Hello, my dear friends! I would like to share with you a story of the woman I admire. Her name is Maria, 41 years old, a mother of two boys (8 and 5 years old). We think that the story of this woman is a great example that may help many women to cope with breast cancer.
That’s how she tells the story of all that happened to her.
Breast cancer – Symptoms
It all started when I groped a small lump in the breast. It appeared suddenly. I was far from thinking that it could be something serious. I was only 33 years old, I breastfed my first child, moreover, none of my family, friends and relatives had cancer! I was sure that nothing like this will happen to me! I reassured myself that it was definitely connected with lactation and would disappear by itself. Time passed, and the lump did not disappear, but it was not growing and it did not hurt! Despite the fact that I became more interested in breast diseases, I was in no hurry to a doctor.
I persistently dismissed bad thoughts, and even forbade myself to read the horror stories on the Internet, as many diseases corresponded my case, spoiled the mood and frightened me. Three months later I had swollen axillary lymph nodes. And then I found an explanation – I caught a cold! But the cold passed in a week, and that painful lump under my arm remained.
I began to look for the answers on the Internet, where I read that my symptoms – are an occasion to sound the alarm! And I rushed to the doctor! The doctor examined me, told me to have ultrasound examination.
I looked at the screen with hope, but my expectations were not met – I saw there the image that I was afraid of. As a matter of urgency, the doctor ordered a biopsy. A few days later, the last day of the fall of 2005, I was told the sad news – I had breast cancer, stage 3. The good news was that the cancer had not spread to other organs.
The disease is like a death sentence…
I learned my diagnosis on the phone. They warned me in advance about the call and I was waiting for it. The wait was excruciatingly long. I stupidly wandered around from corner to corner and couldn’t do anything else. Weightlessness – the very first feeling I experienced when the provider reported the results of my biopsy. The walls in the room swayed and the the ground was giving way beneath my feet, and I hung between heaven and earth, between life and death. I suddenly realized that my life is finite, because all I knew about cancer – was death and that the treatment extends life up to 5 years maximum. I was gripped by fear, pain and resentment. I was scared of the thought that now every day will be geting worse and worse. It was painful to imagine my baby without my affection and protection. My resentment stifled me, because it happened to me in a bright and important period of my life, when my husband and I dreamed about another child! I did not know and did not understand what to do, how we must live. I did not cry, but tears were running streams for some reason.
The Support of others as one of the main factors of recovery
From the first minute my husband took everything into his own hands. He rushed from work and immediately began to look for experts. He found me the best doctors; he went into all the details of my illness and the forthcoming treatment. Thanks to my husband, I believed that this is possible! And it was very important for me that he believes in it!
In the first call for help my dear mother arrived to me, she quit her job and left … dad. This was the first and the only long separation of my parents. Mom arrived the day before my first chemistry, and I accompanied her to the airport directly from the hospital after the last radiotherapy session. My mom – is a believer, she is convinced that prayers can work wonders, and healing comes with God’s help. “Masha! Do not be afraid of anything! We can get through it! I will pray for it! “- Shouted my mother. And she did it!
Every moment my good son gave me joy and smiles. He entertained me around the clock, he didn’t allow me to fall into despair. Without knowing it, he gave me a huge favor, forcing me to move a lot and walk in the fresh air every day! My lovely baby, my only child – he is the one for whom I was ready to do a lot, I had to become healthy for his sake!!!
The long months of treatment…
My treatment lasted for almost the whole 2006 year. This year was very difficult for me and for my family. My mother was hiding their problems, worries and anxieties, always brought me just positive emotions, she charged me with her energy. My dear, dear Mother, I wouldn’t have coped without her help! Mom unconditionally shouldered all the household chores and took care of her grandson. She was always smiling, affectionate, and helpful! Mammy, I love you very much, thank you for everything, my dear!
From a young, pretty woman, I quickly turned into a bald, pale and swollen, with no eyebrows and eyelashes, with watery eyes, sore feet, hands, peeling nails, scared, all -forgotten and panicking wreck. I felt guilty about what happened to me. I was ashamed of the fact that I spoiled not only my life.
I wanted privacy; I was ready to break relationships, to not to be a burden. My husband immediately put a stop to this kind of talk, and with a unique sense of humor, he recommended me to use my position as long as there was such a possibility. And I enjoyed – I was forgiven penalties for missed payments, they cut the price of goods and services, and so on. Little things, but it was nice!
I tried to help myself – I read stories of people who survived cancer, in order to learn from them something useful for myself. In particular, I was grateful to the writer Darya Dontsova. She talked about the simplest but very necessary and important things in an easy and funny way. We followed her advice. My husband, for example, kept me in shape, demanded attention and a delicious lunch. Sometimes I hardly got up and trudged to the kitchen, but forces came to me from somewhere and I had a second wind. I was proud of myself and my small achievements and thanked my husband for his perseverance.
I accepted the call to fight every day – I declared war on cancer. I fought and suffered in “the battlefield ” –I was getting over the side effects of chemicals, which had been particularly evident in the 5-6th day, I was lying in bed, and, losing my strength, but I gritted my teeth and muttered: “I’m hurt, but I will not give up, I will fight you – the victory will be mine!”
Yes, the year was very hard! But I cannot say that it was bad! At that time I received so much attention, warmth, love and care, that I had not received in my entire previous life.
The Disease as a GIFT…
Looking back, I can say with certainty that breast cancer has changed my life for the better. I have learned to enjoy each new day presented to me and began to appreciate the time spent with loved ones. In addition, there are many other useful changes. Firstly, my new haircut really suited me better than long hair. Secondly, my husband gave up smoking, took up running and revised our food. We began to live a healthy lifestyle and now we are in a good physical shape! And thirdly, my husband and I fulfilled our dream, – I was able to give birth to a second son, and his birth was a miracle!
I confess that I probably did not dare to have a second child, especially soon after the treatment, but life presented me a gift! I was 17 weeks pregnant when I knew about my interesting state, when an abortion was possible only on medical grounds. In my situation, the last ward was not left for the gynecologist, who was against pregnancy, but for the oncologist, who did not object, and was also sincerely glad! Baby was born at term and healthy! Our son will be 6 years old soon! And he – is our prize for the victory!