As I am beginning my journey with breast cancer, I have been doing a lot of research and reading online. The most helpful websites and YouTube videos were written not by doctors or Breast Cancer organizations, but by the actual women going through it. In many ways, I think it is as therapeutic for the author as it is helpful for the readers. For that reason, I decided to post my journey here. If no one reads it, that's okay. But, if it helps another woman on her journey, then that is great!
First of all, every woman's journey is different. There is more than one kind of breast cancer and lots of treatment options. Everyone deals with the diagnosis, the treatment, the process, the recovery, etc. in his or her own way. I was told in my first meeting with the Breast Center that I had to make decisions that I could live with...that I could live with. That's important because people have a lot of opinions and some of them will want to share those with you. Most of them are doing it out of love and concern, so try to take it that way, but remember that this is YOUR journey.
I'm an advocate for educating yourself. For me, I've sought guidance from my physicians and done a lot of research myself. I also have the benefit of being a nurse and working in the hospital setting. Seek out friends and family who have been through this. Many women have reached out to me....I was surprised how many of my friends have been through this themselves. 1 in 8 actually seems low once you start talking to people.
As a nurse, I'm not squeamish and actually appreciate the sometimes brutal honesty of surgical photos/videos. That's not for everyone, but I was glad to have found that there are a few women out there who have been willing to share the not-so-pretty before and afters. I'm still undecided on how much of that I'll share here, but for now, I'll try to tell you my story as it unfolds. I'll be honest...even if it isn't pretty.
Feel free to comment and ask questions.