Living with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
(#24 in a series)
What would you do if you found a lump in your breast? I called a doctor, but not everyone agrees that was the right decision.
Some readers said I shouldn’t have reached out to the medical community, shouldn’t have had surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. I say it’s a personal decision, one we must each make based on our individual case. I told my story but do not give medical advice, unless you consider my plea to check your own breasts or to at least talk to a doctor to be medical advice.
Of breast lumps and doctors
I believe wholeheartedly in making healthy lifestyle choices and pursuing natural ways to remain healthy. Sometimes less is more when it comes to modern medicine, but I sure wouldn’t want to be without it. Positive thinking helps in a million and one ways, especially with day-to-day coping, but positive thinking alone won’t cure cancer.
It doesn’t have to be an either/or thing. You can seek medical treatment and use complementary treatments. You can still drop bad habits and pick up better habits. There are many types of cancer, different stages, and lots of individual circumstances that make your case unique. Call a doctor. Research. Then decide on your course of action.
The triple-negative breast cancer series: why I chronicled my story
October 14, 2010 — I discovered a lump in my breast that day. You don’t forget a moment like that, especially when it leads to a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer.
Is it just me? Am I facing these feelings about cancer alone? I write about triple-negative breast cancer for the same reason I write about multiple sclerosis. Because we live in a world where far too many of us feel alone. Because it’s not just you, and it helps to know that.
Writing about yourself is a challenging experience. You become both empowered and supremely vulnerable. As I chronicled my experiences, I was embraced in a warm, collective hug and took some virtual slaps, but positive response far outweighed the negative. I chose to focus on the hug. That’s part of positive thinking.
Did my writing make even the slightest different to someone else’s life? From the messages I received in my inbox, yes. There have been those who’ve said that my story helped them understand their suffering sister/daughter/mother just a little better, and the women that have decided to check their breasts after reading these postings. For this reason I can say that yes, it has entirely been worth it.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the month I found a lump, my birth month…
This is my 24th post in the triple-negative breast cancer series. It’s been a tough year but, as we mark another Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m living each day to the fullest. If I’m very fortunate, there won’t be a need for much more in the way of personal updates here, but I will continue to write on the topic of triple-negative breast cancer.
There was another candle on my birthday cake this October. That’s one awesome candle. Prettiest one I’ve ever seen. I hope to add many more but there are no guarantees. Let’s just say I appreciate growing older. Bring on the birthdays.
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Vow to make one change for the better — eat healthier, exercise, quit smoking, etc.
- Check your breasts. If you find something suspicious, call a doctor. I’m glad I did.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Profiles
Carmelita P: Grieving Son Recounts Mom’s Battle with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Nancy Steiler: Searching for “Normal” After Cancer
Eileen Z. Fuentes: Living with a Grateful Vibration
Meagan Farrell: Cancer Survivor Says “Let Go of the Little Stuff”
Melissa Stukenborg: When Worst Fear Becomes Reality, Find Your Inner Strength
Breast Cancer Awareness: Taking it Personally
Man with Breast Cancer says, “Don’t be embarrassed…it’s too important”
Living with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Series
Brief Video: What is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?
Book: No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis
Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo