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    JulietHeart's Avatar
    JulietHeart Posts: 12, Reputation: 4
    New Member

    Nov 4, 2010, 04:31 AM
    How to bring your spirit back to life after a tragedy?
    I recently have been diagnosed with cancer...
    My mother passed away from cancer almost a decade ago...
    Still to this day... it affects me but not as much as my diagnosis.

    I do absolutely nothing but sleep and cry...
    I stopped school... I stopped working... basically I stopped living...

    I haven't told anyone about my disease except for my brother, who lives
    Over a thousand miles away from me... He wants me to get my lively spirit back
    And don't let this disease hold me back but I don't know how to... I don't know where to start...

    If any of you have been or is going through a tragic situation, please tell me:
    How do you gain back your strength and confidence?
    How did you remain so positive during it?
    And if you stopped "living" like me, how did you begin to jump start your life again?

    I really would like some advice. I do not want to continue on my pity party...
    I want to move on and gain my life back... I just don't know where to start...

    If you have any advice or stories, please share them with me...
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,980, Reputation: 5430
    Jobs & Parenting Expert

    Nov 4, 2010, 04:47 AM

    I wish you a renewed spirit and enjoyment of life.

    A year ago I was diagnosed with two bleeding ulcers which had caused severe anemia. While I was in the hospital for blood transfusions, my doctor discovered I had a lump that, after a biopsy, turned out to be cancer. A couple of months later, after several doctor visits to discuss treatment, I had a lumpectomy and radiation.

    I don't ever remember being scared. I'm a writer, so I turned it all into an adventure. Every day I wrote down my impressions of the tests, the surgery, the radiation, and the medical people. I'm not a shy person, so I talked and joked and got to know everyone I encountered. I also did a ton of research and found out about tumor markers and grays and what a CyberKnife is. I wanted to know my enemy and be well-prepared to discuss the cancer with my doctors. (It helped that I am a librarian, so I knew where to look for information.)

    I had adventures in the out-patient radiation treatment waiting room while putting together a weekly (very difficult) jigsaw puzzle with other patients. While in the hospital for the anemia, I had the privilege of being caught in a fire alarm at 3:30 a.m. (and wrote a story about it). I met a hospital transporter who takes patients to and from tests; he has Asperger's syndrome, and told me how he managed that with his job. I chose doo wop and Michael Buble for the music I listened to during the brief radiation treatments. All of it was fascinating!

    So have an adventure like I did, get to know the medical people by name and how many dogs they own and the names of their children, and find out all the mysteries surrounding your disease, so you can feel confident about conquering it.
    JulietHeart's Avatar
    JulietHeart Posts: 12, Reputation: 4
    New Member

    Nov 4, 2010, 04:58 AM
    Comment on Wondergirl's post
    Thank you for you wish.

    Wow you weren't afraid? I think it's amazing you weren't. I am going to learn more about my enemy. I have not researched that much into it but I will. I will try your writing method but did you share it with anyone?
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,980, Reputation: 5430
    Jobs & Parenting Expert

    Nov 4, 2010, 05:01 AM

    Of course, I shared it with my family, the writing group I started two years ago, and my coworkers at the library where I used to work (and had to retire from). Several people said I should submit all or parts of my journal to the hospital newsletter or a local paper or somewhere, so other patients can see what an adventure it can be.

    Feel free to ask me questions and allow me to give you an occasional boost.
    JulietHeart's Avatar
    JulietHeart Posts: 12, Reputation: 4
    New Member

    Nov 4, 2010, 05:05 AM
    Comment on Wondergirl's post
    I'm new at this... I just seem the complete answer. But excellent, I will try these things. Communication is a bring problem for me which I think is making it difficult but I will give these a try. THANK YOU SO MUCH.! [hugs]
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,980, Reputation: 5430
    Jobs & Parenting Expert

    Nov 4, 2010, 05:19 AM

    You will want to find out from the doctor the specific information for your particular case (and read up on what these terms mean) --

    Tumor Diameter: (cm)

    # of Positive Nodes:

    Nodal detail:

    ER Status:
    PR Status:
    HER2 Status:
    Histological Type:


    Clinically apparent metastasis in:
    Movable ipsilateral axillary lymph node(s)
    Fixed or matted ipsilateral axillary lymph node(s)
    Ipsilateral internal mammary nodes

    Any metastasis in:
    Ipsilateral infraclavicular lymph node(s)
    Ipsilateral supraclavicular lymph node(s)

    Pathology analysis:
    No metastasis histologically, no further examination
    No metastasis histologically; IHC and/or H&E staining negative
    Isolated Tumor Cells found (<0.2mm)
    Micrometastasis (>0.2mm and <2.0mm) in axillary nodes
    Metastasis in axillary lymph nodes (>2.0mm)
    Micrometastasis (>0.2mm and <2.0mm) in internal mammary nodes
    Metastasis in internal mammary lymph nodes (>2.0mm)
    Molecular findings (RT-PCR):

    Other information:
    Extension of tumor to chest wall (not including pectoralis muscle)
    Edema (including peau d’orange) or ulceration of the skin of the breast, or satellite skin nodules confined to the same breast
    Evidence of distant metastasis

    Therapy options --
    Hormonal therapy:

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