Breast Cancer

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    Community Voices

    Living with Schizophrenia

    I wish there were better medicines for schizophrenia. I've been on the same one since late 2017 but I don't want to increase the dose because side effects can be terrible, namely diabetes, weight gain (which I had and have since lost most of), anticholinergic effects, plus now breast cancer. I think we are behind where we should be for understanding and treating any mental illness, but the diagnosis of schizophrenia alone scares me because they say it is the most severe. I would do research on it myself if they didn't require a medical background. I live with my mother and dread the day she dies because she has been critical in my recovery. Other family members couldn't help how she has; they do not understand it. I had delusions/psychosis for 3-4 years before I finally stuck with a medicine, and it helped. I fear relapse and anosognosia. I wonder if it wouldn't be so bad if I had insight for always. Some of my delusions were positive and fun and they were hard to let go of when I came back to reality. I still listen to the music that I loved during that time and believed I wrote all the songs, that the songs all had personal meaning for me, and that there was another more perfect universe where we all never aged past 21 and never had health issues or aging so we lived forever plus everyone got along and those songs that I still listen to transported me to that perfect place and made me feel like the main character in a simulation. For me during these years, reality was virtual, and it made me appreciate it more. Now, I can't disprove all that I believed, so maybe some of it is possible and I cling to that hope. Other delusions/hallucinations were terrifying. And so, I dread a relapse where I end up repeating history or having it worse; I was often suicidal and attempted it even when I believed I was invincible. I still struggle with anxiety, a little depression today. Here's to a bright future for anyone with these mental illnesses.

    Community Voices

    Pattern of falling out with strong 'alpha ' female friends

    I have a history of being extremely close friends with, I think three women, but something's telling me it's four?!
    The pattern is very similar, actually you could almost say identical in the way it plays out.
    I feel like I'm a bit of a silent assassin, for want of a better word, in these relationships. In so far as I never have any premeditated agenda in the friendship, apart from being a great, supportive, reliable, caring and honest mate.

    I have many faults, and I am the first person to admit them. Apart from the obvious mental health issues, I have absolutely no filter, and don't think before I speak. I literally have the memory of a goldfish, so I'm always accused of not listening, and I am quite an insular person and live in my head a lot. Recently it's becoming more and more apparent that I probably have undiagnosed ADHD.

    I used to worry so much about what people thought about me, how my behaviour affected them, and how I could appease everybody.

    The women in question were all extremely prominent in their field. One owned a local pub, the other owned a very successful nightclub, and the other, although not so successful at the time, has gone on to study and become a child psychologist, after having recovered from alcohol dependency using the 12 steps programme.

    I'll try and keep this quick because I could go on forever. Basically, the pattern looks like this.

    Make friends, suddenly I'm the best friend they've ever had. They tell me secrets that they have never told anyone, some of which are really personal or involve sexual abuse etc.

    I am regarded as someone who can be manipulated. As someone with a very high level of emotional intelligence, I note everything, but never make comments or say anything unless asked.

    The reason people see me as someone who can be easily manipulated (maybe weak in their opinion) is because I am very confident, and as someone fascinated by human behaviour, I err on the side of the viewer, rather than participant. If that makes sense?

    So many times these women have accused me of not being supportive enough. They have presented me with examples of what their friends have said or think about me, always negative. However, because I'm secure in myself, it never bothers me.

    The main element in every one of these friendships is that they believe that I am someone who can be manipulated and will comply at all costs. But at some point during the friendship, usually after about 5 or 6 years, the tables always turn. Never intentionally, I always think it's rather serendipitous, and the way the universe plans.

    I have just realised that it's definitely 4 women! Yay! Is that Yay for me losing these crazy bitches outta my life, or Yay because I actually remembered it was four women?!
    Either way works for me. Lol!

    So I'm hoping that you have some idea of what I'm trying to convey?

