I continued to be involved in my children’s school and activities, but I also had to fight this disease, which is a full-time job on its own. I underwent six months of chemo and a month of radiation and am now on Arimidex.My daughters, 2 and 4 at the time, shaved my head for me. I took the Tamoxifen for five years and then went off it and life continued. Arimidex leaves me feeling irritable, achy and not like myself. I am awaiting my final reconstruction surgery after the New Year and am also electing to have my ovaries removed to get that estrogen out of there. They have dealt with this nasty disease virtually all of their short lives.Once the dust settles and you realize that you have survived and you have a new body, it can be very challenging to feel comfortable with your body image.Not only is it a challenge for you, but it can be a particularly frightening thought when you imagine introducing your new body to someone else.However, I don't know how easily I could introduce my body to someone else in an intimate setting.My friends and family have been wonderful throughout this whole experience and it has made it easier for me to discuss these body issues very openly and honestly with others. Between doctors, friends and family, more people have seen my new (and, might I add, nipple-less) breasts than I ever thought possible.
It reminded me that there are so many good people in this world and that my battle was not mine alone to bear.If there is anything this experience has taught us it should be that life is short and that we all deserve to have love, companionship, sex, fun, joy and whatever else we want in our lives.Any woman who has been through this and come out the other end has to be pretty amazing in my book!It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I would be remiss if I did not write about one of the most challenging issues in my life to date.My struggle with breast cancer is not one I keep secret.I may have confidence but I'm not in the practice of flashing people, nor am I an exhibitionist.Shyness does tend to go out the window when you start down the breast cancer path, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing.Having spoken to many other women in my situation, it is met with mixed feelings.On the one hand, you are so grateful just to be alive and to have survived that you feel almost silly to complain about it, yet it is a very real issue.Part of my treatment for Hodgkin’s, beyond the absolutely terrible chemotherapy regime, was one month of radiation to my chest.Fast forward to 2004, when that same radiation “caused” my breast cancer.