Quality of life, not quantity of life is important
|In 2002 I had
a three centimeter lump removed from my breast, and they took out
all 27 lymph nodes. I am a conqueror rather than a survivor.
In 2002 I had a three centimeter lump removed from my breast, and they
took out all 27 lymph nodes. The biopsy proved that there was no cancer
in any of them. That is why I opted not to do the chemo or Tamoxifen although
the doctors wanted me to. I have never had lymphedema.
I breezed through my radical modified mastectomy because for many years
I had also suffered as an alcoholic and the alcoholism that, to me, was
a way worse disease than the breast cancer. I am a recovering alcoholic
who also came from a very abusive relationship.
I decided to get breast reconstruction but waited a whole year after
my mastectomy to have it done. As I was very flat chested anyhow, I opted
for small C-cup breasts and I am now a 36 C.
Unfortunately, I am overwhelmed with night sweats and hot flashes, and
cannot even get a decent night’s sleep. Because of breast cancer,
of course they will not give me any hormones for my menopause. I do take
the over-the-counter Estroven which I am not even supposed to take, but,
I was sick and tired of feeling miserable all the time. I decided that
quality of life, not quantity of life is important and I do not live in
fear of recurring cancer.
I work out 45 minutes every day, and, although I’m not supposed
to, I lift way over ten pounds. At age 54 I am in good enough shape that
I can still go out into the ocean and surf, and I feel it is wonderful
that I can also surf and roller skate with my grandkids if I want to.
I am in great shape for my age with a great tight butt and good strong
legs, and I am told I have a figure that is even better than most teenage
My husband is a building inspector and at times I work at home on my
own computer doing transcribing. I love to type and I would love to be
getting more and more typing to do, but I am being patient as it is all
coming together. With my night sweats and hot flashes, I don't think I
would do well working outside the home during the day, and besides that,
I keep myself free to take care of our ten grandkids when any of them
I also have an elderly mother who is not too understanding or supportive
of my breast reconstruction. She feels that I don't even deserve to have
a vacation because she is too old to enjoy life… so, why should
I?!! Now that I am sober I understand more, particularly why I lived in
abusive relationships. My mother is a very emotionally abusive person,
and when I was a teenager I was anorexic and lost my periods for five
years. My parents did not care. My mother is very stingy because of the
great depression, and she hoards all kinds of money that, if she chose
to, could help out family members in need. But she is too stingy to help.
So, now that I am recovering from breast cancer and alcoholism, my elderly
mother is more of a burden and not a blessing, but, that is another story.
I refer to myself more as a conqueror rather than a survivor.
- American Cancer
Society presents everything you need to know to cope with cancer
and its effects
- Cancer Care Inc. is a national
non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free professional
help to people with all cancers through counseling, education, information
and referral and direct financial assistance.