    The last woman was the one who has really gotten under my skin.
    She is extremely extrovert, an exhibitionist, self obsessed, hypocritical and passive aggressive. All of the traits that she detests in anyone else. (Projection perhaps 🤔)

    Anyway, after 5 months of the silent treatment, she 'accidentally ' pocket called me. Then continued to bombard me with accusations of having lied on 3 occasions, refused to meet up and discuss things like adults, and over the course of a week sent a few messages saying "well what have you got to say about everything", and when her messages fell upon deaf ears, "well you clearly don't care, and haven't missed having me in your life, so I think we're done, bye "

    None of which I responded to, probably the most frustrating thing for her. I wrote a few replies, to myself, to vent my anger and frustration. Because the whole situation had been completely manifested by her, without anything other than her crazy mind to compel her beliefs.

    Very quickly, because this is becoming far too long.

    She accused me of saying that I told her that her boyfriend called me a cunt. This was last December at a Christmas lunch, after 5 or 6 hours of serious drinking. She told me she had asked everyone present whether he had indeed called me a cunt, and they said no.
    I mean seriously, semantics, drink, what the fuck does it matter anyway in the scheme of things? I think calling it a lie is tenuous to say the least!

    Second alleged lie. I was with her and a friend. He had recently split up with his wife. She had made some comments initially, and apparently when I related them back to our friend, I didn't get the details correct. Please help me here. Because if you're sitting at a table and a friend has misquoted you, wouldn't you just say something like "no Jo, I didn't say that, I said this etc" I don't know if it's possible to lie when the person who accuses you of lying is sat next to you is it?

    I am happy alone, it makes me sad that these relationships seem to replicate, and play out in a similar way, but I have many friends from childhood, who I'm still in touch with and see at least once a year.

    I don't have any concerns about my behaviour or how I could have attributed to the situation, and I would be the first person to hold my hands up and admit it.
    I think that's one of the things that they can't deal with. That I am completely transparent, honest and truthful. That way you never get into trouble because you're always telling the truth, it doesn't change and no matter how hideous the truth is, you can't deny it.

    I have told my parents about my childhood abuse with my grandfather and brother. They went out of their minds, I was excommunicated from the family, thrown out of the house on Boxing day with nowhere to go.

    But when you know you are telling the truth, believe me there is nothing more empowering or self validating. When you watch everyone else trying to run away and hide from it, when you're friends make up ridiculous stories about you, which has taken them five months to do.

    I have survived triple negative breast cancer twice. I have nearly died, or maybe should have died, eight times. I'm here for a reason. And that reason is not to stroke the egos of women who are ultimately light years away from becoming as secure and insightful as I am.

