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CANCER DOESN'T HAVE US

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SORRY,WE HAD TO MEET UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.
 
 
This is my story. I was 40 years old, married for nearly 3 years, and our son was 4 days away from turning 16 months. My sister had died September 23.2003 of mouth cancer. My sister-in-law had died of complications from lymphoma on April 20.2004. I felt a hard spot on my right breast that got no bigger than the size of a dime. It wasn’t a lump, it was moveable, and I had read that babies won’t nurse from a cancerous breast. Eventhough, breast cancer runs on my mother’s side of the family,it never occurred to me that it could be cancer. It would be too unreal. Like a bad TV movie from the 70’s. I thought it was clogged milk duct. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Invasive DuctalCarcinoma, on August 17.2004. It was downgraded to Stage 2, when during the lumpectomy, 4 of my lymphnodes came back positive. I also had developed a spot on my bottom lip. It was a dark purple,about 2-3 mm in size. My oncologist, on my first visit asked me how long I have had it. About a year? Maybe,yeah. He said in some women, that was a precursor to breast cancer. Well, during chemo, it got smaller, and with Tamoxifin, it had disappeared.
With this site, I hope to bring comfort and joy to all. Eventhough I had breast cancer, my mission is to find products that will help all cancer patients/survivors. I will share tips that helped me, and friends that I have made through this journey, get through. GOD,my husband, and son got me through this nightmare,and I want to give back. I feel this is my responsibility as a survivor. Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.Psalm 25:4-5 NLT
 
LOOKS LIKE i AM IN THE FIGHT AGAIN. MY TUMOR MARKER WENT FROM 40 IN JUNE (CA 27-29) TO 61 IN SEPTEMBER. I HAD MY MAMMOGRAM, CT SCAN, BONE SCAN, AND AN MRI. I GOT THE RESULTS MONDAY 10/23. THE DOCTOR FOUND 3 LESIONS ON MY BACK BONE. I START A BONE TREATMENT TOMORROW, THAT I HAVE TO TAKE ONCE A MONTH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, AND I AM OFF TAMOXIFIN. PLEASE SAY PRAYERS, FOR MY HUSBAND AND SON
The bone treatment wasn't so bad. I felt like crap the next day, but after that, it was OK. I had a bad reaction to the shot that suppresses the ovaries, so the doctor doesn't want me to have it anymore, but to get a hysterectomy ASAP.
I learned a few things yesterday(11-6-06). My radiologist said if the cancer were to come back, the bone is a good place. I was shocked,(WHY?) Because, it's easier to treat. Also their new guidelines is not to do a tumor marker test. OK, it will cause undue worry, it's only a number, and nothing may be wrong. It my case though, it saved my life! I am not having any back or pain problems, so I would have been living with a false sense of security. That is too scary. Also what I have learned, that even though I have lesions on my back, they could just sit there for years and not do anything. I don't have to take radiation right now, because I am not having any pain
Sorry I haven't updated the site in a couple of weeks. Just having to come to terms that I am in the fight again, is taking a lot out of me emotionally. On November 27, I will be having my hysterectomy. Ironically that is the same day my cousin Billie will be having her baby by C-section. Billie had "unclassified sarcoma" and the tumor was removed in August. She was unable to start radiation treatments because of the pregnancy. Hopefully she will be able to start them very soon.

