The day I walked out of the doctor's office, after being told I had breast cancer, I felt like a survivor. "Well I survived that. Now what's next?" Next for me seemed to be everything in the shopping bag, I have been coming to this site for almost 15 years now and technically I have yet to survive cancer....I still have it. I still haven't beat it. I am just existing with it each and every day. So technically I have not survived cancer. It has survived everything we have thrown at it and it is still going strong.
Do you imagine that I continue to believe I'm a survivor? You bet your sweet butt I do!! Just like I know you are also a survivor. Being a survivor doesn't mean you suffered greatly in a horrible toxic course of treatment. Being a survivor means the damn thing hasn't killed you yet. They invented a test, the OncotypeDX, to identify people, like you, who would not benefit from chemotherapy (toxic drugs) or being poisoned by radiation. The test was to address the common practice of over treating a disease because "that was how they had always treated it". Some doctors, like most of us, are allergic to change and fear it greatly. Thank goodness for the researchers who said "Whooa, hold on, it might be treated successfully in a more gently way".
Just because the vast majority of people with bc don't find it in time for the gentle way to work doesn't mean you are any less a survivor then the rest of us. It just means you did the right thing in time to save your body from tons of grief and nasty side effects.
I would consider you very brave. When the doctor told you you had bc you didn't fall over dead or just sit and wait for it to kill you. You told proactive steps to save yourself. That takes a lot of bravery - especially after all your friends tell you every horror story about cancer that they every heard,
Compare your experience to a car accident. You and a friend are in a wreak. You have a few bruises and bumps and your friend has a fractured leg and a cut on their head. Which one of you is a survivor? You BOTH are. Just like both of us. You are as much a survivor as everyone else that is here on this board. We are just better at b###hing and moaning then you
Go find a support group and get their take on the survivor/bravery questions. Talk with your oncologist, primary care doc, a nurse practioner that works with either of them and see if they think you could benefit from counseling and or antidepressants. Then get on your knees and thank the good Lord for taking such good care of you. Go out and volunteer for the cancer society and present a truly positive potential outcome to someone newly diagnosed. Keep smiling you wonderful brave survivor!!!
take GoOD care