Sunday, September 19, 2010

Life gets in the way

Ok, it's been awhile I know. I never meant it to be this way. It has been a long, very hot and very stressful summer for me. I will be honest and tell you that anxiety and depression and children have ruled my summer, there weren't many traces of "me" actually around. 

I wanted to share what has happened to those of you who wondered where I went. Maybe it will help someone else deal with some fear they may be having too. 
5 years ago I had breast pain, I went and got that checked, they found a lump and a cyst, a very small lump. They wanted a needle biopsy, well no, I can't do needles and that is true, I asked to be knocked out, nope, they wouldn't do it. I didn't go back. Before we went on vacation, I found a few more lumps, was having severe pain and my right breast had actually grown. I don't think that 51 yr old women grow a larger breast, it's a little late for that, and especially just one.We went despite my fear, I tried to have fun, as best as I could with the anxiety that was building inside of me. We came home, the pain subsided a bit, until 2 weeks before the next monthly, this time it came back in both of them, so I forced myself to my doctor for some anxiety meds, scheduled an appointment at the breast clinic and went. Fortunately a good friend went with me through all of this and let me cry whenever I needed to. I don't need to tell you that the little lump had grown to about 4 cm. and I was full of cysts. They really didn't think it was anything bad, they figured it was a fiberadnoma, nothing real serious, but it needed removed.Shall I say that fear overtook me that day late in July. That was it, there was no more me, anxiety, fear, depression, that's what the summer was for me. I couldn't touch my chest for pain, work was hard, couldn't find a bra that would cause no pain, life sucked at that time. I functioned at the necessary stuff, but I couldn't think, I tried to paint and it wouldn't happen. I just kept looking at my grandson and crying, thinking that I had just been handed a death sentence. I prayed hard, talked to God at odd times of the day, tried to cope. Surgery for me was scary, it was needles and pain and fear of what might really be there.
The day came, drugs are good, I was relaxed, the IV went well, I slept and was given more drugs. Diana was with me as was my middle daughter Tina and I guess I was amusing. Then I woke up and came home and was amazed at the lack of pain, no pain meds needed, went back to work and was pretty positive waiting for the biopsy. Then the call came. It was a Phyllodes tumor, a very rare and fast growing type of cancer, and it had grown, to 5 1/2 cm in a month. No cure, no radiation, chemo, hormone therapy, talk about a slap in the face! More surgery to remove the tissue around it to make sure it was clear. A partial mastectomy. 2 weeks and they were doing more. More fear, more anxiety, no sleep. Monday came and the surgery was done. This time more pain, less positive, no sleep, scared out of my mind. But between all my FB family, my family and friends and God above, I made it through the week, and Friday came and a phone call came, I held my breath, when she said "I wanted to call you and let you know that the biopsy was clear so that you could enjoy your weekend", the tears came and I looked up and thanked God. It's not over though, I have to be watched, some can regrow, but I am going to try and have the faith that God won't let that happen. I survived that thing for 5 years, that was a miracle in itself. So please to all, don't let anything go, if there is fear, ask your doctor to help you, there are good anti anxiety meds, and talk to people. We don't have to die, just don't be like me and wait 5 years, that was a miracle and God had to have made that happen.
So now my favorite time of the year is here, I want to enjoy it and get back to painting and collecting my treasures and talking to all of you again. It's been a totally wasted summer, given over to fear and depression. But I am happy to be back.


  1. Dearest Eileen,

    I admire you for the strength that you have shown. You may have felt weak and hopeless at some point but you let that inner strength take hold of what you're feeling. And your faith has given you another chance to enjoy life.

    My mother is 58yrs old and she's been complaining about some breasts pain too. The frustration I have is because I live so far from her and I am the only one she would really go to the doctor with. My other 3 siblings couldn't convince her otherwise. My mom have been a widow for more than 20yrs now and my relationship with her is very strong. We are each other's rock. I hope when I tell her about your story, she'll at least let any or all of my siblings accompany her.

    Thank you so much for sharing Eileen! I will continue to pray for you and wish for the calmness you feel inside of you now to remain forever.

    Take care and God bless,

  2. Hey sunshine..... It takes a very strong person to go through what you did, and an even stonger person to share it....I hope you see now that YOU are that strong person, God just needed a way to get your attention and remind you!!!

  3. Your Mom is close to my age Cyle, and I am a widow too. Please tell here that she needs to go, get anxiety meds if necessary, it could just be cysts, but then maybe not, so please try and convince her. I had lots of support, I was scared to the point that my BP was really high, I was a mess, this is a very rare type of cancer that can't be treated by anything other than removing, sometimes the entire breast, I had a partial removal. It moves fast and can go to the lungs, liver and bones, please get her to go!! And thanks so much!

  4. Heather, so many of you helped me to be strong, along with a few meds, LOL. I felt a total mess, but I kept looking at these grandkids and knowing they somewhat need me, I had to go. I wanted to share to maybe help just one more person, I could never tell you all I was going through, the thoughts and feeling and the total loneliness at times, I would have to write a book and besides, you might really see my weirdness, LOL. Thanks for being there for me too Heather, it means so much!

  5. You have really had a summer of it, haven't you girl *hugs*
    Keeping you in my prayers that this is all now firmly in the past.
    much love

  6. Thanks Pat, it was a really anxious summer. I am not sad to see it end. And everything else with it! I appreciate the prayers!

  7. Hi Eileen, I didn't realise you actually had a cancerous tumour - I'm so enormously pleased that this worked out in a positive way for you. I am so humbled at the amount of pain and stress you've had to endure - wow - you're one amazing lady!!

    Jane xxx

  8. Jane, it was a very rare form of breast cancer, scared me out of my mind, it had to have been God that saved me, cause it was rapid growing and had been there for 5 years without doing much til this summer when it exploded! Hey I am nothing special, just very blessed at this time. I am just me!! Take care hun!!

  9. You are so strong to share this with everyone! <3 I am reposting to URGE everyone I know to please listen to their body like you did and get it taken care of! Much love!

  10. I wish that I could say that I listened when I should have, I put it off for awhile, then I had to really push myself with a friend's help, I got there, but I fell apart, it's almost like I knew and didn't want to know. It was so hard, I hope maybe this helps someone else to maybe go sooner, when I think of how bad it could have been, I want to slap myself for not going sooner. Thanks for sharing!

  11. That is an awsome story and shows that God does sometimes just want to get our attention.
    Happy that everything turned out ok. You have a wonderful gift with your painting love the blog.

  12. Thanks Debbie, and yes, God does do things to get our attention for sure, I think that often we just don't realize it!!

  13. Wow Eileen.. I didn't realize what all was going on.. I miss alot of posts on glad it all worked out so well for you...amazing story..Thanks so much for sharing it.. it sure reminds us that we need to pay attention all the time..
    Thoughts and prayers..xo

  14. Kathy, I tend to ignore things sometimes, maybe from a sense of denial, maybe for lack of insurance or just plain fear, but some things need not be ignored, and this would be one for sure. I miss lots of posts too, so you don't have to feel bad, getting back to painting and normal life again, trying to put it behind me but yet stay aware! Thanks!


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