Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Cancer Journey

Ever mindful of my mother's gentle criticism that sometimes it's hard to find stuff on this blog pertaining to a particular topic (yes, I am 47 years old but that doesn't mean I don't listen to my Mom), after writing today's post I went back and gathered everything I've written so far about my cancer diagnosis and treatment here in France and set up a page for them and then I put a link up on the right-hand sidebar.

Here they are:  Cancer Journey.

Not sure how enjoyable they are but you might find them interesting. :-)

4 comments:

Mame said...

Hello, I have to say that my encounter with your blog has been littered with synchronous events, starting with the link to Petit Godin that I followed. We have two of those stoves, and love them, and are seeking a used one for another space. As I read along, I fell over the word, cancer, and promptly followed that lead to your experience with treatment, which I am currently undergoing. For the second time. When I also read the thoughts that you posted about alcoholism and the central point about abstinence, I was sold. It is just so troublesome to find attitudes about high risk drinking being utterly dominated by advertising, and for industrialized cultures to be so ignorant about what constitues a problem with alcohol. Your concise and pithy words on living in France without having to plug into the myths about how central booze is to a good life, well, they were a complete joy to read. I work as an addictions counselor, and feel that AA is the most ingenoius program for change. The people who actually succeed at abstinence tend to be affiliated with AA, and yes, it is a potent parallel universe indeed!
I wish you well in gradually stepping into the new life, and reporting out the view from your window, as your observations and use of language are spot on.
With great warmth, Mame

Victoria FERAUGE said...

@Mame, Oh yes, the AA program is almost diabolically clever. What a pleasure it is even today to walk into a meeting and see happy, fulfilled people who just don't drink and are committed to to never drinking again.

And for the folks who think that former alcoholics are a bunch of depressed boring folks who sit around talking about how they can't drink anymore, well, nothing could be farther from the truth. These are folks who are enjoying life and are really grateful just to be alive. What I remember most from my first meetings in early sobriety was how FUNNY people were. Lots of laughter. Amazing how you get back your sense of humor when you get sober. :-)

So you are going through a second experience with cancer? Would you mind telling your story? I'd love to hear it.

Victoria

Mame said...

So, in 2003 I was 51 and found a small, chewing-gum shaped lump in my r. breast, which I thought was nothing. Since it grew within several months, I got it checked out. Stage 2, grade 1, er+, pr+, her2-. I needed surgery, which removed a section at 10-12:00, and radiation. I was supposed to take Tamoxifen but could not abide reminding myself that I had had cancer, by taking a pill for it every day. Its chance of preventing recurrence was quite small. I was motivated after that to go to grad school, which I had been putting off, and to hike half the Appalachian Trail with one of my sisters. Fast forward to Dec. 2012, a mammogram picks up a stage 1, grade 2, er+, pr-, her2- tumor, left side this time, for which I had surgery, a bigger section out of the 3:00 area, and now radiation. I am debating the wisdom of taking adjuvant meds again, and more interested in influencing my body's climate via diet. That whole subject remains open. I am practical about this, but also given to fits of anger and sometimes involuntary funks. I am working half days now in order to travel to the rads building which is an hour's drive. The first time I had it, I did not work til I was done with tx. I liked that better!
I have incredible sympathy for the chemo process you and others have had to endure, and without it, this is a veritable walk in the park. How is the mission to "suit up" and rejoin the world of the carefully groomed been going?!
Warmly, Mame
If you have email you would want me to use, let me know.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

@Mamae, Thanks for sharing your story. I loved how you started DOING after your first diagnosis. I've heard about the Appalachian Trail and boy that sounds like a kick.

I'm on the tamoxifen right now (icky side effects). Oh and I do I really relate about your "funks". The closer I get to my next check-up the more I seem to think dark thoughts. Only cure for that is to get the hell out of the house and do something. Tonight I'm going to do something a bit different and go to a French AA meeting near my house (10 minutes walk). I will definitely gussy up for this event.

If you'd like to talk more my email is v_ferauge@yahoo.com.