    Please don't mistake my confidence for arrogance 🙏

    4 people are talking about this
    Megan Glosson

    How Roe v. Wade Being Overturned Harms People With Health Conditions

    This past Friday, the Supreme Court voted five to four in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. This landmark court decision from 1973 established the constitutional right to abortion. Now, individual states will get to decide whether or not they will allow abortion. People across the country are experiencing mixed feelings about this perplexing court ruling. However, many people, including the justices who voted in favor of overturning the court’s previous ruling on the matter, are not thinking about the way in which this decision will impact the millions of American women and people with a uterus who live with chronic health conditions. So, here are just some of the people the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States failed to consider when they overturned Roe v. Wade and all but outlawed abortion for over half of the states in our country. 1. The Transplant Recipients Whose Medications Make Pregnancy Problematic Although it is possible for a transplant recipient to get pregnant and carry a baby to term, there are many potential complications. First and foremost, many anti-rejection medications can cause birth defects that would make life unsustainable for the fetus. They can also build up to toxic levels in the fetus’ bloodstream, which can lead to other complications. Although there are some medications that are safe for the fetus, any change in immunosuppressants must be made gradually so doctors can measure if these medications are actually doing their job (because not every medication works for every person). Also, because medication levels are based on weight, pregnancy can impact the medication levels in a way that leads to organ rejection during the pregnancy, making it a life-threatening situation for parent and fetus. 2. The People Whose Autoimmune Disorder Could Cause Complications Many autoimmune disorders cause your immune system to attack healthy tissue. This means that a pre-existing autoimmune disorder can interfere with the pregnancy by harming the fetus. Even if the autoimmune disorder allows the pregnancy to continue, the mother’s antibodies can enter the fetus’s system and disrupt its development and growth. Furthermore, some people don’t even know they have an autoimmune disorder until their pregnancy triggers it. In these cases, a person may find that being pregnant is interfering with their life so much that it’s not possible to continue living while pregnant. 3. Those Who Live With a Genetic Disorder That Could Prove Fatal for the Baby Living with a rare disease is not an easy road. However, some genetic disorders can be fatal, and passing them down to a child can increase the risk of fatality for the baby. These conditions include Huntington’s disease, vascular EDS (vEDS), cystic fibrosis, Marfan’s syndrome, and many other genetic disorders that someone can either have or be a carrier for. Even if the baby makes it through delivery, they will have a hard life (assuming they can sustain life). 4. The People Whose Endometriosis Caused an Ectopic Pregnancy People with endometriosis are twice as likely to experience ectopic pregnancies than the average person. Unfortunately, there’s zero possibility of an ectopic pregnancy becoming viable, no matter what marvels of modern medicine an OBGYN can perform. Usually, ectopic pregnancies are treated with injections that end the pregnancy or surgery to remove the fallopian tube. Either way, these life-saving medical procedures can be considered forms of abortion, and would now be punishable by law in some states. This means that people could face jail time for something completely out of their control just because they chose to save their own life. And without Roe v. Wade, there’s nothing a person can do about it if their state’s court system decides to rule against them. 5. Those Whose Cancer Treatment Would Affect the Fetus Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring type of cancer for women, and breast cancer rates are on the rise for women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, many of the recommended forms of cancer treatment can cause harm to a fetus and are not compatible with pregnancy. There are instances where a pregnant person with cancer can either wait until after their child is born to undergo treatment or select treatment methods that are least harmful to the fetus. However, there are also times when someone may need to decide whether it’s better to end a pregnancy during the early stages so they can undergo cancer treatment, or risk bringing a baby into the world while also dying. It’s not an easy decision to make either way, but the overruling of Roe v. Wade now makes it even more challenging. 6. The People Who Live With Mental Health Conditions That Require Daily Medications There are countless mental health conditions that require daily medications. Some of these conditions include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. However, even with the wide variety of available medications out there for each and every single mental health condition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still says a majority of these medications are not safe during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Whether a pregnancy was planned or unexpected, a pregnant person who uses one or more psychiatric medications may be forced to decide whether or not they want to expose their fetus to the risks associated with the medication. In many cases, these medications can cause harmful birth defects or even harm the fetus in a way that makes life unsustainable. Therefore, these individuals need as many choices as possible available to them, including the right to terminate the pregnancy if that’s what they and their medical team feel is best. 7. Those Whose Epilepsy Puts Them At Risk for a Stillbirth Women with epilepsy are up to three times as likely to have a pregnancy that results in stillbirth than women who do not live with epilepsy. Sometimes, there’s no way of knowing whether they will experience a stillborn birth, whereas other times an OBGYN may no longer detect signs of life before the pregnant person even hits the third trimester. Without the option to abort, these individuals will be forced to carry a pregnancy to term even though the fetus will no longer grow and develop. 8. The People Who Almost Died With Their First Baby and Don’t Want to Go Through That Again There’s a lot that is still unknown about how pregnancy impacts the body. Conditions like pre-eclampsia are largely undetectable until it’s too late, as are other rare pregnancy complications. However, people who experience these issues during their first pregnancy are more likely to experience them again. This means a person may take active measures to avoid additional pregnancies. Unfortunately, no form of birth control is foolproof, and a person can still end up pregnant even when actively avoiding it. Should these individuals have to go through the same hell they endured during their first pregnancy if they don’t have to? And is that really someone else’s choice to make? 9. The Trans Man Who Would Struggle With the Dysphoria of a Pregnancy Thanks to the advances in modern medicine, trans men can do many things to counteract the gender dysphoria they experience. However, up to 30 percent of trans men still experience unplanned pregnancies. These pregnancies can lead to depression and other concerns due to the mixture of dysphoria and judgment from society. Before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, trans men could decide whether or not they wanted to go through with a pregnancy. Now that it is overturned, trans men in states with abortion laws in place may have no choice, and this combined with the stigma they likely already face due to society’s general view of the trans community in their geographic location, could cause depression and suicide rates to climb even more. This list isn’t exhaustive. However, it does provide a view into just how many people will be impacted due to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In many cases, people who live with health conditions are already marginalized and mistreated by medical providers and society as a whole. Now they may face even more problems and harsh judgment just for making decisions that can help them continue to live. This isn’t the type of treatment anyone deserves, especially people who already have to fight for their right to live day in and day out.

