recurrence, by Judy

That dreaded word: recurrence. I’ve already posted about this on my blog, but I’ll finally ‘fess up here. I have a recurrence of my cancer. I found out on Nov. 2.

If people want a “nice” answer for how I’m doing, I’ll say I’m doing fine, that the oncologist was positive in my appointment with her (and she was) and that I have a ton of support (and I do) . . .

but the truth is that now, this very moment, these past couple of days, I’ve been struggling.

I hate hate hate cancer. I hate having cancer. It’s made and is making me a different person, but not necessarily a better person. I’m more afraid, more vulnerable, and some people don’t like that. Well, to be fair, so far only one person hasn’t liked it. That person has said it’s not the cancer, it’s basically all these other things wrong with me (in so many words), but I don’t believe that because we didn’t have problems before I was diagnosed with cancer.

Anyways, I digress. I’m angry. And sad. And I know that I have the kind of cancer (Stage IV Inflammatory Breast Cancer) that will put me in and out of remission for the rest of my life. And that I want that life to be a fairly long one because it’s a good one and I want to be here for my son, my husband, and my other family and loved ones.

I want to live and I live in fear that I won’t.

I’ll have treatment once/week, just like last time. I’m on a 4-week cycle — three weeks of 3 drugs (Carboplatin, Taxol, and Herceptin), and one week of just Herceptin. I’ll lose my hair, my face will bloat and get pimply from the steroids and I’ll have some bad days and other very bad days. Good days too. I had some very good days last week and on Saturday. Sunday was the pits so I think I’m still feeling the effects of that. I’m cranky and angry, and I tell you what, some people really don’t want to deal with that. But what do I do?

I’ll read my Bible. I’ll reach out to people. I’ll pray.

But I might still be angry.

So it’s been hard.

I just can’t lie about it. It’s hard.


11 Responses to recurrence, by Judy

  1. lisasmith says:

    i have been contemplating this statement in my own life: Cancer just changes you. It does. It has. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer means I’ll never be the same.

    My diagnosis was scary. My treatment successful, almost “easy” to some, if there is such a thing. I’m healthy today. I’m thankful, very thankful but there are days, and I won’t lie, where I’m just angry. A friend who is grieving the loss of a child shared with me what she’s doing and she says it helps.

    She’s making a list of all she lost and then a list of all she gained. Because the truth is we gain things. We may not choose the cancer but we can choose our character and then I will give the losses to God once and for all and I will work to use the gains every single day. I’m working on my list this week. I’m praying your gain side grows fast and deep. I’m praying you find solace in God’s Word and I’m praying others grab your hand and hold on tight when you reach out.

    You are not alone.

    lisa smith

  2. Angela Glez. Granada says:

    Dear mother with cancer,
    I am sending my best wishes from Madrid (Spain), please keep the HOPE, there is always HOPE.
    I will pray for you.

  3. Aspergrrrl says:

    Dear Judy,

    You don’t know me, but I want you to know I’m pulling for you. And that if you have to be mad and sad and need to be supported right now, that’s so okay. It IS the cancer, damn it, it’s rude and it’s callous and deviously unjust. You be angry. You be upset. You be whatever it is you need to be right now.

    Just know that you aren’t alone.

    We are all here pulling for you. Bless you. Be well–just as you deserve.

  4. jillian says:

    I hear you. Cancer has made me angry too. And resentful. And pitiful and angry. Really angry. And when I think about it, I’m still angry. Angry that our young married life with small children has been marred by a constant fear of cancer. Both my husband and I have had cancer – him twice, now in remission. And I’m currently being treated for a brain tumor. The “why us” reflex has been strong in me. The only way I can get through is to realise that we all have our struggles and all fight different battles at different stages of life. And as my husband reminds me – a bland life isn’t really living. It’s a life of ups and downs and emotional highs and lows that has truly been lived. Because what is life without emotion? Even anger has its place.

    • Rose says:

      Do you have a blog? I’d like to connect with others who have cancer and are the parents of small children (my son is almost 4). Mine is Shoot me a comment if you read.

  5. Rose says:

    I have stage IV CUP (Cancer of Unknown Primary). I am on your side, pulling for you. Sending you love. Thanks for the post.

  6. ilinap says:

    It’s hard. It sucks. No way around that. Sometimes you can’t turn those lemons into lemonade. You have a lot of people praying right along with you.

  7. justenjoyhim says:

    Thank you so much, everyone, for your wonderful comments.

  8. Judy,

    I am an IBC survivor mom, just learned about this site from Susan @Why Mommy. I don’t blame you for being pissed off. I would be pissed off too, and I try not to live scared, but I am scared of recurrence too.
    I’m sending prayers and love.


  9. I am the girlfriend of a 27 yr old with Pancreatic Cancer that has metatisized to his stomach lining. He is the father to my 6 yr old and its been about 6 mnths since his diagonsis. I have noticed a change in his attitude and I have been having a hard time dealing with his “new” personality. I want to thank you for being able to say/write out loud what I believe is probably going on in his head but he can’t say it out loud yet. I will be printing this and bringing it home, for him and I. for him to know he is not alone and for me to remind me that it is the cancer and all the fear it brings. ❤

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