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Saturday, November 7, 2015

My letter to the patient with the "C" word.

Dear Cancer Patient,

   Don't let this news that you've received crush your hope.  You need hope.  I was asked to write a letter to encourage you.  My breast cancer story may not be like yours, but I do know what you are feeling and going through.

   I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage IIa) at age of 41.  I have no BC in my family.  I wear non-aluminum deodorant and eat fairly healthy (very little processed food) and live a pretty healthy, active lifestyle.  No rhyme or reason for this BC.  I am the 1 and 8 statistic.  I had a lumpectomy, 31 treatments of radiation and I will be taking Tomoxifin for the next five years.  I chose not to do chemo. due to the chemo. treatment would only decrease my recurrence of BC by 4 %.  My Oncotype score was a 22; which is a higher number and with the research I've done, it was recommended to do chemo. But again, with the percentage that low, I declined.  It's been one month since my last radiation treatment and my skin is still healing, but very well and looks healthy.  My energy is increasing but not completely back up to wear it was before my radiation treatments.

   The doctors and nurses were wonderful.  They are ready to give you tons of information that you should know about your cancer.  At least they did me.  But I will tell you what the doctors DON'T tell you.  They don't tell you that it is ok to cry and be upset.  When I was going through my radiation treatments, the nurses/techs every day would ask me how my day was going, ask how I was feeling or ask me how my radiation site was.  I always gave a positive answer because I was feeling positive.  Well, about 4 weeks into my treatments I started feeling pain, discomfort, itchiness, tenderness and my positive attitude had left.  Now, I don't want you to confuse this with faith.  I still had my faith in God and my hope that he would see me through this.  I just lost that positive exterior that I was holding onto.  Again, the nurse/tech ask me how I was doing.  I told her that I can't complain because there is someone out there worse than I am.  There was someone who is throwing up from the chemo or crying because her hair was falling out.  I cannot complain.  She looked at me and told me that just because there is someone else going through worse, doesn't mean I can't have my time to complain or feel bad.  It was ok.  I am so thankful that she told me that.  I was starting to feel like I was living a fake life so to speak.  On the outside I was smiling and not complaining.  But in the inside, I was torn, tired and just wanted to crawl into bed and be alone.  Another incident was in church one morning I had a very special friend of mine come up to me during prayer time and ask me how I was.  I broke.  I cried on her shoulder and told her that I just couldn't put on the fake smile and say I was ok, because sometimes I'm not.  I was just tired of being positive.  She hugged me, prayed for me and told me that I didn't need to be positive all the time. That not being positive has nothing to do with my faith.  I can still have faith in God and not be positive.  I held onto that.  I needed to hear that.  Everyone around me was watching how the "Christian, spirit filled woman", was handling the 'c' word.  

Well guess what?  I beat it.  It's gone.  I am cancer free.  I am positive again.  I lost it for a short time, but I'm back!  :)  Amen!

So my advice to you is:

Don't compare your cancer treatment to others.

Everyone's treatment is different.  Everyone's body is different. Keep focused on getting through it and being healthy again.

Don't give up hope or faith in the Lord!

Never give up!  You are here for a reason.  The Lord has a purpose for your life.  You can't have a testimony without a test.  Keep in the Word.  Look up healing scriptures and hang onto them.  Write them on note cards and hang them everywhere you go in the house to remind you to fight!  

It's ok to have a pity party, cry, and complain!

You have every right to complain!  You go right ahead!  Don't let people that have never experienced cancer tell you how to feel. When your done, wipe the tears and press on!

Don't listen to all the advice you get.  

People will tell you not to do this, or that.  Do natural, don't use those drugs.  Let me tell you, I was the person who said that I would never do chemo or radiation; all natural only.  Well, my advice is to pray about it and do what you need to do.  People WILL send you emails about 'this' kills cancer and 'that' kills cancer.  It's your body.  You have to do what you think is best.  So weed out that advice and focus on what your doctor advises.  Those who aren't in the situation, have NO idea what they would do until they are sitting across from the Oncologist and he/she tells them they have cancer!

Listen to your GUT not your HEART.

I can't stand that saying "Follow your heart".  The Bible says that your heart will deceive you.  You follow the holy spirit.  It's that little voice (or what I call my gut instinct) inside you.  Follow it.  

Do your research.

Get on the web and read.  I went to youtube and followed some strong women who have put their cancer story online for all to see. I'm glad they did.  It really prepared me for the treatment.  Look up your treatment and read the side effects, the risks, and the benefits. Be smart.

I hope this helped.  I also encourage you to write your own letter to a cancer patient or blog and tell your cancer story.  It does help others.   Feel free to visit my blog at
I am also a homeschool mother who is raising animals on a small farm.  My cancer story begins on June 14'th, 2015.  If it inspires you, leave a comment.  Also, please visit Cure Forward for more information on clinical trials for cancer patients.

Your Friend and Cancer Survivor,

Tina R.

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