Hi to all you lovely ladies
From time to time I came on to the boards but very rarely post. I have just read a message from a lady who asked why no long term survivors posted. Reading this post started me thinking why don't more of us 5 year plus survivors post, is it because life has returned to normal, we don't need any more support or we don't feel we have anything to contribute. Maybe it's a bit of all 3, and yet sitting here I realise how important it is and was to hear stories of ladies who have survived this awful disease and are now living a full and rewarding life.
I joined Jo' trust 6 years ago after being diagnosed with a 6cm aggressive tumour, stage 2b I remember the acute fear of not making it and the treatment that lay ahead. One night I sat up all night and read every single post ever posted on Jo's trust, some were scary of ladies that did not make it but there was so many more of hope and surviving this horrid disease. In the beginning the forum and especially the support I received was my lifeline, I honestly think I would have buclked without the support I got from here. Six weeks after diagnosis I started my treatment,. I underwent 25 radio session, 5 chemo and 3 brachytherapy treatments. At the end and after 3 months I was given the news I was free of the disease and could now start picking up my life after what had been a very tough battle, especially because my daughter was only 2 and so needed her Mummy to be fit and well. For the next 2 years I had 2 monthly then 3 monthly check ups, from 2-5 years it stretched to 6 months and with each check up I started to relax just a little more. Last April I was discharged and I must admit I felt elated but also scared I was now on my own, to the point where I have asked if I can still have a annual check up.
After such aggressive treatment I was expecting to have ongoing problems, and I know of ladies that do have bladder/bowl problems post treatment. I count myself as very fortunate because to date I have not had any side effects other than the mental anguish of a relapse, this especially bad in the first few years. I can honestly say after 6 years I rarely think of then cancer rearing it's ugly head again, I live life to the full and now run my own successfull business so have channelled much of my energies into this while also enjoying seeing my daughter growing up.
For all you ladies starting out on this journey or just finishing it please look to the future, I am evidence that we do survive this cancer, we do pick up the pieces and start living again, and whilst it is so important to get on with our lives we must never forget others that may need our support. Please please if there are any long term survivors out there add yourself to this post, let others know you are here, like me you maybe shy or not feel you have much to contribute but I think by just saying hi will give so much hope anyone just diagnosed.
Love to you all