ITW n°30: Lydie - K fighter.
Lydie, former K breast fighter in remission since February 2015 & creator of the Facebook page: Mon, K et moi.
Hello Lydia :)
First of all, thank you very much for agreeing to share your K's story, it's really courageous and generous of you :)
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
First name: Lydia
Age: 46 years old
Profession: customer service representative for an insurance agent
Where do you live: Thorigny sur Marne (Seine et Marne)
Why do you agree to share your story today?
Because I realize how ignorant people are about our warrior journeys.
What are your qualities (in a few words)?
I believe I am patient, altruistic, sincere and frank.
What are your passions (in a few words)?
My children, reading, coaching, shoes.
Can you summarize your K fighter story for us ?
I was checked by mammogram and ultrasound, annually for 12 years, because my sister is also a K fighter, affected at 34 years old by this K.
No family history but in 2002 I therefore became a person at risk.
Every year except in January 2014, because following a personal problem, I did not have my check-up and then I was hospitalized for severe depression in February 2014.
Four months later, I was told that I had grade III stage 3 infiltrative ductal K.
I think I wasn't up to it at first, it was too much in a short time, however, thanks to my loved ones and the little voice that reminded me that my children still needed me, I found I don't know where, the strength to fight.
And yet, very often I wanted to give up everything...
Can you tell us:
what circumstances was it discovered?
Hospitalized for severe depression in February 2014, I discovered in my shower on May 8, 2014, while I was still hospitalized, a lump in my left breast.
If you are currently undergoing treatment, or in remission (for how long?)
My treatment ended on February 11, 2015.
What treatment did you have?
chemo: 3 FEC+3 Taxotere
radiotherapy: 29 sessions
operation: lumpectomy, partial mastectomy of the left breast, removal of the sentinel lymph node on 06/18/2014.
Installation of an implantable port on 07/24/2014
Each time hospitalized as an outpatient!!!!!
other: 6 neulasta 6mg the day after each chemo session starting from the second.
What tips directly related to K do you want to share?
(your feeling with the doctor, your good treatment organization plans, anything that seems useful to you ;))?
1/ chemo: the helmet, your affinities with the nurses,
how did you live the day before, the same day, the days after?
and what were your tips?
I wore the helmet during the first chemo session, although my oncologist had informed me that there was only a 2% chance that I would not lose my hair.
I could not wear it afterwards because my onco contraindicated it to me and my hair started to fall out on the 13th day after the first chemo session.
The day before chemo, I tried to go out or see a few people when possible.
The big day was difficult, nausea upon waking up before even being plugged in.
When it was possible, I took care of my outfit and my appearance, but that wasn't always the case. I cried a lot during the chemo session, I was cold and couldn't swallow anything.
As soon as I returned home, I went to bed and left for a few days in a parallel world where I no longer had any notion of time or space... day or night... presences around me, especially after the 3 first sessions...afterwards for the next 3, the joint pain was unbearable.
2/ hospital: nurse / doc / caregiver contact
The nurses were excellent, always attentive and caring for us.
Despite the large number of patients, they were very available.
My onco is a woman, a little cold with whom I sometimes felt like a burden because she often seemed overwhelmed by my depressive state which did not improve during this period...
The breast specialist (the doctor who operated on me) was very distant, very sure of herself and even told me on the evening of my operation that I would have radiotherapy but no chemo at 98%. She didn't even tell me she gave me a partial mastectomy.
She let me out the same evening in tears, with blood pressure at 9.4 and suffering from terrible pain with a left arm as heavy as a beam.
3/ alternative medicine, if you have done so
Yes, I did acupuncture the day before each chemo session, foot reflexology, hypnotherapy, sophrology, micro-kinesis, kinesiology.
What did you do to clear your mind/clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)?
Not much to tell the truth at first, I was devastated and very depressed.
What practical tips can you advise us?
1/ beauty: magic creams / scars & co
LAROCHE-POSAY products for the skin, lips, colorless silicon base LA ROCHE-POSAY on my nails which I changed without fail every 5 days, CICAPLAST always from LA ROCHE-POSAY for scars, castor oil daily on my nails then on my scalp during and after my hair grows back.
At the end of my chemo sessions, I took food supplements to help my hair and nails grow back and also to cleanse my liver of all the poisons that had been injected into me to treat me...
Two months after radiotherapy, I went to LA ROCHE-POSAY for a treatment which was prescribed to me by my new breast specialist.
I left as part of the SENOTHERME study.
I came back transformed, reenergized, in shape and with a smile.
My scars have practically disappeared, are almost no longer painful, my nails and my hair have grown twice as fast... miraculous!
2/ look, your favorite look chemo, hospital, every day to feel good
After the chemo sessions, it was impossible for me to get up for several days in which bed/pajamas mode was required.
On the other hand, as soon as I could, I made myself “beautiful”, took care of my body which was undergoing so much torture, my outfit, my makeup, my nails…
For the chemo days, I also worked hard to be on top.
It was much more difficult to apply this discipline on a daily basis, during radiotherapy sessions.
I admit that I often went there in jeans, without my prosthesis (just with a little cotton hat on my head) without makeup.
3/ daily (sport, food & co)
No sports practice as my body is too stiff and painful.
Food was an additional torment during this period. Cottage cheese and chestnut cream were about the only foods that “passed”.
Were you concerned about the views of others, were you afraid that their views would change? what did you do to counter it?
In fact, it was more the view I had of myself that concerned me and that of my children.
I didn't do anything in particular for the way others looked at me since that wasn't what concerned me the most.
What are the nugget phrases (that you remember) that someone said to you during K and that you could have avoided?
- If you have to have cancer, breast cancer is the one to have.
- It doesn't matter your hair, it grows back.
- A person who had not heard from me for 9 months, since her last message was from the morning of my first chemo, sent me one at the end of my treatment where she wrote “no news, good news” .
- Your treatment is over, we no longer talk about your K, it's in the past.
- I just learned that you have a K, that's very bad news.
- You don't look that sick for someone who's dying.
How did your loved ones support you?
They supported me a lot morally and also materially.
My mother and my sister helped me a lot on a daily basis and my 21-year-old son managed his 13-year-old brother for months.
My daughter suffered a lot from being far away geographically.
I have also done a big clean-up since then in my relationships!
And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter?
I think it's better to be present and say nothing, or say, I understand that it's difficult, rather than telling us I imagine that it's difficult.
Call a cat a cat.
“YOUR DISEASE” IS CALLED CANCER.
Understand that sometimes we don't want to move, take a walk or see people simply because we don't have the strength.
What would be the useful (internet) links that helped you during K?
Very little during actually…
The League Against Cancer website.
What has the K changed in your life...?
Disappointed by some, positively surprised by others.
My repertoire is less full and I don't care.
I returned to my work for 2 weeks in therapeutic part-time and it's not easy... my manager doesn't want to hear about anything and is forbidden to allude to it... my clients don't recognize me!
I can't plan ahead for more than two days.
My philosophy, live in the present moment.
Did this ordeal push you to change your life? (with new projects, changes in your life?)
I'm considering moving and changing regions, this apartment I lived in this nightmare year is making me anxious.
I thought about a career change.
Free field ;)
tell us what you want (which may not have been in my questions):
this almost permanent fatigue that hasn't left me for over a year....
This fatigue that keeps me bedridden too often...
And that means that today I have become the slave of my own body, probably I didn't listen to it enough before my K.
Thank you again for your testimony and for sharing your K/tips ;)
Lots of nice positive thoughts
See you soon