I'm a 53 year old, native New Yorker, an unemployed social work manager, and live with my amazing partner and one very sweet and large black cat and a demented white and grey kitten. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast in December 2015. I've had a lumpectomy and am in the 4th week of radiation treatment.
The hardest thing for me right now is, despite the kindness and professionalism of the staff, all of the preparation/simulation/treatment for the radiation makes me feel awful. It's not physical; it's more about the prodding and poking and shifting and whatnot. It's hard not to feel like a specimen.
I've had a long history of cancer in my family - mom, dad, sister - but not of the breast. I've lost a lot of people to AIDS, and this past summer, one of my ex-girlfriends died of ovarian cancer. I've also worked in AIDS and healthcare for over 20 years. I say all this by way of explaining that despite all of my experiences, both professionally and personally, I was still shocked when I was diagnosed.
I am so fortunate to have an incredibly supportive partner and amazingly wonderful friends, and good health insurance, and live in a city with a lot of great options for care.