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Answers to Your Cancer Questions

by Friday, July 29, 2011

The other day I asked if you had any questions for me regarding my cancer, and several of you actually had questions.  Believe it or not, I always cringe when I hit the publish button on one of the "do you have any questions" posts.  I don't cringe because it is a bad post, but I cringe because I fear that no one will have a question.  Silly, yes, but very true.

So here are the answers to your questions.

Do you still feel sometimes like this is not happening? (from Debby)

Yes, I feel like that a lot.  When I was newly diagnosed, I prayed that God would give me the strength to get through this, and I believe that is exactly why I feel the way I do. 

Do you have a bucket list, even one you might have had before you found out about the cancer? Are you the "I've re-thought my priorities" kind of person now or are you "I'm not doing anything differently just because I have cancer" kind of person?  (from Denny144)

You know, I've never had a bucket list.  There are things I would love to do before die, but I've never really sat down and made a list.  When I first found out about the cancer, I told McD that I want to take my Dad to New York so we can watch a Yankees game together.   He told me that we would do that, but after I kick this cancer. 

I think I am a "I'm not doing anything differently just because I have cancer" kind of person.  I have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me. 

How do you keep your spirits up?  (from Carolyn)

I've never been one to be down.  If I start worrying about something, then I immediately pray about it.  I try to give my worries to God and let him deal with them.  It isn't always easy to do, but that is what the Bible tells us to do, so I try my hardest.

How do you pray about this?  (from Carolyn)

To tell you the truth, I am not really sure how to answer this one because prayer is such a private thing for me.  I've prayed for strength, courage, healing, and patience.  I've asked God to use me through this battle to help, encourage, and bring awareness to others.  I've asked that a cure be found.  I've thanked God for giving me this battle and not our kids, or other family members.  And, I've thanked him for the strength, courage, feverless days, and patience he has given me.  I also thank him every. single. day. for such a wonderful husband.  I don't even want to think about going through this without him. 

What's something new you learned about yourself in this ordeal?  (from Carolyn)  

I am stronger than I thought.

Are you able to receive your treatments close to home? (from Kimela)

Yes.  We live out in the middle of nowhere, so it takes us about 20 to 25 minutes to get to the clinic.  My doctor from the big city comes here once a week, or I would be traveling to get my treatments. 

Are you planning to celebrate the end of chemo?  (from BB)

Several people have mentioned that we need to have a big party, but that would involve me being the center of attention and I am not a big fan of that.  I'm sure we will have to do something!

Is it worse/better than you anticipated?  (from BB) 

There is a little bit of both.  For some reason I had it in my head that chemo would be a breeze for me, and the first treatment almost did me in.  The second treatment went a lot more like I thought it should, thanks to the shot they gave me.  The hair cut is better than I anticipated.  Oh, and the tastes.  My tastes are a lot worse than I anticipated.  But it is such a minor thing that I feel ridiculous complaining.

Your surgery was going to be done in two stages…and I wondered about that…as to why they would not do it all at once?  (from Monie)

When I told the Wonderful Wizard of Boggs that I wanted to remove both breasts he gave me options, then he let me decide.  I chose having two surgeries.  The second surgery will be when they do the right mastectomy, and start the reconstruction process.   I will have the same amount of surgeries doing it this way, and no pain on the right side until the next surgery.

Did your chemo start immediately after you got your port?   (from Connie) 

My port was put in on Monday, and that Thursday I received my first chemo treatment.

Did it HURT?? (from Connie)

I had heard that there was a freezing spray that they can use to numb the area before using your port, so that might have been the first thing out of my mouth the day of my first treatment.  They used the spray and it didn't hurt.  I felt it, don't get me wrong, but I mainly just felt the pressure.  When I was admitted to the hospital they used my port, but when I asked for freezing spray they looked at me like I was crazy.  They didn't use the spray, and it was just a week after getting the port so it hurt a little.  The nurse assured me that it gets better with time.   I suggest using the freezing spray.

What kind of cancer is your … her2 positive? hormone positive?  (from Connie)

My cancer is IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma).  It is HER2 +, and hormone positive (ER/PR+)

Do you know the things that cancer cannot do ?  (from Kathy/Swampwitch)

Yes, I do…

Cancer is so limited . . .
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Hope
It cannot corrode Faith
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit.

Do you know how much you are loved ?  (from Kathy/Swampwitch)

Honestly, I had no idea until all of this happened.  The outpouring of love and support has  been overwhelming, humbling even.  I cannot thank everyone enough for their love, support, and prayers. 

