In spite of regular mammograms (the last had been in May, 2007) in November of 2007 I was shocked to be given a diagnosis of Stage-3 breast cancer. Adding to the trauma, my husband of fifty-four years had died little more than a year prior to my cancer diagnosis. At age seventy five I was still trying to find equilibrium and make sense out of my new role, living life alone.
A modified mastectomy was done mid-November. Nine lymph nodes were removed, all testing positive for cancer. I remained in a daze through surgery, scans, preparation for chemo, then some chemo which I was unable to tolerate. Then later I was given thirty- two computer assisted radiation treatments. My medical team of mostly compassionate and caring individuals made the experiences doable.
These several months later,I am thought to be cancer-free. In reprospect, I could not have survived any of the past year without the physical and prayerful support of my family and friends. My church made arrangements for transportation to all the radiation treatments and many of my medical appointments.
Living alone with life-threatening illness is difficult and sometimes terrifying. My husband dealt with pancreatic cancer for one year before it took his life. He remained at home under hospice care. However, it was my daily ministrations, food preparation and support that helped him cope and get through those months and weeks with for the most part, a satisfactory quality of life. Individuals going through serious illness are so fortunate and blessed when they have the support and care of a loving spouse.
Fountain Hills, AZ