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My Breast Cancer Experience by Kim Decker… Part 2

October 27, 2009

Cancer Sucks:

My head was cold. My menses stopped—one plus, if it was temporary. Will I be fertile after? This cancer had really interrupted my life! Treatment and recovery really forced me to have a more inward focus. My sense of taste had changed to bland everything. I didn’t care about receiving holiday presents; I just wanted to feel normal again.

I thought of chemo as the “big cleanse” but toward the end it was like torture. The anxiety and dread were overwhelming. If I hadn’t had friends who had taken off work to drive me, I would not have made it to my treatments.

Keep Living and Celebrating:

I was determined not to let my treatment prevent me from the celebrations that had been scheduled long in advance. Ethan and I went to New York City for my friend Katie’s wedding to Timothy. I brought my Julie wig as an option, but found a big, beautiful, fancy, black hat to wear with my outfit.

The city did overwhelm me, and I couldn’t do all the walking around that we would normally do. But it was a great trip to have before I started my second chemo drug, and it worked out that I was feeling good that weekend.


Extending My Hobbies:

I’d done a triathlon, but something was still missing: music. I joined a local women’s choir. It has been wonderful to sing with over 100 women each week. It has even improved my breathing when I swim.

Since having a baby was postponed, I really enjoyed playing with my friend’s newborn, Sebastian. Seb and I got hair together.

My friends Lisa and Dave got married and the Komen 2005 Race for the Cure happened again in October. Alicia and Debbie made it to walk with me.

I got to visit with my brother’s family fall 2005, and captured a few days in the youth of my niece and nephew. Getting back to my photography hobby helped me to feel normal again.

Will I Live?

Thanks to improved screening and treatments, breast cancer is not the death sentence it once was. Still, my cancer journey was not all flowers and snowcapped peaks. Will we have a family together; will we grow old together? Life after cancer is uncertain and you need to keep living.

Many tears have been shed and many more arise as the 3 month checkups come and go. “Suspect areas” on MRI’s elicit more biopsies. Even though I feel great, there is still a lot of emotion and stress surrounding doctor visits and test results. Currently, I’m all clear. I keep going day by day.

The Unexpected:

I didn’t expect to love Ethan even more. We make conscious efforts to love each other in small ways every day. We know that the proverbial forever is not necessarily a given 50+ years.

Storybooking is a celebration of life. Celebrate yours today.

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