Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bad Cancer Day

I confess, I've been having a bad cancer day.

Most of the time I'm fine, and I don't worry about a recurrence or think about the changes I've undergone. Trite as the saying may be, "it is what it is" captures my mindset. I don't consider myself in remission, I consider myself done with this beast.

But today?   I'm tired.   My shoulder hurts more than normal, and I feel very frustrated being in chronic pain for so long.  It's not fair after what I've been through to have to deal with this arm/shoulder problem too. I waited so long for hair -  and I still haven't been able to comb it!  The pain prevents me from sleeping at night but I have to nap when I get home, which means no time for my family.  I've suddenly become very bloated (or fat) and can no longer fit into any of my clothes.  And, because I have no right arm strength, I can't even try to button tight pants. Which is a problem since I have to pee all the time.

Not that they would button anyway.  I look like I'm seven months pregnant.

When I feel bad and get tired, as I am today,  that's when I start thinking about cancer again.  I get discouraged, feeling like this will never end.

Like maybe it's coming back.

I even googled "bloating, shoulder pain, gas, peeing, thirst."  Of course, what was the #1 result?  Ovarian cancer, that's what.


Yes, I'm having a bad cancer day.  Yes, I have been feeling like I am a cancer victim right now.

Today, I received this video in my inbox.  Just in time.

If you are having a bad cancer day, I highly recommend you watch it.

You know what? I'm not a victim. I'm struggling with a bad day like every single person on this planet does. My cancer isn't back, I'm just getting older. I'll be fine tomorrow.


  1. You've expressed my thoughts exactly. When I'm feeling sore and achy (and I've pulled or strained something in my "bad" arm this week and it HURTS) I have bad days and the same thoughts haunt me. I hear you. I wonder if I'll ever escape it and I'm utterly exhausted thinking about it.

  2. I finished chemo in December '08. Had a bi-lateral mastectomy in September '08. Started taking Femara in January '09, Was told that drug would cause a 10-15 pound weight gain and that is just about right, almost all in my stomach! I hear what you are saying. I am a little older than you; 60 years old. I had no reconstruction and feel that was the right decision for me. Keep're a help to me

  3. Hi ladies,

    I'm glad you can relate. It's weird - in the past month I've suddenly ballooned after a year on tamoxifen. But, it's possibly the steroids I took to try to control the pain in my shoulder. At least I hope that's what it is - can't afford an all new wardrobe right now!

  4. I really liked that video! Had a down day myself, and this helped put things in perspective. And I think it's the steroids that are to blame for your weight, a friend of mine is on them to control severe asthma and she puffed up pretty badly on them. But the alternative for her is a week in the hospital, so she puts up with it. Hope your arm feels better soon. : )

  5. Thinking of you. Loved the video!

  6. Really this video is good. You were suffered form this since long time. It is really painful to you.

  7. thanks, ann. i was having a bad cancer moment. my energy has been really low the past few days, after teasing me by returning to semi-normal. i was sure it must be a sign of a recurrence for about 30 seconds this morning.

    loved the video.

  8. I also loved the video. I am sick and my head hurts. I feel nauseous and tired. I cannot sleep. Yes. I worry. But I also remind myself that the flu is going around. It's all about perspective, and like everyone else here, sometimes, you lose it. Then you find it once more. It's what we do.

  9. I know what you mean... especially if you start googling stuff. ANY symptom will come up as some sort of cancer.

    My 9 year old daughter has a cough that is kinda new and won't go away - doctor said it's probably allergies due to the season, and that makes sense. Of course to me, I know that when cancer metastasizes and gets into the lungs it can produce a dry cough.

    So even though she is a healthy 9 year old , my first thought is 'metastasized cancer' - i'm an idiot. But, yes, I do understand the power cancer can have over us...

    I haven't watched the video yet, I will now :)

  10. Oh, Ann, how we can all relate!! Thanks!

  11. You're entitled to have a day like this from time to time...but I have to say I really like how you dealt with it at the end! You're right - you're just having a bad day! Tomorrow is a brand new day!

  12. I am really feel bad to know about that felt bad that day. That was really painful for you. I hope you will get well soon. I waiting for your next update.

  13. Ann,

    I totally hear you. It's like once you have cancer, you are always looking over your shoulder, afraid it's going to come back. Every ache and pain that I have makes me think of cancer. It's easy to look at the world with cancer-colored glasses.

    I guess the best thing is to take things one day at a time and try to always live in the present.

    And I have bad cancer days too. I give the best pity parties for one! Hang in there.

  14. Here's a funny (in a sick sort of way). When I first got diagnosed with ovarian cancer 12 years ago, I wanted to read about survivors. I Googled, "ovarian cancer survivors." I got a bunch of hits! They were obituaries that read so-and-so died of ovarian cancer, survivors include ...

    Hang in there. It will get better.

  15. Hi Ann,

    Isn't it funny how forwarding an email video can change how people feel about their day?

    Today is my radiation appointment 26 of 35...they are also getting me ready for the last 5 boosts. My diagnosis was triple-negative, lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation. Nothing more I can do except watch my hair grow and go to follow-up appts.

    I'm feeling great today...I've found that attitude is everything for me during this cancer journey!

    I hope you feel well again, soon!

    Love your blog!
    Suzanne from Carson City!

  16. Donna, that made me laugh. Obviously, I have a slightly sick sense of humor.

    I'm heading your way Suzanne! Gotta visit family in the area. I hope there is no snow....


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