It’s not like I had a choice


I am almost three weeks post op. Some days it feels like three years. I have to admit that the last few days have been really rough not just physically but more so emotionally. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!  The lymphedema that has sprung up on my left side is causing a lot of pain/discomfort. I have stopped taking all the pain meds I was prescribed other than an occasional tylenol 3 at bedtime so that I can get a bit of sleep. I could take more pills but I really don’t want to. I’m not trying to be a “hero,”  I’m anything but, it’s just I don’t like the side effects from the pills and I don’t want to use them as a crutch. The tightness in my chest prevents me from taking a deep breath as it feels like I have a boulder sitting on me. My left shoulder has seized up from trying to keep my arm elevated and I have a football size lump under my left armpit. So yes, I admit it. I am frustrated and a bit depressed. Ok, a bit more than a bit depressed. It comes in waves and I am treading hard to keep it from washing over me. I’m not moping around but I have had a few “boohoo” moments the last few days so I keep kleenex at hand.

Tomorrow I see my surgical oncologist and I am hoping for good news. She will have my pathology report and I will find out what the next steps are in my treatment. I am hoping she will have a solution for the extreme swelling and some comforting words that I am healing well, or at least on schedule. I have no benchmark to go by. I haven’t been through this before so I don’t know if I am ahead of the game or lagging behind. I know every person is different but being the type “A” personality that I am, I need to know where I stand and what I can do to get this cancer gig wrapped up.

Someone said to me “I don’t know how you do it.”

My response was ” It’s not like I had a choice!”

No one chooses to have cancer. But we can choose how we deal with it. There’s no question in my mind that I will beat this disease, none at all. I have had some days that have been better than others, but at no point have I felt helpless or like giving up.

I may have cancer, but cancer sure as hell doesn’t have me.


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President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Patti,you’re totally entitled to those “boohoo moments “ and more!! You are a wonder enduring what you have and still maintain a sense of humour and determination like yours. Sending good vibes for tomorrow as you pursue the next leg of your journey!


  2. Dear Patti This is a horrible setback for you but you will come through it and I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. There’s a time to be brave and a time to say this is shit. It’s your party and you can cry if you want to. xoxoxo


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