Carol 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.
I did go on some websites but I tried to stick to the medical websites to explain the stages, the size of the tumour, what that meant, and the lymph nodes, etc. The doctors were very matter of fact. Breast cancer, right now, is probably one of the better cancers to get because they’ve done a lot of research. There’s a lot of women who’ve undergone it, and so, as soon as I got the diagnosis, they were like, “Don’t worry. This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to do this, this and this.” It’s very clear and all of the way through they were very positive. They’re like, “This is not a death sentence, and this is curable. The success rate is fabulous, it’s gotten better.” Over the years, it’s increased and you can see by the stages what the success rates are and what the survival rates are, etc. It’s very well documented so I feel like I’m pretty well informed about what’s going on, about what the protocol is, what the success and survival rates are, and what needs doing. But always at the back of my mind is the fact that it’s 10 years that I have to be followed. And if it comes back, it’s usually worse. So even knowing how successful they are at counteracting and fighting breast cancer, I’m still scared at the back of my mind that it’ll come back. And I think I’ll be scared for 10 years.
- 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.