I apologize for not updating the site since November. I had my hysterectomy on November 27, and all went well. I was even got out a day early! Praise THE LORD. Had my last bone treatment on January 3,2007. I was sick the next day,but I got through it.
When I was pregnant, and also going through chemo the first time, I couldn't stand the smell of pork cooking. I would get so sick. Well it's happening again, and my husband loves sausage and pork chops. He will cook it for himself, while I leave the house. Good man.
I looked up my "bone treatment". I went to Chemocare.com,and it a form of chemo. This time I am not suppose to lose my hair. As I had said,it didn't bother me to lose my hair. The only one I was worried about was my son. How would he take it? He still laughs when he sees my driver's license picture.
The main reason I started this page was to get the message out that,being told you have cancer is not the worse thing in the world. There are so many treatments out there,that it's becoming a "chronic disease". I would not wish it on anyone,but chemo and radiation is do-able.
I know I offer products on this page, because no one told me about things,products that can make life easier while you are going through this. Also, I am part of a program for breast and cervical cancer patients,so that why I don't receive disability. My family lives on 1 paycheck,and it's tight. That is why I got involved with selling products that I know can help people,all people. To make you life just a little bit easier.
My cousin Billie is doing fine with her radiation. She is lucky in a sense. She is able to take a nap after treatment,because her son is an infant. Let me tell you, what a luxury!
A couple of weeks ago, CNN had a special on about cancer. Lance Armstrong was on it. Anyway, they did a story on a gentleman named Frank. He had colon cancer, and went through surgery,and treatment. He was cancer free for awhile, and then spots were found in his liver. The emotions that he expressed, I felt.
The first time I went through treatment, I handled pretty well. I guess because it is a family curse, in the back of my mind, I knew that I might have to go through it. When I did, I felt like I beat it, because, they got it all doing the surgery, and I really didn't have to take chemo. I did for precaustionary reasons. I got it over and done with. I was cancer free. When my tumor marker went up, and the doctor just asking me if I was having bone or back pain, scared me. What is going on? I am only here for my last 3 month checkup. I am suppose to come every 6 months now. What are you telling me. I felt like it was all being taken away from me. I was promised things,and now you say,I have to go through this again,and for the rest of my life? My doctor seems to be optimistic about the whole thing. He is hoping that the cells will become undectable. Why can't they. I was told that they were on the bone,not in the bone. The bonescan and CT scan came back inconclusive. The MRI tech could see them on the scan, but the doctor did. So, by the grace of GOD, maybe the Fermara will get rid of it. When the head of the doctor's department came in,that man told me that a lot of people can live a long time with it in the bones. I said, I was told that it is on the bone. Anyway, he kept stressing that I could live a long time with it,and that they are going to keep me on Femara for the 5 years,and we will see were we go from there. I said fine,as long as I can see my son graduate from college. He asked how old Junior was,and when I told him 3, he said that was stretching it. "I have seen the commericals,why can't it be me?"
Why can't it be me? Isn't it only GOD who determines how long we have. Wouldn't it be wonderful when I send that doctor invitation to Junior's graduation?
Back in 1986, I had polycystic ovaries. Half of the ovaries were removed. My doctor then told me that if I didn't have children in the next 2-3 years,I wouldn't have them because I would miscarry. Junior was born 17 years later.
When I wanted to get pregnant, I prayed. I asked GOD for a child, but not to give me one, if I couldn't raise him( I knew I would have a son). It wouldn't be fair to my husband or child. I was 38,and had alot of female problems in the past. On paper, I shouldn't have been able to become pregnant, without medical intervention, but I did. I was Blessed with my son in 2003.
The reason I am telling you all this, what  I want to say is, DON'T GIVE UP! YOU ARE A PERSON ! NOT A NUMBER! ONLY GOD KNOWS WHAT HIS PLAN IS.
There are many times you are going to be scared,(when you get an ache or pain that could be normal. Just a part of getting older. But like I have told my husband, we don't have that luxury of  nothing being wrong.)but don't give in to it. We can beat this! We have miracles in our lives everyday. We can be one of them
 

SOME SUGGESTIONS
 
1. I wished I would have brought a tape recorder, when I was first diagnosed. Eventhough, my husband was with me,it still wasn't clear. There are so many things spinning in your head. I didn't even hear Stage 1, all I heard was "cancer". Anyway, when I went looking for one small tape recorder, I couldn't find one. At the stores, I kept running into MP3, and online, I would type in "tape recorder" in a search engine, and it would come up with things that I wasn't looking for. Anyway, I have found a few,at a decent price. What I would also recommend, are books on tape. You can lie back,relax, and listen to your favorit books. I like old radio shows

Standard Cassette Recorder Model TCM-150

M1280C Standard Cassette Voice-Activated Recorder
                                             with Case & Adapter

Simply Audiobooks, Inc.

2)First thing I want to say is,once you know you have to go through
chemo,start cutting your hair. It will be less traumatic.True, you may not lose it,but there is no way of knowing that. Be prepared,this way you have time to get the color,texture,and style right. My hair was past my shoulders.Ironically,my husband never wanted me to cut my hair, was the one who cut my hair to chin length, and then after I started chemo shaved my head twice.
I didn’t know this,but my friend Donna said some insurance companies will pay for wigs.

3)When my hair starting falling out,my scalped itched. I know now there are
products out there that are made for this problem. Also, remember with radiation, you will experience burning and itching. I receive this email from Derma Doctor-

 Congratulations on your successful fight against breast cancer! For burning of the skin, ProCyte Iamin Gel can help.Itching can be addressed with a non-steroidal product like PrameGel which may also be applied to the scalp. To protect the scalp, consider use of Ti-Silc Scalp SPF 20.

I got this from Khepra-

Khepra Foot Balm – a lot of people actually use this balm on their  hands and arms and legs as well Khepra Skin Crème – good for the full body;  this may also be great for the scalp.  Several of our employees actually use this product as a daily hair and scalp conditioner.Khepra Cuticle Oil – this is great for the nails and cuticles. Khepra products are made with natural
moisturizers essential oils.