    Community Voices

    Depression over Medical issues

    <p><a href="" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce7600553f33fe991123" data-name="Depression" title="Depression" target="_blank">Depression</a> over Medical issues</p>
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    Community Voices

    Breast Cancer need help!

    Why are there so many posts here that have nothing to do with breast cancer or breast cancer treatments?? I joined this group because I thought I’d get people with experiences with breast cancer and treatments talking about it. Talking about options you have about breast cancer. I’m looking for someone who has gone through their 2nd bout of breast cancer and the fear going into it!!!

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    Conor Bezane

    What It's Like to Be Gay, Mentally Ill, and a Recovering Alcoholic

    I’ve had to come out three times in my life — first as gay, then as bipolar, and finally as a recovering alcoholic. Although I acknowledge that I have white privilege, I also have triple-threat minority status. To put it succinctly, I am other. I am not, however, afraid of stigma. While I don’t broadcast it when I meet people, I am perfectly comfortable talking about my recovery, my illness, or my sexual orientation. I’ve written a memoir about these three issues together — “The Bipolar Addict” — and I didn’t use a pseudonym, so all my secrets are out there for Google to find. Having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or any of a wide range of mental conditions is still considered unmentionable. I would argue that those who struggle with mental illness are the largest “fringe” group not yet accepted by the mainstream. What is it like to be other? The answer highlights how far we’ve come as a society. On this 53rd Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this is a good time to reflect on where we were and highlight how rapidly gay acceptance has come in just a few years. Much of our national collective psyche has changed its mind about queerness. Not so long ago, LGBTQIA+ was not even a recognized acronym. Now we are increasingly celebrating trans lives, a segment of the LGBTQIA+ population that has been scorned the most out of that spectrum and has been considered pernicious. “Trans Lives Matter” has become a mantra of our times. “Bipolar Strong” is a popular hashtag. We in the village of gay have entered a new era. Now we have nationwide marriage equality, though it may be at risk due to the conservative shift on the Supreme Court. Straight people enjoy attending Pride parades in support of gay rights. Seeing a gay character on television or film is no longer groundbreaking or cause for product boycotts. The phrases “his husband” and “her wife” no longer sound like pronoun confusion. And looking back at the Clintonian ‘90s, as a gay teen, I felt like an extricated alien. A creature to be feared, diminished, and ostracized. I was frail. Gossamer thin. Rotten to the core. I was absolutely ashamed. Harassed in high school because I was “different,” I was afraid to come out. Even in college in Iowa in the late 1990s, I felt like being gay was not only unspeakable, it was nearly unacceptable. Matthew Shepard died while I was in college, murdered for being gay. Back then, gay men in particular were singularly associated with AIDS. And up until 2015, gay men were not permitted to donate blood, prohibited by the FDA because of that sentiment. During the 1990s, more LGBTQIA+ people began revealing their sexuality slowly but surely, led by milestones such as MTV’s “The Real World” (1992) featuring gay main characters, the coming-out of Ellen DeGeneres on the cover of “Time” (1997), with the headline, “Yep, I’m Gay,” and shows such as “Will & Grace” (1998). Despite increasing acceptability in pop culture, there was still an element of shame in being gay even in the early 2000s.Indeed, I felt shame. The word “fag” was vernacular back then. “God Hates Fags” was a mantra among some born-again Christian zealots. And although the president says “Transgender rights are human rights,” the trans community continues to struggle. Trans kids are bullied at school and made to feel like they are abominations. Trans women are murdered at alarming rates. And in some countries it is illegal to