awareness month...so whatever it is...I now support the lot...and hopefully one day...there will be a cure so cool...it will be just a simple thing as taking a tablet...that is what cancer research is all about.
I also donate to the clinic that I have attended to the last 12 months...they have had raffles and fund raising...they have to do that to keep the clinic going at Port Macquarie...as if that clinic wasn't there...I would have had to travel to Sydney for all my treatments.
Glenn love...please feel free to send me via Private Message
Now I have bashed your ears off love...will say bye for now...will talk soon...and as you say...HOORAY FOR THE SURVIVORS :D
All good wishes to you love.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.