So sick of being sick - and at my age...

Yeah, I guess if I need to vent, best to do it here.

I'm sick of being so young and having stage 4 breast cancer. I was diagnosed with it from the get-go at 30. I'm "used" to it - as much as one can be. I took 5 months off work and am now worried I'm going to lose my job bec. it came back. I had a liver resection to get the cancer. It was successful but I just learned that the cancer in my breast is again active so I need to switch treatment. When you're stage 4, it's common practice not to get a mastectomy - unless it's the only spot aglow on the PET after 1st treatment. That is now my case. I've been on hormone therapy but I'm sure that now I'll be given an oral chemo drug like Xeloda. And after that stops working I'll be switched to something else. Etc etc.

I know I'm making no sense - I'm actually pretty articulate in real life - and am spewing random ramblings. But I hate that I am sick when I don't have the luxury of being jobless and money-less. I have a husband who is slowly losing it and 2 kids, 8 and 5 - and the 5 year old is autistic and I'm not spending enough time focusing on him. I hate the "mommy needs to get better" conversations and can't explain it to my younger son. But of course I'm grateful that, now in menopause, I have kids at all. So there is my bright side.

I've handled 2 1/2 years of being cancer-ridden, and have held up nicely despite everything, but I am now FED UP to the point of no return bec this shit keeps coming BACK bec. I'm stage 4. I don't know if I'll make it to my 40s and that sucks. I really wanted to travel the world after my retirement - which now is such a cruel joke. I won't go into the brutal reality that I may not see my kids grow up and have families of their own. Let's not go there.

That's it, I'm done for now. I'm not sure I feel better. I don't think I do.:(


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  • I'm not sure if this will help or not, but I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. Mine is now stage 4 - it started in my saliva glands, and has now spread to my lungs. Based on diagnosis alone (no staging), I had about a 50/50 shot at making it to 40. Now (although I haven't asked a doc to confirm) i think my odds are less optimistic ;( I don't have kids, and I can't imagine having to care for them while going through treatment, or trying to picture their future. most days, I don't know whether to think of this as a good thing or a bad thing.

    they don't have chemo that works to prevent my particular brand of crap from coming back time and time again, so I've been sticking with radiation-Two different kinds so far. But, I know there will come a point where more radiation isn't an option, and I'll have to try some experimental chemos.

    For now, I am doing my best to live in the moment, get some affordable traveling in (yay for friends with couches!) and still prepare for my future in case they come up with a "cure" tomorrow.

    In a more practical brand of help - you were perfectly understandable, you just sound frustrated. Is there someone local that can help with your kids? Family is great, and I know around me (Pittsburgh, PA), there are a couple of programs that focus on helping kids cope when a parent has cancer. Have you looked in any near you?

  • i'm so sorry for what you are going through, I know it's so easy to feel like we are alone sometimes, or feel like like we could really loose it, i've had cancer that's spread to my lung now for only 8 or so months, and i'm so frustrated. I'm 25 and my chances are less than 50% that i'll be cured, if I can't be cured I have 2-3 years to live and am now going through menopause and infertile and on pain killers & i'm on a clinical trial, sorry to go on about myself. I know my everyone's got a different story but yours just makes me want to hug you! If you ever want to talk to someone or chat to someone who also has cancer feel free to message me, I feel alone too sometimes.
  • @poptarts - please DON'T apologize for bringing up your story. This is what these forums are about after all. I guess I was having a bad day - to day the least, but I'm better now. I just need to focus on the next step. That's what always gets me through, just taking it day by day and not overthinking anything.

    @ Lisa, so far I've been able to care for my kids and have a part time sitter for when I can't. My husband is a big help. Outside help is not necessary at the moment. I'm mainly just complaining in general about the predicament.

    I know I'm not alone - I've met so many people with so many different kinds of cancer throughout the past 2 years. It's just that, as you guys know, it sucks BIG TIME, having cancer at any age, let alone when you're young and thinking about how you want to change certain things in it, like your job/career, and then you get hit by this enormous truck called cancer and everything else seems so trivial.

