Cat

@cat-thurmon | contributor
Cat is a Breast Cancer and Brain Aneurysm survivor she also suffers from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Metabolic Disorder, PTSD, Bipolar Depression, Anxiety Scoliosis, Spinal Stenosis, Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis and a few other conditions. She had a life, a career and a clean house before her illnesses took hold. Now her life seems like it is no longer her own. She’s blessed to have her family and she thanks God that she does. She takes each day as it comes and does the best she can for them and for herself.
Community Voices

The week that changed my life...

I’ve been through a lot in my life.  I’ve had a lot of health issues.  Fibro, CFIDS, Depression and anxiety just to name a few but none of that prepared me for the day that will change my life forever.

For the past couple of years I’ve had multiple infections in my breasts.  I had a lumpectomy on my left breast which resolved the issue.  About a year later they started in my right breast.  The last one I had landed me in the ER.  It went from nothing the night before to a 3-4 inch spread of red on my breast with red streaks spreading up from it.

I called my breast specialist, and immediately started antibiotics, again.  By the end of the day I started feeling really lousy and ended up in the ER getting some IV Antibiotics.  By the next day all was better but this one had me worried because it came up so fast and so bad.

I had my follow-up with my specialist a few days later and we discussed this infection.  I asked what we could do to help these as this one had me worried.  She said they could simply go in and remove the ducts and hopefully this will stop the infections.  I was all for this as I was tired of dealing with them.

My surgery day came and I was slightly worried about undergoing another surgery but it wasn’t too bad.  The surgery went fine with nothing remarkable happening.  A simple in and out surgery.  All was good and I felt good about my having the surgery.  This was Monday.

Wednesday as I tried to sleep I just couldn’t.  I was worried and I didn’t know why I was so concerned.  Something I saw online really stuck in my head this time when I saw that the Doctor had removed a lump.  In my mind I figured this was the abscess but I couldn’t get it off my mind.  I got back up for a while, took my anxiety medicine and waited until I was tired enough to go to sleep.

Thursday night as I readied for bed my breast specialist called me. She said the pathology report was back and not to worry.  She said it isn’t as bad as it’s going to sound.  Naturally, this freaked me out.  She said that it just raises my already high risk, for breast cancer.  They had found Multiple spots of Lobular Carcinoma in Situ.  She said it, she said the C word.  My mind couldn’t wrap itself around what she had just said.  I was calm and collected said thank you, scheduled my next appointment for the following Thursday and hung up the phone.  I told my husband what she had said and turned in.

The next day I started researching, educating myself.  I must have read the pathology report 100 times.  I found in it that some places displayed pagetoid spread.  I learned this meant that it was spreading out of the original location.  I read about treatments.  Wait and see, what I’ve been doing for years due to a high rate of Cancer in both sides of my family, not an option in my mind.  Cancer preventative drugs, many side effects, not 100% effective.  Double mastectomy, 90-95% rate of success.

Monday morning I get a text from my specialists office, she has ordered a review of my pathology report and wants to see me today.  Not good, can’t be good.  For the first time I took my husband to one of my appointments.  My usually pleasant caring doctor said, do you want to get down to talking about options before we do anything else.  We discussed the options, we asked questions, I was well informed by now, and had all but made up my mind.  I asked her what was my best course of action, and she came to the same conclusion as me, Preventative Double Mastectomy.

So here we are, preparing for a Double mastectomy with an immediate reconstruction.  Here you have the story of the week that changed my life…