 

19 Responses
  • Jenni in KS
    July 29, 2011

    Thank you for sharing your answers and experience with us, Julie. You are such a blessing and are encouraging even those of us who are not fighting this particular battle to put our faith and trust in God, to pray when faced with troubles, and to find the reasons to praise Him no matter what comes our way. What a wonderful example!

  • Jen
    July 29, 2011

    What great thoughtful questions and honest answers, Julie. What you have prayed for youched my heart. You are helping people by doing this. Continued Blessings!

  • Jenny
    July 29, 2011

    What a strong woman you are Julie. This brought tears to my eyes.

  • Barbara | Creative Culinary
    July 29, 2011

    The words of a song I love are going through my head right now. “You are amazing. Just the way you are.”
    And when I see your face, I see such courage, compassion and really…such great humor in the face of this ordeal. You Go Girl!

  • debby
    July 29, 2011

    Thank you for answering my question. It sounded foolish when I wrote it, but I always wondered at the unreality of it. I had a prayer too. When I went into this, I prayed hard that whatever happened, I would be a role model to my children. I wanted them to see how a Christian with faith handles hard times. I wanted my faith to be evident to them. I wanted them to have a mental snapshot to hold close when they dealt with the inevitable hard times in their own lives. I suppose my prayer was answered too. I suppose that God lifted me from the fearfulness of it, and set me in a quieter place so that I could be a role model to them.
    Thanks. That little nugget of your thinking has added a new clarity to my own.

  • Connie in Fl
    July 29, 2011

    My best friend would tell you you are doing the right thing waiting for your reconstruction until after you finish chemo. She had the reconstruction done when her mastectomy was done. When her chemo was over her new breast had shrunk a size and she has to wear an insert. She was just short of 39 when diagnosed. She is a 9 year survivor at this point. Thanks for being willing to share your journey with us. I am a survivor of a rare form of ovarian cancer getting ready to go for my second follow up appt. Reading accounts such as yours help me to know I am not alone.

  • Sayre
    July 29, 2011

    I didn’t ask a question because mine had already been asked.
    Thanks for doing this, though. I don’t have cancer, but I have friends who do (the same kind as you do) and having knowledge from all of you helps me deal with and help the next person I know who goes through this – whoever that might be.
    Still praying for you daily, with special prayers on Sunday (or whenever you seem to need it).

  • Beth
    July 29, 2011

    I enjoyed reading this, Julie! I’m so glad you’re doing so well! Your good spirits are inspiring!

  • Evelyn
    July 29, 2011

    You are an inspiration! Now, my doctor has always said that I was just due to the nature of my work; but, let me tell you,it was hard some days! However, I was felled by some of the side affects that only 1% of chemo patients get. That was pretty mind blowing. Did it make me a stronger person? I have no clue at the moment but, I will tell you this: like you, I didn’t know how strong I could be when push came to shove. I love Debby’s answer; that was my prayer too – to be able to handle it with grace. The best to you; one of these days you will look back and wonder.

  • Melissa in Tx.
    July 29, 2011

    Thank you for being so open and honest with all of us, I think sharing with others sometimes gives us strength too. I pray that God will give you the strength you need and everything else you may need and I know that he will. Praying for you and your family.

  • Sandie
    July 29, 2011

    Keep fighting the fight. You are one heck of a woman and a great person to look up to. you’re out look is wonderful.

  • Joanie
    July 30, 2011

    Your honesty is so amazing. You have prayer warriors near and far! Thinking of you…

  • amy
    July 30, 2011

    I had colorectal cancer, and a quick piece of advice… The Betty Crocker Living With Cancer cookbook is great for things like taste- it gives meals specifically targeted for different treatment side effects. They also suggest switching to plastic cutlery if you get a metallic taste.
    I’m 6 years out now (and I was diagnosed young- 27!), so good luck through everything, and hope to see you on the other side kicking butt!

  • Carolyn
    August 1, 2011

    Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions and thanks for your candid answers. It reminds me how much I have to learn about strength and courage and peace.

  • Karmyn R
    August 1, 2011

    Oh Swampy asked the best question!!! And thanks for answering everyone’s! I’m glad to know.
    I am going to get a hint of the metallic taste next weekend. I’m feeling fortunate to have lucked out with the “easy” cancer.
    Thinking of you daily!

  • Jessica
    August 2, 2011

    You are such a positive inspiration!! I hope we can meet in real life someday!!

  • Pamela
    August 20, 2011

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  • Karen Zaghiyan
    February 19, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I know some persons, some of my friends who are suffering from this disease. This will be very helpful for them to give courage, strength and also try to take a decision for their treatment.

  • kik hack for android
    April 20, 2017

    Now I know who the brainy one is, I’ll keep looking for your posts.

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