be gay, punishable by execution. It was one heck of a journey and still is for so many. Other is different than “different.” Other implies ostracism. I don’t want to be ostracized anymore for my mental illness, like some curiosity in a circus sideshow. Even going to therapy is still considered a weakness. But with teletherapy becoming all the rage during COVID, it’s becoming less stigmatized because we can all see a doctor or psychologist from the comfort of home, without fear of others judging us. Just as being gay is becoming more accepted today, this same respect needs to be built around mental illness. In 2022, mental illness is quite “normal.” Approximately one in five adults experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Despite this high rate, many consider talking about it as verboten. But mental illness should be embraced with equal respect to any group aligned with sexual orientation/identification, religion, or ethnicity. I was diagnosed bipolar in 2008, after a major manic episode in New York City, when I experienced extreme psychosis, delusions of grandeur, and panic attacks. I was working as a producer at MTV News in Times Square, and everyone at work knew I was mentally ill because of my very public breakdown at the office. I personally felt stigmatized. I just wanted to hide away. Mental illness is still — even in the 21st century — hugely stigmatized. When someone needs to take a medical leave from work to treat and address mental health conditions like clinical depression, they are often seen as wimpy, not ill. But if someone needs six or eight weeks to recover from a physical ailment, such as hip-replacement surgery, it is much more widely accepted. Addiction is also stigmatized, even though the following numbers are extraordinary.There are 15.1 million adults, or 6.2 percent of Americans, with alcohol-use disorder, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The opioid crisis is alarming. Every day more than 130 people overdose and die on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Although it is extremely increasingly acceptable, one in seven Americans use marijuana, just as many who smoke cigarettes. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous etc. remain go-to sources of help, and many people benefit from them. Like what happened with gay acceptance, there is some movement here, but it’s really just beginning. Celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Kanye West are seen as heroes for speaking out about their bipolar disorder. Prince Harry has spoken about his depression and anxiety, even featuring himself inside a therapy session in the docuseries “The Me You Can’t See.” His wife Meghan Markle has divulged she has been suicidal. There was virtually no stigma when these celebrities “came out” as mentally ill. But that’s Hollywood. We idolize our celebrities and believe they can do no wrong. Many people with mental illness still struggle for acceptance. But we as a nation are talking about it more and more, and that’s progress. I look forward to the day when we can talk about having depression or bipolar disorder as openly as someone who talks about their other health conditions. After coming out three times in my lifetime, I’m tired of feeling like I’m other — which is a far cry from being viewed as unique, a word loaded with positivity. But when the other label is applied, the negative connotations make me feel subhuman. I am not a kook. I am not flawed. I’m not a drunk. Like my gay pride, I refuse to be relegated into second-class citizenship, a mutant humanoid who can flip out at any moment. This decade, we are all sewing a patchwork quilt of diversity. Every day, we create the constantly changing constellation that is America, and it includes LGBTQIA+ people, ethnic and religious minorities, those who struggle with mental illness, immigrants, and more that call the United States of America home. I believe we are all individually special in one way or another. Our personalities, our eccentricities, our characteristics are all distinctive. And that’s something to be proud about. To all those who feel other, Happy Pride.

    Community Voices

    I'm New Here today is the first day I've really explored this site in detail. I wish they had this when I was a child my life may have been better.

