A GRATEFUL FIVE-YEAR BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR – PART 2

 INTRODUCTION

I designated October as the month to read everything MY 70-year-old brain could absorb on Breast CancerAlso, the goal was to write a four-part series about MY five-year journey as a Survivor.   

Relying on Google searches, I visited Breast Cancer:

  • Organizations
  • Personal Blogs
  • Support Groups Online
  • Support Groups for Family
  • Forums and Discussion Groups

But, before I could finish Part 2 of the series, a bout of bronchitis entered MY space and gained control.  For almost three weeks, I was totally out of commission.   But thanks to an excellent primary care physician, nebulizer inhalations, antibiotics, and cough medicine; I am bronchitis-free, feeling great, and ready to complete what I started.

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PART 2 – SURVIVING AND OVERCOMING BREAST CANCER

In the beginning of my Breast Cancer journey, I was frustrated, depressed, anxious, fearful and just plain angry.

Without warning, this “unwelcome” and “unfamiliar” condition, Breast Cancer, invaded MY body and changed MY life.  There were so many unanswered questions about life expectancy, diagnosis, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Did I really want answers?  No, denial and rejection of any topic related to Breast Cancer served as MY safety net I chose to make Assumptions rather than face Reality.

Assumptions:

  • MY Five Year Survival Rate for Stage 1 Breast Cancer was 97%.
  • Stage 1 Breast Cancer was serious but not life threatening. 
  • After five years, Breast Cancer was no longer a risk.

Sadly, for more than five years, I relied on these Assumptions.

But I was left with no choice but to face Reality as I prepared to write this four-part series on Breast Cancer.  After reading a number of blogs written by Breast Cancer survivors and caregivers as well as visiting different Breast Cancer organization websites, I confronted –

Reality

  • American Cancer SocietyThe five year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live after their cancer is found.  Of course, many people live much longer than five years.”
  • Oncology Practice, Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer:  A Global Patient Survey – “Worldwide, one-third of patients who present with early-stage breast cancer will go on to develop metastatic disease.”

Now, I must face the Reality that MY

  • 98% five-year survival rate has ended; and
  • despite an early diagnosis of Stage 1 Breast Cancer, I may be among the one-third who develops metastatic Stage 4 Breast Cancer.

As I continue down the path of this Breast Cancer journey, I will strive to improve the quality of MY life, on a daily basis, through:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Pacing
  • Distractions
  • Sleep Health
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Massage Therapy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Spiritual Growth

I plan to put forth an extra effort to remain optimistic and stay positive in preparing to write Part 3 of this series on metastatic Stage 4 Breast Cancer.    It’s a topic that I fear but I no longer will rely on Assumptions to avoid Reality.

Expressing Gratitude for the positive changes in my life after Breast Cancer.  Everything happens in accordance with God’s Plan.  

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Also, Appreciation and Thanks to Amanda, Living in Another Language, for creating the new blog design.

During this final season of my life, I am going on a journey to define "ME." Opening up and going outside of my comfort zone to redefine my life. Exploring and pursuing new interests that will lead to personal happiness, serenity, and tranquility. In undertaking this mission, overcoming the FEAR of starting this new venture as a blogger will be my greatest challenge. Fear has played a large role in my life, but I overcame the FEAR of breast cancer, chronic pain associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Sleep Apnea. My new mantra: FEAR has two meanings: "(1) Forget Everything And Run, or (2) Face Everything and Rise. The Choice is Mine." Blogging here I come ready or not!!!

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Posted in Breast Cancer, Chronic Pain, Uncategorized
14 comments on “A GRATEFUL FIVE-YEAR BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR – PART 2
  1. I am not an expert but a lot of the people in the unlucky third of survivors are from stages two and three.Anyway. The stats vary a lot from study to study. Exercise ups survival by 50% and a low fat, low glucose, high plant fibre diet improves survival dramatically. I was stage 3 but I am also five years out……

  2. Ann Koplow says:

    Thank you, so much, for this post today.

  3. Guy says:

    This is a very well done blog. You are progressing real good from where you started.

  4. Jane says:

    My friend, I so admire your courage! keep on keepin on~

  5. helensamia says:

    Facing reality can be difficult but you are so brave to do this…. But I am sure you will be in the % who will go on with no further problems…

  6. Pam says:

    continue to engage in healthy living. Love Pam

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Elene Sallinger

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