3 people are talking about this
Cat
Cat @cat-thurmon
contributor

Dating and Finding Love With Fibromyalgia

I know a lot of us have problems with relationships. Some of us lose relationships because of fibromyalgia. I just wanted to share the story of mine to give you hope. In 2006 I went through one of the most traumatic times of my life. I thought I was happily married until a bombshell got dropped on me. I was married to the father of my three children. We had been together for eight years and suddenly it was over. My husband of eight years, father to my young children, admitted he cheated on me. During the ensuing argument, he confessed that the reason he did it was that he was tired of me being sick all the time. I was heartbroken, destroyed… I thought my life was over. Obviously, my marriage was. I begged and pleaded for him not to destroy our family. His reply to me was, “Let me see what she wants from this.” That threw me into a rage. I was no one’s second choice, so I told him to get out and threw him out. Shortly after that, I started looking for a single parent support group online. Here I was alone with an 8-year-old, a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old. I did not know what I was going to do. A support group would help me make it through it, so I searched and I searched. Each search I would pull up would show this Match.com profile of the same guy. I ignored it for days. Then after seeing it dozens of times I read it over. I could not believe it, he sounded like the perfect man. A single, recently divorced, father of two. Well, I was not interested in finding a man and went on with my search. After a couple of weeks of seeing him frequently in my searches, I investigated it more. I gave in to curiosity and signed up on Match.com. I read over his profile a dozen times, probably. Finally, I winked at him. I did not know it was deer season, so he was out of town. I did not receive a response and wasn’t too concerned about it because I wasn’t interested in jumping right into a relationship. A week or so later, he messaged me. My heart was beating in my throat. I could not be so lucky to land a guy like him. We exchanged emails for weeks, then came phone calls. Phone calls that would last into the long hours of the nights. Every night we spoke, for over a month. I fell in love with him before I ever met him. During these long calls and emails, I told him what had happened, and I told him about my health challenges. He did not care. So, we finally decided to meet. I had him come to my house to watch movies because a big ice storm had just hit. He drove through all that bad weather just to come and meet me. We went out for a second date the next day. The rest is history. We have now been married for over 13 years. He has been a wonderful husband, father to our children and loves me unconditionally. So, if you find yourself suddenly single because of your illnesses, don’t worry, I believe the right one will find their way to you. God sent me Joe, I’m sure of it, and he will send you your angel when it is time.

Cat
Cat @cat-thurmon
contributor

Dating and Finding Love With Fibromyalgia

I know a lot of us have problems with relationships. Some of us lose relationships because of fibromyalgia. I just wanted to share the story of mine to give you hope. In 2006 I went through one of the most traumatic times of my life. I thought I was happily married until a bombshell got dropped on me. I was married to the father of my three children. We had been together for eight years and suddenly it was over. My husband of eight years, father to my young children, admitted he cheated on me. During the ensuing argument, he confessed that the reason he did it was that he was tired of me being sick all the time. I was heartbroken, destroyed… I thought my life was over. Obviously, my marriage was. I begged and pleaded for him not to destroy our family. His reply to me was, “Let me see what she wants from this.” That threw me into a rage. I was no one’s second choice, so I told him to get out and threw him out. Shortly after that, I started looking for a single parent support group online. Here I was alone with an 8-year-old, a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old. I did not know what I was going to do. A support group would help me make it through it, so I searched and I searched. Each search I would pull up would show this Match.com profile of the same guy. I ignored it for days. Then after seeing it dozens of times I read it over. I could not believe it, he sounded like the perfect man. A single, recently divorced, father of two. Well, I was not interested in finding a man and went on with my search. After a couple of weeks of seeing him frequently in my searches, I investigated it more. I gave in to curiosity and signed up on Match.com. I read over his profile a dozen times, probably. Finally, I winked at him. I did not know it was deer season, so he was out of town. I did not receive a response and wasn’t too concerned about it because I wasn’t interested in jumping right into a relationship. A week or so later, he messaged me. My heart was beating in my throat. I could not be so lucky to land a guy like him. We exchanged emails for weeks, then came phone calls. Phone calls that would last into the long hours of the nights. Every night we spoke, for over a month. I fell in love with him before I ever met him. During these long calls and emails, I told him what had happened, and I told him about my health challenges. He did not care. So, we finally decided to meet. I had him come to my house to watch movies because a big ice storm had just hit. He drove through all that bad weather just to come and meet me. We went out for a second date the next day. The rest is history. We have now been married for over 13 years. He has been a wonderful husband, father to our children and loves me unconditionally. So, if you find yourself suddenly single because of your illnesses, don’t worry, I believe the right one will find their way to you. God sent me Joe, I’m sure of it, and he will send you your angel when it is time.

