Epiphany - "A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization"

I have felt ill for so long now that I have spent the last year or two trying to decide whether to continue to live at all.

I have no children, partner, career, friends closer than 400 miles etc, etc, etc.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January and my first response was thank you god, now I can die without committing suicide and upsetting my Dad and friends more than ordinary death every does. I went to my first appointment with the surgeon and discussed this as an option as was my right. He asked me to consider waiting a few weeks to discuss this to which I agreed.

In the meantime, I had to cancel an appointment for an MRI because due to my fibro being bad that morning and hospital transport having to be booked a week in advance I couldn't make the trip to Edinburgh, then a bus trip to the hospital and the whole thing in reverse. It was rearranged and a friend took me. The shock of the whole diagnosis caused the worst flare I'd ever had when I had been feeling better than in years and even had a job interview for a part-time job.

By the time I saw the surgeon again, he was a lot more positive about my prognosis and it looked like I might actually live through it without treatment I knew me, my fibro and depression wouldn't tolerate. I'd also spoken a fair bit to friends - my Dad couldn't really be included in these conversations - he may be incredible for an 86 years old but I couldn't ask him to contemplate my death in any way.

I also started pregabalin which seemed to be helping with the pain in my right shoulder which made an incredible difference. It had been like the pain of an abscess in the root of a tooth, 24 hours a day. Day after, day, after day. If this drug was going to make that go away for even one or two hours a day, perhaps I did have a life worth fighting for.

So I decided to agree to treatment. It wasn't what I expected, no immediate surgery just a pill to try to shrink the tumours enough to aim foree the difference between a lumpectomy and the full mastectomy. The pill Anastozole has side effects, "Some women have pain and stiffness in their joints while taking the drug" sounds familiar and "Some people can have increased fatigue and lethargy" again, sounds a lot like fibromyalgia. The first couple of weeks were really bad and once, I wet the bed because I couldn't get out of bed in time.

Six weeks later and the ultrasound showed it was working, one of the tumours had definitely shrunk and the other hadn't grown. Six weeks after that the ultrasound showed both tumours had shrunk, one was definitely lumpectomy size and the other was getting there.

Strange thoughts began to come into my head. I began to formulate a range of possible futures. I even contacted the Dean of a University to see how much work I'd have to do to finish my MSc. I realised this town didn't have a pet shop when everybody had either a cat or dog. I know there are lots of financial incentives for people starting up their own business in this deprived town. I even thought of a name - "The pound hound" quite catchy I thought. I began to get excited about the future.

The pain was the same, the fatigue was the same but I had found hope for the first time in many years.

I don't know what happened to make me find hope. I even believe they'll find new effective treatments for FM and we'll all get a life back. I'm not religious but I truly believe this.

Hey, maybe it's the different medications interacting. I've lowered my painkillers so I'm definitely not stoned! Maybe I'm losing my mind completely but I prefer to see it as an epiphany. "A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization"

I'll probably be dreadfully embarassed by this tomorrow, but I'm going to post it anyway!

17 Replies

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  • hi whipet-lover, please dont feel embarrased for writeing what is in your heart.

    It has hopefully helped you by putting the words on here.

    I feel admiration for you that you have come through such a dark time to the positive place you are in now. the power ofpositive thinking is a very powerfull thing. Your story is and will be an inspiration to other as i am sure there is someone else going through the same or similar situation as you have been and telling your story will help them.

    Good luck on your next step of your life,

    hugs poppy xx

  • Thanks poppy for your loving and kind comment. I know I have a long way to go but just for now, I have the belief that I will get there - that we all will get there x

  • wow what a story, its sad to see your thoughts regarding death as a possible end to the misery and pain you have suffered.

    I am glad you have had some positive thoughts, it must be so hard to deal with when your alone, but if its any help you know you can open your heart and mind on hear without any critisism, we all have different ways of dealing with what life throws us.

    I hope by using the internet you may be able to find other groups to support you through the breast cancer.

    I used the website to join a group which helped me through my breast cancer journey, and like a lot of people my prognosis was good.

    So I took from this journey of illness a more positive outlook and decided to become a volunteer and now do a lot of cancer work in communities and hospitals and I have never looked back.

    This was how I managed, but we are all individuals that have to find our own way so often look to others for guidence

    .

    I do feel you will get there just write down all the positive things you have put in that short blog and work on them everyday, I never ever thought 3 years ago that I would say these words.

    I love my life and I love my work and I love being a volunteer.

    Yes I still have daily physical problems and often bouts of depression but I am going to enjoy what I can when I can I take each day as it happens because tommorow is another day.

    I am glad you feel a bit more positive and really hope you can hang onto those thoughts and wish you all the best .

  • As nana2g said what a story but so glad you are feeling more positive keep looking forward and keep us posted to your progress. I think it safe to say we have all felt that low at some point but life goes on and who knows what is around the corner. ............ good luck with the drug treatment and keep positive love the name for your pet shop look forward to hearing you have opened in the mean time hugs sue xx

  • Hi wipet-lover!

    I have been feeling bad this morning at work, but having read your post

    I now count myself lucky and am so glad you are feeling better. I too am on

    Pregabalin and it has helped me to get back to full time work.