    I have multiple mental disorders as welll as several in curable health conditions. I have suffered from Bipolar Disorder with severe major depression schizophrenia antisocial borderline personality and crippling anxiety disorders my whole life and the last 3 years Agoraphobia. As far back as I can remeber I have always felt this way the first time I attempted to take my own life I was about 8 years old cutting for the first time as well and I’m now 44 this has been a life long war between me and my own thoughts, emotions the wispering telling me I don't want to live I just want to end the hurt that I'm no good to anyone and I am my own worst enemy. I can’t say as I have ever known what happiness is I have never desired to be alive even now the only reason I’m still here is the very few people that do love me. I lost my mother 3 years ago she was my everything my biggest fan she never tried to change me and accepted me for what I am. Back then they didn't even acknowledge mental illnesses in children and had no idea how to help me you didn't speak of such things it was a ugly secret and she never made me feel anything less than anyone else. She always told me that I was just different that I felt other peoples pain and took it on as if it were my own I fell everything so intensely and always have. I had a heart attack in 2016 due to broken heart syndrome a few months after finding out her cancer was now in stage 4 it damaged 55% of the muscles in my heart where I constantly worried and started preparing myself to come home from work or whatever to find her dead. I was her sole caregiver through 7 years of her fighting Mastetic breast cancer that spread throughout her whole body when I watched her take her last breath it did something to me I haven’t been able to hardly go outside let alone anywhere else I have a very serious genetic blood mutation that causes my blood to make hundreds of clots that I'm supposed to be monitored and on medications to try to keep it from clotting and I can’t even make myself go to my doctors appointments and just even the thought of having to leave my room causes severe anxiety attacks along with urges to self harm I can't leave the house because of it. I can have numerous mood swings in a day. I have so much rage inside and I can’t be around anybody but just a very few people because I react to the things they may say or do or that my mind tells me they did before I realize what I’m doing and I get violent to the point I scare myself. I don’t interact with family I have cut just about everyone including my family my children and grandchildren out of my life. I have been a prisioner in this room for the last 3 years. I hate myself for being this way I can’t fix it I try but no matter how hard I do try my mind will not let me out. My quality of life is nonexistant at this point I still fight everyday to make it one more day not for myself but for my children and the few people in my life that love me even though I can't love myself. I miss what little bit of happiness I did know I miss being able to even go to the mailbox I would give anything to get my life back. Thats why I'm here today.


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    Community Voices

    This song

    <p>This song</p>
    Community Voices

    Need someone to talk to…

    <p>Need someone to talk to…</p>
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    Community Voices


    This morning I was up very early, as typical for the night owl in me. I started thinking about something that happened about 5 years ago.

    My older adult daughter was visiting us, we live many miles and states apart.
    I knew I wanted to surprise her for her Birthday, I think? I really like giving gifts…I kind of pride myself on giving the perfect gift. I don’t know why. It’s been said that it’s one of the love languages.?

    Anyway, a couple of weeks before her visit, I went to a ceramics place and I painted her cat Minerva, as a youngster. It was an extremely detailed plate, that I painted. It took me maybe 9 hours to complete.-I received notification from the store while my daughter was visiting, that the plate was ready after fireing.

    I took my daughter to pick up the plate. She’d said that she really hoped I wasn’t giving her another “thing,” but I thought..this is unique, and the whole time I worried about her reaction.

    While I was painting the plate, there was a nagging in the back of my mind, that nothing lasts forever.-Watch something happen to this plate! (I’m somewhat 6th sense..) At the time, I still felt had to complete the plate.

    So, my daughter was super excited for the wonderful art work I gave her! We got home, to my house. She was holding the plate, which was wrapped, in paper, and a bag. She was holding it like a delicate flower. She was holding it like a treasure, outward, serving style, in both hands. I turned, after I opened the door to the house. She startled, and dropped the plate!

    I was upset, obviously. I walked shock. I went somewhere else. I did some deep breathing and tried to let go of the object, the art I created.

    I came into my kitchen to find my daughter on the floor, crying. She was so very miserable, and so very sorry it broke.

    I helped get her up. I hugged her. I tried to help alleviate what she was feeling. It was a gift after all, to do with, one wanted.-She told me she would glue all the pieces together.-I told her that if she chose to throw it out, I really, didn’t want to know about it…

    Permanence. Nothing in life is permanent. It’s all moving, change, and fluid, and transcending,from one moment to the next, from one day, month, year, to the next. And, we’re all just temporary works of art. Admired for a time, remembered for a moment, then fleeting, then gone.. #FamilyAndFriends #Emotions #BreastCancer #Family #PTSD #abandonment

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