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My Life After Cancer. By Guest Blogger, Tameka J

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Often times, people believe that when the surgeries are complete and the chemo is over the fight ends for people who were diagnosed with cancer. Well unfortunately that’s a myth. The fight continues and honestly, I think I’ll be fighting for the rest of my life. Every ache, every pain, every abnormal occurrence leads you back to the oncologist, breast surgeon, plastic surgeon, or emergency room. Chatting with my pink sisters I’m realizing that everyday is a fight. Each one of has has had something different going on with us in the last few months. Lumps are being found, can’t hold down food, not eating, losing weight, gaining weight, and the pain is unmanageable. Hospital visits, scans, and new meds. We do everything to maintain good health, eating better, exercise, and living differently but we still have to fight. When will it end? When does it stop? When can we get a break? That’s how I feel. Those are the questions that go through my mind. The questions I ask God in my prayers.

The last time I saw my oncologist he said “Ok Tameka you’re nice and healthy, see you in 6 months”. That was the best news. I was on a 6 month plan, which meant I was closer to the once a year visit. Well, I had to go see him two weeks ago because I was having chest pains that woke me up out of my sleep and had me crying uncontrollably. His first reaction is you have to get a scan to make sure there are no mass. I honestly wasn’t worried that there was, I think it just procedural on his part. So, last week I had a PET scan without the CT. I saw my doctor yesterday to review the results and thank God everything came back clear but I knew that! Unfortunately, we still are unsure as to why I was having the chest pain, so I have to follow up in 3 months. Thought I could get a break for 6 months but my body fooled me. I’m scheduled for another scan this time it’s a CT scan. I dread it, why? Cause that means I have to get that horrible injection that makes me nauseous and vomit. Definitely not looking forward to but it’s what has to be done, so I WON’T COMPLAIN. I thank God for my life, for healing a 2nd time from this horrible disease, and for loving me ENOUGH!

I am so sure that these little battles are a test of my faith. How are you going to handle things this time Tameka? Are you going to trust God or are you going to break? The answer to these questions are…I’m going to trust God because I was not built to break! I fight for someone more important than myself and that’s my 8 year old daughter. I continue to fight remembering that God has my back no matter what I have to face! So to my Pink sisters that are going through, remember you were not built to break! Keep fighting! Keep pushing! Keep believing!
My life after cancer!… ~ Tameka

Cancer was the easy part, the side effects of treatment have proved to be most difficult. By Madame President, Shay Sharpe.

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Three broken ribs! What else is new? It’s always something! ALWAYS!! But that also serves as a reminder that I’m alive! I AM ALIVE! Even in the midst of all my mess, I am alive.

I have no idea how I fractured my ribs or when it happened. I’ve been in pain for awhile and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. I had lots of pain on my left side in October 2014, but I had just had my left breast removed again, so needless to say, that’s why they said I was in pain. I was in pain again in February 2015, but was immediately told my pain came from just completing radiation again. There were 2 hospital stays for chest pain over the next year. The hospital still couldn’t figure out what was going on and I kept being sent home with no answers. Fast forward to January 2016. Still in pain. Dr performed a chest X-ray and still didn’t see anything. I called my oncology team at another hospital and voiced my concerns. They sent me to nuclear medicine to ensure that cancer hadn’t spread to my bones. During that test, they noticed that I had 3 broken/fractured ribs. Wtf? I can’t believe I’ve been complaining about chest pain all this time and it took over an year to get to the bottom of it. I can’t stress enough, how important it is to be your own advocate. Keep going to the Drs until you get answers! Nobody knows your body better than you! Don’t be scared or discouraged to seek a second opinion.

Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do about my fractured ribs, except control my extreme lingering pain. No cast. No bandages. Ribs takes months to heal, so I have to take it easy for awhile… Easier said than done! It’s a struggle trying pull a shirt over my head or to lift myself out of the tub. {I can’t even count how many times I’ve been stuck in a shirt!} Feels as if I’ve been shot, every time I attempt to sneeze or cough. I honestly have NEVER felt pain on this level. No laying on my stomach or left side, no missionary, no upper body exercise and no heavy lifting. You never fully appreciate a body part until you can’t use it. Drs said the number of radiation treatments I received could’ve been the culprit for the broken ribs. COULD’VE!

My life after breast cancer.. ~ Madame President