It is not a big deal for Carol to go out in her local community.
It’s really not; it’s not a big deal. There was through the hospital, there’s a, can’t remember what it’s called? You could go to a seminar where they teach you how to put on make-up and how to tie scarves, and I did go to it. And it was very helpful to be around other women who were going through the same thing etc., etc., etc. But I find I, I’m fine I could put on eyebrows, so sometimes it depends on where I’m going. In my local community I just go out as I am. I always wear a head scarf I’m not quite ready to go out bald but when I’m going a little bit further out and I don’t really want any questions or funny looks or anything like that, I’ll put eyebrows on. It makes a big difference, it makes a big difference but that’s about it.
And the community has been very supportive. I go into the grocery store and somebody’s always asking how I am? If I need anything? If I can do anything? Neighbours have helped. People involved with their kids, involved with my kids, they’ve given lifts, they baby-sit, so it’s been good, it’s been a very good experience. I’ve had a lot of help from friends, from family and from just the community at large, it’s been good.
Again, it’s hard. You just don’t realize it colours all of your life. I’ve actually been gaining weight which I understand is actually pretty common in breast cancer, but I’m like: I’m sick, I’m supposed to lose weight. You know people are saying “Oh you look great Carol.” I’m like “Yeah but I don’t feel great sometimes.” So it’s hard. It’s hard sometimes because when I really don’t feel well I stay in the house, and then when I feel okay I’m out and you know I have to do the groceries. I have to run errands, I have to do all that sort of thing. People are like well you look fabulous, you look great Carol you know and I’m like okay but I still don’t feel well.
- Chemotherapy – CarolCarol felt very sick after the first chemotherapy, so the nurses advised her to take the anti-nausea medication for the next round.
- Chimiothérapie – CarolCarol a été très malade après son premier traitement de chimiothérapie. Les infirmières lui ont alors conseillé de prendre les médicaments contre la nausée pour le second traitement.
- Finding and sharing information – CarolCarol stopped searching on the Internet as she found the range of information too wide.
- Understanding the diagnosis – CarolCarol describes how medical breast cancer knowledge has increased but she is not fully reassured; there is still this knowing in her head that it could possible come back.
- Talking to children about cancer – CarolCarol has four children (between 6 and 11 years old). But it was her oldest daughter who was most aware of the possibility of dying.
- Physical activity and diet changes – CarolCarol sometimes found it hard to maintain a healthy diet, especially with kids and while feeling tired.
- Follow-up care and the risk of recurrence – CarolCarol had been told that she would be closely watched for 10 years. She felt this was a long time to live in a state of fearfulness.
- How it affects family and friends – CarolIt is not a big deal for Carol to go out in her local community.