Breast Cancer....A Daughter's Viewpoint.
(Grand Rapids, Michigan)
When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer I was devastated. I was sure I would loose her to this disease.
My mother was also devastated and convinced she would die. She was told her tumor was 2cm in size. Her doctor recommended a total mastectomy of her left breast. After the surgery she would need radiation and chemo.
Thankfully the surgery went well and so did her treatments. However, it was not without heartache as she lost her hair during the treatments.
After her last treatment she was prescribed Arimidex. Then a scan came back that showed tumor growth on her chest wall and she had to go through chemo again.
The roller coaster didn't end there. Her treatments were difficult and full of side effects. Finally she was told she would suspend treatments. Her doctor told her to build up her immune system and begin to live a healthy lifestyle.
So far, this has been the best treatment and she feels better now than she has in years. Her doctors say she is doing well.
Cancer is a devastating diagnosis. Nothing can take away the sting of hearing that you or someone you love has cancer. Words are not strong enough to ease the fear. However, you learn to live a new life. Your perspective changes and you begin to appreciate things more.
Family means more and you stop being petty. Strength is found in support, yet fear and sadness are still there. It's important to know you don't have to be up and in a good mood all the time. You can have bad days. It's okay.
Allow your loved one to grieve without feeling the need to cheer her up. Allow her time to be sad and gain strength through her experience instead of just covering up the pain and putting a smile on your face.
Let the person talk, as cancer does become part of a new life. Yet, there is life. Cancer does not have to be the end.