    Anyway, thanks for the concern. I guess it does help that there are those out there who get what you're going through. :o
  • no kidding! if it wasn't for cancer, I'd be finished with graduate school and I'd have moved out of Texas by now!

    for the most part, though, I actually wouldn't trade the experience for anything. sure the medical aspects of everything sucked horribly. but I have met great people and have done great things. cancer changed my priorities in life a little bit, and I put a bit more effort into enjoying the present. my wife and I talked about traveling in the future before I got cancer, but ever since, we have decided to start traveling NOW. we may not be able to afford a trip every year, but we are trying to take a trip when we can afford it. life's too short not to.

    I have found peace with myself and my situation. I'm not exactly sure how I reached that point. if I did I could probably make a lot of money telling people how, though.
  • I totally understand. Since I got sick I've been going to more concerts and not postponing things as I used to. I also understand about you making peace with it. Not that this post is a good example - sometimes one just needs to vent - but I'm strangely optimistic most of the time. I take it day by day. I do wish I was able to travel. Maybe soon - who knows!
  • Ideas on how to cope?

    Like everyone else I have my good days and my bad days. I recently finished treatment and I am having a much more difficult time dealing with cancer now than I did during treatment. I am impatient and frustrated, wanting everything to be 'normal' or as close to how it was BC. I am furious and raging with anger, lashing out at anyone close me. I am realizing how much it has taken away and how much it has ruined. While in treatment I was so out of it and in pain that I had little time to think about how my life has been put on pause. I was living from one appointment to the next.
    Now I'm pissed that I don't have a job, I had to elope for insurance, physically I feel ugly, my memory is horrible, I can't focus on tasks long enough to finish them, and I am dealing with a lot of side effects from the chemotherapy.
    Currently, my husband wants to renew our vows in church (which is in itself not 'normal' for me because I am not of the same religious upbringing) and wants the whole family to be present. I, on the other hand, want to forget everything that has to do with marriage because all it reminds me of is how stupid cancer took away what should have been one of the most important days of my life. My husband doesn't understand my perspective and neither does my family. I just want to move on with life - no wedding, no celebrations. I'm the 'bad guy' because of my aversion.
    Our most recent argument has made me realize that I am not OK. I avoid going out of the house, I cry A LOT, I snap at people around me, and if I could, I would lay in bed all day, waiting for time to pass me by. I have been given another chance at life, but I am avoiding living.
    I had seen a therapist after being diagnosed and discontinued sessions because I felt like I couldn't open up to someone that didn't have cancer. I attend a support group once a month, but often don't want to share my frustrations because other attendees have more serious problems and I feel like a complainer.
    I really just don't know what to do to cope with all these emotions and how to get back to living.
  • I know how a lot of y'all feel. I am 20 and have metastatic breast cancer. I could spend forever talking about how much cancer has messed up my life, but it might have been just the push I needed. It sounds weird to say that I needed to get sick, but it definitely made me realign my priorities and taught me a lot about myself. I'm so up and down lately.. really fighting myself to stay positive and not be angry. It has gotten so much harder lately. I had a hip replacement and part of my femur removed almost 2 months ago when my cancer spread to my bone marrow. I hate not being able to go running or work out or even walk normally. I've only had cancer for about a year and a half now, but I'm dying to be 'normal' again. I feel like no one understands what I'm dealing with or can say the right things to me. It doesn't help that I'm in college, and most people my age are too wrapped up in themselves to really worry about anything else. I am just ready for this to all be over.
  • Oh, I wish we could all get together and talk! (then again I suppose that's what this is for, isn't it?) I haven't meant many folks with cancer (unless you count relatives who are all gone now) so, I am grateful for you all being willing to share your stories.

    @ writergirl - i didn't mean to help watch the kids, I mean to help them cope with you being sick, possibly to connect with other kids who are dealing with the same things. I don't know if they would be equipped to help with the son with autism, but certainly, the 8 year old might find something useful or fun to do.