BEGINNING OF MY JOURNEY
Primary cancer diagnosed 1987, left partial mastectomy followed by 6 weeks radium.
In 1993 had surgery to remove a seed found at the old tumor site. For the first 10 years had checkups 3/12, 6/12 and then yearly thereafter.
DIAGNOSIS OF SECONDARIES
Sailed along until approx 1998/9 when I began to be troubled with right shoulder pain and back pain. Over the next couple of years visited doctor, physio and masseur several times to be told I had arthritis and early osteoporosis. In the end I was often extremely tired, could not sleep because of pain. One morning I awoke in extreme pain and could not roll over or get off the bed. Back to doctor whom at my request ordered a bone scan which subsequently showed metastases right shoulder and collar bone, spine, both rib cages, pelvis and neck.
Needless to say, I was devastated. Commenced on Aredia, tamoxifan, and MS Contin for pain relief. In Dec changed to Femara. Had to cease employment, as I was just too sick to work, most days flat-out getting off the bed. Took 12 months for the treatment to start having an effect and a further 12 months before I felt any real improvement in my general wellbeing. In addition, during this time I had radium treatment to my right shoulder, collarbone and right hip, this eased my pain considerably.
I have been married to David for 18 years. Best thing I ever did. We live on a cattle property which I was actively involved in until this diagnosis and I was also in full time employment as Director of Nursing for Blue Care, Mundubbera-Eidsvold Shires. Have reached the stage where I have just commenced casual employment, 7 hours per week. TERRIFIC!!! Feel I have been given some life back and the cancer is not controlling everything. Have wonderful support from my husband am sure I would not be doing so well if I did not have that support.
Heard on the wireless about this group, rang up and have been part of this wonderful group since. Have just learnt so much. The understanding , encouragement from all and your inspiring stories help me cope with my lot. You also relieve my isolation as living on a property, do not have contact with anyone except my husband or when I go to town to shop.