The Path Ahead

Hello, fellow travelers on a road none of us would have chosen, I'm new to this site and wanted to reach out, to know I am not alone on this path with the unknown facing us at every twist and turn. I am hoping to "stock up on courage" to strengthen my wobbly legs and to know that the path can have bright spots......

Any secrets that you care to share on how to travel this road without breaking down, giving up, or losing hope?

17 Replies

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  • Welcome to the site, Nancyjw! I just have a few more months than you from diagnosis.

    For me, it helps so much to know that there are many other people that have metastatic breast cancer that are thriving and carrying on with their lives. I appreciate when they share their stories and suggestions that work for them.

    I have been learning about and practicing meditation and mindfulness meditation. I was looking for a way to be able to rely on my own strength and this type of practice helps me to stay in the moment and calm myself. My therapist told me that when we project into the future, we usually do not do so in a positive way. Therefore, I try not to refrain from projecting into the future and meditation really helps me when my mind starts to go in that direction.

    I am sure that you will get helpful suggestions on this site and SHARE is an excellent source too.

    Remember that you are not alone. Many people care for you and send healing thoughts your way.

    Take care,

    Barbara

  • Thank you Barbara. I am trying to focus only on the day before me, and try to stay thankful. It's when I wake up during the night that my thoughts turn as dark as the night and I can't fall back to sleep -- that's the hardest time.

  • Have you tried a sleeping aid. I take ambien otherwise my mind turns and turns all night. It gives me the rest that my body needs.

  • Thank you for the reminder, such a simple thing I couldn't think of.

    I used to take ambien my first time through. This time I just didn't think of a sleep aid. Tonight I will try something and hope for pleasant dreams!

  • What I find helpful when I can't sleep is to listen to YouTube meditation videos that are calming, such as one that has peaceful rain sounds. Another that also works is one with Tibetan bowls and chimes. Also, listening to positive cancer cure topics on Ted Talks helps me to turn off thoughts that interfere with sleep.

  • Thank you Kayrad. I will give You Tube a try and Ted Talks.

  • Hi, Nancy, and welcome to the crazy world of living with metastatic bc! First, let me tell you that I was diagnosed with mbc from the get go in March, 2004, 13 years ago! And if you saw me on the street, you would not guess that I have cancer.

    The first stop I made after getting the bc diagnosis was the book store! I looked at all the books about bc and bought the ones that most spoke to me. Learning everything I could was helpful to me. But the fist year or so was definitely the worst in terms of stress.

    I cried when I needed to cry and yelled and threw things (soft unbreakable things!) when I needed to. Got a second opinion from a bc specialist.

    The things that helped me the most during that first year were having a positive response to treatment, meeting others living with mbc, and the passage of time and learning to live with the damn cancer.

    I hope you will do well, too. Alot of us do, more and more all the time.

    Peace, Pam

  • PJBinMI, I was wondering how long it took you to go into remission, i have been treated for a year this April,second time with breast cancer, first time was 2012 and only in my breast, this time mets, Im on Ibrance and Faslodex, my cancer is in my lypth nodes in my neck and chest wall, im so happy to hear your 13yrs out, thats awesome! My cancer is shrinking and im doing well, still would just love to hear the word remission!

  • My onc has never used the term "remission." We call it stable, meaning it is not growing. It has shrunk. I have had just two minor professions in 13 years. The first year after diagnois, I heard of three women who were at the 20 years with mbc mark and a few years later, maybe 2007, there was a woman at the annual conference of the Metastatic BC Network who was 30 years out from her mets diagnosis.

    My onc pays most attention to how I am feeling. Scans second and tumor markers a very distant third. I try to focus on the big picture and not tiny changes.

    Prayers for all of us living with this stupid cancer!

  • Wow, 20 and 30 years out, thats wonderful news, that just made my day, and my last 2 visits I was told that my cancer is stable also, so you made my day twice, thanks for sharing this information, and yes, prayers for all of us!!!! <3

  • Thank you so much Pam. What an encouragement you are. I have been "hiding" from the diagnosis (if that is really possible!) stuffing down the fear as the only thing I knew about "metastatic" was that it was just a "matter of time". You have shown me that it only means we live in a different way -- appointments, medication, and more prayer than we may have been used to, and a new appreciation for each day.

    I am so grateful for this site and the wonderful, strong, people who belong to Healthunlocked. It is a life line to climb back in the ring and not give up.

    Thank you.

  • Pam ... you made my day!

  • Hi Nancyjw, I am also new to this metastatic breast cancer.... I was diagnosed 23 years ago, I thought I beat it, then out came back. I'm trying to cope, the positive reinforcement I get from my medical team, doctors and nurseses, helps. Yes, I go to that dark place, I started seeing a therapist. Only have had be session. Hopefully this will help. I love my job, I work with children , praying. I can get back to work, I know this will help me. The support of family and friends helps too. We have to be strong, never giving up. So much to live for. Just taking n all mother nature has to give, helps. Praying for you....God bless us all.

  • Thank you Gailbarb, for reaching out to lift me up, and you have! I have to remember that "metastatic" does not mean the end, only that I have to be stronger.

    It sounds like you have a lot going for you, in spite of the diagnosis, you appreciate the positive reinforcement from your medical team, your family and friends and you have a goal of getting back to a job you love, taking in nature's "gifts" and prayer. You have a lot more on the "plus" side......

    Thank you for "waking me up" to the encouragement around me that may have gone unnoticed.

    I feel like we are holding hands, marching forward together, daring anything that may try to hold us down.

    Thank you!

  • Hi Nancy!

    Staying positive and praying a lot really helps...sadly I've had to learn to be positive in spite of my medical team. The nurses were mad that my doctor told me when my biomarker went back to normal. Like I'm not supposed to celebrate when I no longer was on Perjetta because u know this one comes back. Yes but it's not here today so let's go to lunch and celebrate afterwards!

    Excuse my rant but seriously u have to find inner strength to be positive inspite of all the stats against us. And also I liked someone 's advice to focus on something positive in the future. I refuse to believe I don't have one!

    -Blessings and prayers for u and your future!

  • Thank you Rhwright12, I agree with you -- to celebrate the baby steps forward, each and every time. Today is what we have and we deserve whatever good news comes our way even if someone else tells us not to get too excited.

    I believe in prayer -- it helps me to stay positive and it reminds me that God is our ultimate Physician.

    You sound like a very strong person -- not letting anything get in your way of moving forward with hope. May I be as strong!!!

    Thank you.

  • You are not alone. This is a great site for knowledge and encouragement. I was in remission for 11 years but found it metasticized to my lungs in Jan 2016. Did 20 rounds of chemo. Responded well. Still there but stable for now. I had to go Thru a year of harsh chemo to get to nearly normal days. Taking Femara hormone blocker for now. Enjoying every blessed moment of feeling better.

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