I consider myself blessed,because my nails just turn to a tan color. I saw one lady who had black, broken nails. I wish I knew about these products to help her. During treatment, we get to know one another and start looking out for each other,like a family. I guess because we are in this  fight together.

DERMAdoctor.com, Inc.

Khepra Skin Care

4) When I had trouble keep food down, I would eat a meal,and throw it up. Right away, I ate something else,and kept it down. I saw this tip on a movie, “A Shining Season". I also craved chocolate. Maybe it's true about the chemicals in chocolate. It made me feel better
 My friend Donna told me, that garlic helped. She was abled to keep food down, if it had garlic in it. Shrimp Scampi was her favorite.
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (about 16 to 24)
  • 1/3 cup clarified butter
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh if possible
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION:

Rinse shrimp and set aside. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic 1 or 2 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add shrimp, green onions, wine and lemon juice; cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Then eat and enjoy
I did not add the wine, and I used regular butter
 My friend Mary said taking Zofran, helped her with the nausea. This is the time that you don’t have to worry about your weight. Eat what you can, and enjoy it

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There will be times that you just don't feel like chatting,but when this is all over with,you are going to want to shout to the world,that you survived! Cafe Press hits the nail on the head, about how we feel

5) I was bald by Halloween I didn’t know what to do for a costume. I thought about the King of Siam,but my husband didn’t want to dress up like Anna. Then it hit me. My son can walk,and has a buzz cut. DR Evil and Mini Me! I thought that would be so brilliant! Unfortunately,we both got bad colds,and had to stay home.
 Be bold and daring!  Be what you want to be. Take advantage of being bald. Wigs fit better.You may have cancer, but cancer doesn't have you.

ThingsYouNeverKnewExisted.com

6) Get a hobby. You are thinking, "WHAT? How can I think about getting a hobby?” Wallowing in self-pity is not going to make the situation better. You need to get your mind off of what is going on. A little escapism.You are going to have days like that, so I'm just saying, be prepared.Eventhough I was sick, I was bored, and needed something to do.  I played video games. It keeps your mind active. You might experience “chemo brain” Do crossword puzzles,(I did a crossword puzzle everyday)any kind of puzzle.Do something that you always wanted to do.  Learn a new language,take up knitting or crochet. Crocheting helps me with my Lymphedema. Start a scrapbook,write a book. MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR TIME. Remember in the movie "Groundhog's Day", once he realized he was stuck in his situation,he learned to play the piano. You might have a lot of down time,especially when you immunity system is at it's lowest.
The next day after the bone treatment, I felt like crap.  Realistically, it wasn't that bad, because it was only 1 day, but I did get some arm pain later on, but it didn't last long. Anyway, when I am not up to getting out of the house or even out of bed, I have my crafts by my side. I have been sewing Christmas dolls. Also now have the time to watch some DVDs

Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!

7) One of the biggest things that I have learned the hard way is, they are serious when they tell you to drink a lot of water and get a lot of rest when you are going through radiation. When I first started rads, it was a piece of cake. Once you are in the room, you are out within 10 minutes. I felt great the first 2 weeks.then it hit me. To me, radiation worn me out physically, more than chemo did.

You know what I was just thinking about? When I get down, I like to crawl in bed and watch old movies, TV show, (THANK GOD for TVLand!), and old gameshows(Bless You GSN). It makes me feel like a kid again. I start feeling safe again. It gives me something to hold onto.
This time around, my husband knows how scared I am. (I am more afraid of my emotions than what the doctor has to say. I was put in the hospital in October, because my blood pressure shot up way high) RD went with me when I was originally diagnosed, but since I handled chemo so well, he went to work, and his cousin Joel took me to chemo. Now, RD is coming with me this time around.
I know how Blessed I am,but it makes me think of my sister. She had to go through treatments alone. I think we all need someone, something to hold onto,to makes us feel safe,that we are still here,and fighting. Some of the people that I see during chemo treatment, have a special blanket , knitting, or stuffed doll with them. GOD just get us through this.

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CANCERDOESNTHAVE@AOL.COM

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I hope this list has helped. Just thought I would pass on what I'd learned.I welcome any suggestion that you might have. Tips that got you through.I will expand the pages as we go along. I am also starting a news letter,that I would  like to distribute through email,and to cancer clinics. Please contact me at Cancerdoesnthave@aol.com any suggestion and advice
 By the GRACE OF GOD I am a Surivor. Let us help one another. .
 

TIPS AND ADVICE TO GET YOU AND YOUR FAMILY THROUGH THIS NIGHTMARE