    I have two dogs and one cat and they are an immense joy in my life.

    Thank you for your positive post, good heath SanieD xx

  • Im so , so glad you can see a future, its so hard with this ilness to see a light when everything is dark, good on you for starting your own business, we have and its going from strength to strength, so much so we ll need to take staff on some, you go for your dream, the sky s the limit

  • hi just to let u know that i have actually attempted suicide twice and was found by sheer accident both times.. when i read your story i was owrried that you may still feel this way. and determined to help you away from it any way possible i have walked that glass strewn road and know how you felt . you willstill have relapses but lean on those who care like this the people on this site and ican be contacted under the same name fadedblossom on facebookwith a red rose as my picture.if anyone reaches this please please contact me i will be there foryou fat anytime and always. this goesbeyond fm and is an illness in its own right.. you are not mad mental or useless contact me if you need help please. this may not be the right place to offer this kind of help but all to often we sit back and nothing is done. pet5al.

  • Thank you all. I feel really positive at the moment and my epiphany is about realising that I want life and I do have a future. Thank all you lovely people for being here. Faded blossom, I will send you a friend request of fb if you don't mind x

  • whippet lover,

    agree wow what a wonderful read. i am so happy to hear your tumours are reducing and less invasive surgery looks more likely. this is wonderful news.

    you are dealing with so much right now, yet you have managed to eliquently explained your apiphany, which only goes to show how strong and how much you have to give this world. your strength shines through and your dad and friends would never wish for you not to be part of their lives.

    never worry about the writing the negatives, as we all know only other fibro's truly understand what you are enduring. we have right there with you sister!

    i do relate entirely to your thoughts and path, as i appreciate plenty have and will. while we all fall into the pit of despare with the constant pain, frustrations and endurances with this illness,

    thankfully more often than not we are able to rationalise our way out. it is only when the pain abaits, we are able to start thinking clearly. then turn to the possibilities we might take in our lives.

    The Pound Hound is indeed a great name for a pet store. I think our community proberly have the higest ratio of pets than most others. our isolation and their undying love and devotion make our world a little less loney. (LOL, my Rolo, a chocolate labrador we got a year after i first became ill, he is so intiutive to my illness, without any incouragement he puts his head on my shoulder when i lay in pain and am thinking i just wish i could have a gental cuddle. He picks up his toy for play when i am thinking i am soooooo lonely and bored, Rolo does all this without my even uttering a word)

    He is my best friend!!

    when able pls keep writing whether up or down... never regret anything in life!

    ps have you ever thought of becoming an author, you most certainly have the skills to write a book. University will be so good for you.

    BIG HUG and lots of best wishes,

    Happe xxx <3 :)

  • sometimes I think fibro has chosen us, it knows we re strong enough to cope, perhaps not live life as before, but hopefully we can all find our inner peace

  • Thanks, guys I promised myself,I would get to bed at a decent time tonight but oop, its nearly 4 am again and I've got to go shopping with my daddy tomorrow. Lucky I won't be driving so can get ont the bus and relax. My dad has his own problems - at 86 he has all the usual physical stuff, but what makes it difficult for us who have to deal with him is he has OCD, Luckily tomorrow this works in my favour cos he will only want to be out for about a couple of hours including half hour each way travel so we will just have the pet shop - nearest one you see that's why I think a pound shop for pets will do the trick. There was one in town but it didn't try to compete with those pound store, and i'll do that but offer a more expenensiv range too for those that can affod it I cant believe it still - I am planning for the future.!!!!!! Some of you know how amazing that is for me. And I'll just start off with £500 stock and get some regular customers, then be the time winter comes, I can take orders for coats - I'm really flying. Is this the FM forum or The Apprentice ha ha ha! Thanks for all your love and support you've got me here, each and every one of you .

    Whippet xxx

  • Whippet lover I wish you all the best for your future, it sounds such a great idea, with my zoo of animals I spend a furtune every week

  • what a difference hope and positivity make to our quality of life.

    Thankyou for sharing your personal story with us, It is so inspiring. have a good day today x

  • You too avarose. I will, once I've had my little nap (lol)

    Whippet x

  • hi again Whippet, I found this thread after your comments in another one.

    I can see that you've been having quite a time of things, but are managing to stay afloat with some positive news from your surgeon. We all wonder if life is worth the candle at some point and everyone copes a different way - Nanna here is an inspiration, that's for sure. Please take one day at a time, one hour at a time if you need to. Come on here and speak your mind. Hopefully there is a support group near you that your hospital can direct you to. I hope you find some pleasure in each day until it's time for your surgery. I also hope that your treatment goes well and you can continue to take your dad out for little trips.

    Meanwhile, do whatever you need to do to keep going. Never apologise for being who you are xx

  • Thanks Sammicat. You have reminded me that there is a good Maggie's cancer center near me and I should be using some of my energy to get there. Will make a committment here and now to get there one day next week.

    Christine x

  • am glad you know of a support unit nearby. I'm sure you'll find some like-minded people there and from what I've gathered over the years, a lot of black humour and encouragement.

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