Valérie's Silver Linings

I was reading today a lot of your stories, and I realized how much some of the stories I have been reading are similar to mine. It made me very emotional and in some ways i felt very close to these women i will never meet .

Sorry, my english is not very good.

I am French I am 41 years old and I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in my right breast on March 17, 2011. I was nursing my daughter when i felt a lump in my right breast, I first had a bad feeling and then I thought it was a clogged milk duct. I already had this “problem” a couple of times. I tried to solve this the way I used to do, but the mass was not going, it was big and hard. So big than my husband told me first than it was too big too fast to be something we had to afraid of.

Two weeks later I saw my gynecologist and told me she was very worried , she sent me for a mammogram. when I saw the radiologist’s face I knew it was serious and asked him if it was cancer. He told me i had to do a biopsy to be sure but i had over 85 pourcent chance to have cancer.

I did the biopsy and the next two weeks of waiting was the worst time for my husband and I. Deeply inside I knew it was cancer but my husband was full of hope and so stressed. His father was just starting to have better days after his treatments for colon’s cancer.
The day of the 11 months of my daughter I had the diagnosis. I went to my gynecologist to get the results alone,I whished it that way, my husband was home with the kids, my son Jules (4 years old) and my baby daughter Tess.

She gave me the bad news and an appointment to see an oncologist for the next day.
I went home and we decided to talk to the kids about what was happening. That was a very hard part. I had to stop nursing Tess immediatly, she first didn’t want of cow milk at all and was not drinking till the next day, she was crying very hard, my husband and I prepared a bottle of milk and we explained to her the situation very honestly, she was looking at me and listening, then she took the bottle and drunk everything at one stretch. I knew she understood everything perfectly. My son proposed me massages for me to feel better and was very sweet.

My father died from a bones cancer when I was 20 but I didn’t think I was gonna to be concern so fast. I didn’t had much contacts with my father family but at the time I got my cancer diagnosis, people sarted to talk to me about my heavy genotype. So many people on my dad’s side had breast cancer and I didn’t know it, It was terrifying. I decided to call my sister and my two brothers to tell them about all that and get exams and check up. When I called my younger brother who lives in the other side of France, he told me he was on a waiting room to have a MRI, he just learned he had testicle cancer.
I was projected to a new world, with a new language, new fears.

I was afraid but in the same time I discovered I was strong, I wanted to be stronger than the cancer. I couldn’t imagine to die and let my kids and my husband alone.

The tumor was big and the evolution was fast, the doctors decided to start with chemo, then with surgery and after with radiation. I started chemo the day after my daughter first birthday and I ended the after my birthday.

Chemo was very hard, from the 4th chemo to the 6th one, I got so weak and sick than I had to go back to the hospital to get the medecine by perfusion. My husband was looking for a job when I got diagnosis and the good part of that was than he was there to take care of the kids when I was to the hospital or at home but to weak to take care of them. He was a great support .

After chemo the tumor was gone but I had to wait about 4 weeks before surgery . Just before surgery we decided to bring the kids to vacation on an french island” Noirmoutier”.for two week, it was a wonderful time but in the middle of the vacation I had pain, my tumor was coming back . In a week the tumor came back as big as before the chemo, we came back from vacation and I had surgery in emergency. I got a mastectomy and nodes removal.

I got radiation and this last step ended at the end of 2011.

I am now trying to get my life back. my kids are doing great, they was a big help for me during all the treatments. Just looking at them enjoying life helped me so much. I still have a lot of joins pain and sometimes I feel like I am 90 years old but I am alive, my brother is doing good too. We had months of chemo in the same time and I think we both changed .
I have the feeling than each day is too short. I did a life list a couple of days ago and realized than I have soooo many projects !!!

I wish to all of you a wonderful life full of joy.

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  1. Valérie says

    Dear Carolyn,
    I am happy you found this site, it is a wonderful support for me. Everything there is sweetness and positivity. When I come there to read Hollye's notes I always feel more strength and serenity after.
    A lot of courage for you Carolyn !

  2. Theresa Holliday Ben says

    Thank you sharing your heartfelt story. We are all sisters and brothers united together in a very deep way. No matter the diagnosis or type of cancer we all have a very scary path to take. That path is made lighter by the support we give each other.
    Please continue to heal and do well. Thank you for sharing your message of strength and courage. Bonne chance toujours, mon amie.

    • says

      i only found this site a couple days ago…..and i was so scared and felt alone and with storie like yours and so many others i feel like i have foun a home….sorry i am new at the computer an the chemo has messed with my eye sight……but sweetheart ….you can beat this and now with the silver lining…..i have faith that i will fight this fbc ……and if i dont then i will go down fighting

  3. Valérie says

    Thank you so much for your note Gaynor.
    To read others stories help me too, the silver pen is a wonderful and positive place.
    I wish you the best and a lot of happiness.

  4. Gaynor says

    Oh Valerie, you have had a traumatic ordeal. Not only were your children so small but you also had your brother very ill. I am still at the early stages of my treatment but it does help to hear of others stories and know you are not alone. I wish you well and your health and happiness for the future. Xx