Hi, my name is Dawn, and I am 53 years old. I was diagnosed with (the beast) breast cancer on the right side in 2004. When the doctor told me, I let one tear slide down my face and that was it! I was ready for battle. So I had the surgery, had the radiation, had the chemo. The surgical site got infected and I lost 3/4 of my breast. For a woman who is 42D, that is a lot. That, and only that, was the embarrassing part for me.
Now I guess you have to know me, because I am kind of kooky. When my hair started falling out, my husband and I had fun with it. First I had a mohawk, then the sides were zig-zagged, then we did all kinds of goofy things with it. Then we finally shaved it all off. I had the wigs and the bandannas with the bangs, but luckily I have a good shaped head and went around bald. Besides, I loved the looks I would get from the little kids. Ha ha! Sometimes I would take my teeth out too for good measure! I didn’t mind not having to shave my legs anymore. Woooohoo! When my eyelashes went I bought fake ones; no biggie. Okay, back to my story. The first day of chemo I went and ate all the tacos I could because I knew I was gonna lose my appetite later, (lost them puppies about half hour later). But I was never sick again. I got that dragged down feeling but that was no biggie. I went for 5 and 1/2 years getting mammograms every three months (OUCH) and everything was good. They say after you make the 5 year period you should be safe.
Then I broke a rib and the pain would just not go away, so I went for an x-ray and the beast was back. This was in 2009. This time it was bone cancer stage 4. They gave me 3-5 years to live. I have it in my spine, lower and upper, and ribs. This time I did cry. Not because I was afraid of the pain or even scared to die, but because I know I will be going to a better place. I cried for my family and friends because they would be left behind. I started getting into crafts to make things for all my family and friends so they could have something to remember me by. I asked God for more grandchildren to love and to let me know them (I had 3 granddaughters already) and now I have 4 more. Thank you, God. I go monthly now to fight the beast with my treatments. As I told you I am a fighter (just ask my ex) lol. It is now 2012 and I found a place that does prosthesis for bras and they even have prosthetic boobs! Hurray!! I just had a pet scan and my bones are regenerating and the tumors are shrinking!!! Its like a miracle! My family and I all cried this time. I am beating the beast.
It’s an uphill battle because I also have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis so I am in pain all the time. I used to stay in bed a lot a feel sorry for myself, but I have been given a third chance at life and I plan not to waste any of it!! I’m still busy doing crafts which is something I really enjoy. I try everything; crocheting, paper crafts, scrapbooking, card making, and bow making for all the girls. I just try to keep busy. I did have to quit my job and fight for disability and I can’t do much housework because it’s too hard. So my house is a mess. But big deal, I am here!
The place I go to for treatments is wonderful! That’s how I found out you can get a breast prosthesis and free bras from the government if you are on Medicare. They have all kinds of good doctors and information. They are getting a masseuse and a chiropractor, too. They have helped a lot. They even have wigs there. This time I am not losing my hair, but it came back funny. The back is really curly and the front and sides are poker straight! What can I say, I told you I was kooky! So the finishing part of my story (I refused to say the end of my story) is to FIGHT THE BEAST DO NOT LET IT BOTHER YOU. Miracles do happen and science is coming up with new medicines all of the time. If you’re in pain, ask for pain pills. Do not suffer if you don’t have to. ENJOY LIFE, LAUGH OFTEN, LOVE YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDS. And talk to people about what you’re going through. Some people don’t know what to say so they will shy away from you. Talk to them, tell them its okay, and if you’re scared, share that with them too. They are your friends and family. They really want to be there for you but don’t know how or what to do. Or you could always write to me. I am here and I have been through it. I will listen and laugh or cry with you if you want. Just never never give up.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.