Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I don't know about you, but I've never seen an expiration date stamped anywhere on my body.
As I read through breast cancer articles online to find more information, I constantly run into the death and doom articles quoting survival statistics. I know that statistics are necessary, but really - statistics on breast cancer are always changing. Some of the drugs that they have us on have not been around long enough to have a 15 or 20 year survival statistic. That's all that means. Just because no one has survived metastic breast cancer on Anastrozole or any other drug over 10 years doesn't mean you won't. Statistics can change with you. Don't let this bring you down or make you give up. Don't worry!! Just keep fighting and NEVER GIVE UP.
I personally think it's best to ignore these sites. They don't add anything of value to your fight for life. The same can be true of people who do nothing to lift your spirits. You don't need a pity party, you need hope and encouragement and some normalcy. Although I have to admit, there are times that you just need to break down. In those instances, by all means, break down and cry, scream, throw things, anything that makes you feel better. You definitely deserve a few meltdowns. You've earned them.
This roller coaster ride called breast cancer is a ride that no one asked to be on. Yet, here we are. The highs and lows can take your breath away. Treat this like any other journey you've embarked on. First step is to be prepared. Learn everything there is to know. Do your research. Learn how to heal yourself with food, exercise, sunshine and laughter. With knowledge and a solid plan, you can ride out the rough times or the detours and setbacks and bring yourself back on the right track. It won't always be easy, but you can do it. You have to.
Remember when you first start out to change some things in your life, don't be impatient and don't try to do everything all at once. Take it slow and be realistic and honest with yourself. You can't change overnight. Change one or two things at a time. Expecting too much of yourself all at once could be setting yourself up to fail.
Find people in your life who encourage and support you. Joining a local breast cancer support group in your area can be very rewarding. Your Oncologist most likely has a list of organizations in your area. Meeting with people who share your experience can be very therapeutic, as well as helping others who may be newly diagnosed.
There are other blog entries on this site that deal with diet, vitamins and minerals, and some easy recipes that you can use to get your body healthy enough to help fight off cancer. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or add a healthy recipe that you've found and would like to share with us.
As a final note. I met a woman at my Oncologist's office a few months back who had given up. She tired of the fight and decided to do everything and anything she wanted no matter what. We talked about diet a little, but it became very clear that she did not want to hear any more. She knew that sugar was one of the major threats in the treatment of her cancer, but decided to now eat her dessert before and after a meal. It became very obvious to me that she was done. I agonized over this woman for days after we met. I wanted to shake some sense into her and tell her "not to give up". After a few days I realized that I needed to respect her decision because it was hers to make. She had been fighting for 14 years - yes I said 14 years. That was inspirational to me. So much for the statistics that don't go above 10 years. Yes, this was one woman, but change happens one person at a time.
Metastic breast cancer is treatable. They say that there's no cure to date, but there may be in another year or two or five. It can be treated. With the right meds and the right lifestyle changes we can keep the cancer inactive, asleep, or dead for as long as we keep fighting. Hang in there my fellow breast cancer survivors. Expect light at the end of the tunnel.