Category Archives: life after breast cancer

Good News

I just wanted to send a quick update on last Friday’s mammogram. The results said that there were no significant changes, and I was given the all clear! It was a tough week for sure, but everything turned out well. I feel very lucky.
Some other good news I would like to share: My husband and I bought our first home last week! We are very excited to be first-time homeowners, and look forward to moving in by month’s end. Happy December, everyone!


Fear of Recurrence

One of the challenges of being a breast cancer survivor is the fear of recurrence. It’s a strange fear for me at this point, more than four years out from the end of my treatment. I don’t look like a cancer survivor anymore, and most days I don’t feel like one. Most of my coworkers don’t even know I have been through cancer, and I would think that it would surprise them, given that I am just 33 years old. My breast cancer is no longer a regular topic of conversation among my family and friends. It just seems further …


Breast Cancer and Your Environment

As I have been preparing to (hopefully!) purchase my first home, I have been thinking a lot about how to make sure my new environment is as safe as possible in light of my history of breast cancer. It’s a funny coincidence that I ran into an article yesterday on about this very thing. It’s worth a read I think, and worth thinking about, especially if you’re a cancer survivor.
Certainly, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy obsessively reading labels and researching the safety of everything you bring into your home, or come into contact with. However, as a …


Testing for Radon in Homes – Being a Cancer-Conscious Homeowner

My husband and I are looking to purchase our first home. The process has been very exciting and we have looked at dozens of homes in the past year. We think we have found one and are going through the process. Hopefully we will know in a few weeks!
One thing I was interested to learn about while researching different inspections for homes is radon. Radon is a radioactive gas which comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through …


Older Women and Aromatase Inhibitors

One of the studies presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Summit in 2011 dealt with the possible cause-effect relationship of severe side effects of aromatase inhibitors in older breast cancer survivors and why so many of these women stop taking these drugs that can help prevent a recurrence.
The study was of particular interest to me as I was put on Arimidex, an aromatase inhibitor, after my second breast cancer. Having been on tamoxifen for five years after my first cancer, I was prepared for side-effects, but didn’t expect them to be as severe as they were. Significant weight gain, …


Things to Remember Following a Mastectomy

Those of us who have had a mastectomy or bilateral mastectomy need to be aware of certain situations that can occur after having a breast or breasts removed. What follows is a list of some of these things:
Phantom Breast Pain – You may have a  feeling pain in the breast that has been removed.
Phantom breast pain can happen after mastectomy for the same reasons phantom pains happen after limb amputations. The brain continues to send signals to nerves in the breast area that were cut during surgery, even though the breast is no longer there.
Phantom breast pain after a mastectomy …


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I have a love/hate relationship with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago in September, just two weeks before the beginning of October, which I had previously never thought of as breast cancer awareness month. Two weeks after my diagnosis, my life became a pink nightmare. As I struggled with treatment options and testing, breast cancer ruled my life. I was constantly worried and upset. The reminders at every restaurant, grocery store, on tee shirts, etc. seemed like a cruel joke.
I remember at one point a few weeks after diagnosis, I took a package …


Five Year Milestone

A couple of weeks ago marked the five-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. It has brought up many feelings, both positive and negative about my diagnosis and treatment (both physical and mental). It was a great time to reflect on how far I have come both physically and emotionally from the shock and devastation of diagnosis, and the accompanying months of treatment.
Life before and after cancer have been vastly different for me. I know that my age likely made a big difference in how I think about this time – I was 28 at the time of diagnosis – …


Take a Look

During my weekly research for blog content I often come across sites that are worth taking a look at because of the services or information they are offering. What follows are three such sites:

The HERS Breast Cancer Foundation – established in 1998 with a mission of empowering women affected by breast cancer, supporting their well-being with post-surgical products and educational services, regardless of financial status.
Take a Look…
The Breast Cancer Society – directly assists families of those diagnosed with breast cancer to help them survive the ordeal. The Breast Cancer Society provides direct financial grants to individuals. Additionally, the organization operates …


Be Your Own Advocate: A Reminder

I recently saw my radiation oncologist for my annual visit. It’s the quickest and easiest of my check-ups. There are no test results, blood draws, or anything. Just a quick exam, some easy questions and I am on my way. It was more of the same this time, and my doctor was as pleasant and quick as always.
At the end of our visit, he asked me if I had my arm measured yet and I said no. He told me that he would arrange for it and insisted that I wait and have it done. As you likely know, women …