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AFTER CHEMO

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Tamara View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 03 2015 at 8:12am
I am unsure how to express how I feel . . . Sad and lonely as I look so completely different than before. 2x this week, people I know did not recognize me - one told me she was wondering who that was in Church with my husband! She usually goes to an earlier service so she has not seen me in some time. Yesterday a casual acquaintance passed by me on her bicycle and politely acknowledged me but I knew she did not recognize me and I felt like crying. My long straight blond hair now replaced with short curly mix of gray and brown. Hair dresser wont color it as hair too new. Weight gain of 20 pounds from the steroids. My skin aged and I noticed just how much when I compared a photo from the day my hair was shaved to a photo two months after chemo was finished.
Most painful is loss of intimacy with my husband - he keeps his distance physically and no longer looks at me like he used to. I have tried telling him how I feel and all he can say is "you are beautiful". I am feeling so alone during the recovery process.
Any advice on how to reconnect would be so helpful. I thought I made it through the worst days during the chemo but this recovery phase is much harder.
Did anyone else feel this way? I look in the mirror and dont recognize myself!
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lisamae View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisamae Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2015 at 11:07am
Tamara, I am not where you are. I haven't done chemo yet. I hate to hear you are hurting, though. May God comfort you. I just said a prayer for you. I hope it helps. :)

Edited by lisamae - Jun 03 2015 at 11:31am
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susanb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote susanb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2015 at 12:00pm
I am going to suggest counseling for you and your husband. With a professional, not religious through your church kind of counselor. Mostly for your husband if he is not willing to touch you. Chemo is rough on the body. It sucks but it beats being dead. Your husband needs to realize that sexual attraction and affection is not all about your appearance. And he may have other issues as well- fear of losing you so that he is afraid of intimacy. Hang in there, it will get better.
Dx June 06 stage 1 at age 46, no nodes, clean margins, Ki-67 at 54, Bilateral Mastectomy, 4 rounds AC, complete hysterectomy Aug O7. Mother and Grandmother both died of breast cancer dx in their 30's.
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rosewater View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rosewater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2015 at 2:00pm
Very sorry to hear you are going through these feelings. I felt many of these things and still do have my own set of fears and issues with relating to friends. One thing surprisingly helped me. I say surprisingly, because I wasn't expecting it to help at all. A friend encouraged me to go to a support group. I listened to everyone else discuss how they were doing, and the overwhelming themes were the same for everyone. Fears of recurrence, sexual problems, and feelings of loneliness and not knowing who the new you is. If you have any groups like this in your area, I would encourage you to try it. I also found that there was something helpful in saying these things out loud and crying. Somehow got a lot of the scary energy out. Just a thought that was helpful to me...xo
DX IDC TNBC 03/14 age 40, Stage 1, Grade 3, 2cm, 0/4Nodes, lumpectomy 04/14, DD A/C x4, Taxol x12, Carboplatin x2, BMX 10/14, rads x28 Finished Jan 14/15, Oopherectomy Jan 29/15 BRCA 2+
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rosewater View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rosewater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2015 at 2:02pm
Made me feel much less alone...xo
DX IDC TNBC 03/14 age 40, Stage 1, Grade 3, 2cm, 0/4Nodes, lumpectomy 04/14, DD A/C x4, Taxol x12, Carboplatin x2, BMX 10/14, rads x28 Finished Jan 14/15, Oopherectomy Jan 29/15 BRCA 2+
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