Cat
Cat @cat-thurmon
contributor

Sick of Being Sick With Fibromyalgia, Chronic Illness

Having a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia really does take its toll on you, especially when you have a ton of other stuff along with it like me. It waxes and wanes but it never goes away, at least it doesn’t for me. Right now I must say it’s as bad as it has ever been before. My pain level has driven me so far down that even my positive outlook is suffering. I am so sick of being sick. My only escape is the sleep I get but now the pain is twisting my dreams and I can’t even escape it there now. I awake so sore that it makes me want to scream out just to move. I’m as tired when I wake up as I was when I went to bed. Relief seems to be escaping me these days. Get more exercise, that’s what they say. They have no idea how hard that is to do when every movement makes you want to flinch with pain. When walking any distance at all makes your spine feel as though it’s just going to crumble apart and disintegrate. I do what I can, I walk short distances, I do leg lifts in my chair, but it’s hard. I wish others could understand how hard. Lose weight. I try, I really do. Without being able to be as active as you need to be it’s a very hard thing to do. I know my weight, which was put on after falling ill, makes it worse. It makes my self-image worse too which doesn’t help things at all. I wish I could lose it and I’m trying hard to, but it’s a slow process feeling as I do. Take your meds. I do, I promise I do, just as they tell me to do, but it isn’t helping enough. I have missed them and I was lucky not to spend the day curled up in a ball on the floor, so I know they help, but they aren’t doing enough. There has to be something out there that will help give me my life back. Depression? Sure, I struggle with depression. When there isn’t a part of your body that doesn’t hurt all of the time, you might be depressed too. I think those of us who function with this are a lot stronger than people give us credit for. I can’t even eat without experiencing symptoms. I eat something, it sends me running to the bathroom. There isn’t an aspect of living that fibromyalgia or the slew of co-existing conditions do not touch. You name it, there is an ill effect to go along with it. The symptoms feed off each other, each one causing the others to be worse. I try to stay positive. I know this will pass and I will feel better, but even then I won’t feel good. I have my good spells but even then there is still the ever-present pain, depression, stomach issues etc. Still, there are better times when I can do more and enjoy more, but what do I do in the meantime? I’m getting worn down, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m losing hope that there are good days ahead and that relief can be found. I mustn’t let myself get like that, I must always believe there is hope, but right now that’s hard. I must hold onto the thought that this too shall pass. I just hope it passes quickly…

Community Voices

Don't ever give up, there is always hope.

I have a condition called #Fibromyalgia.  It is a multi-layered condition.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with

this condition here are a few of the things it causes:

·

Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms, or tightness

·

Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy

·

#Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as

when you went to sleep

·

Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one

position for too long

·

Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and

performing simple mental tasks (“fibro fog”)

·

Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and

constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)

·

Tension or #Migraine headaches

·

Jaw and facial tenderness

·

Sensitivity to one or more of the following:

odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, heat and cold

·

Feeling anxious or depressed Numbness or

tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet

·

Increase in urinary urgency or frequency

(irritable bladder)

·

Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain

after exercise

·

A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling)

in the hands and feet

This isn’t a complete list, but it gives you an idea of what

fibro Warriors are going through.

For me the cognitive issues bother me a lot and then there is the

unrelenting pain.  I’ve been being

treated for this condition for around 15 years.

Name a treatment for it and I’ve probably tried it.  Some of them even worked, for a short time,

their effectiveness eventually wearing off.

At my last Doctor appointment my doctor basically said she

didn’t know what else to do for me.

We’ve tried everything and they’ve all stopped working.  She did say she was proud of how well I

handle all of this as I manage to keep it together unlike other patients

she sees.  My mind was frantic that this

was it, it wasn’t ever going to get any better, I was at my wits end.

As many of the sufferers of this condition I belong to

support boards on Facebook.  I’ve seen a

lot of people swearing by CBD Oil.  They

say it has no side effects and can basically give you most of your life back,

taking away the pain.

After doing a lot of research on the subject and speaking to

a few people I decided I would like to give it a try.

Knowing that some of the CBD oil out there

can have trace amounts of THC in it I figured I better let my doctor know that

I was intending to try it.  So, I

messaged her.  Her response was basically

“Absolutely not” there are no studies to suggest that it helps, and it isn’t

FDA Approved.  While she is correct that

it’s not FDA approved, which neither are the vitamins I take, she was wrong

there are a lot of studies that suggest that it helps with pain and other

symptoms of .

After careful consideration I decided to go against her

and try it.  Boy am I glad that I

did.  I’m like a new person.  I can function again.  My pain instead of being around a consistent

7-8 is now a 1-3 which just makes everything better.

My only question on it is how long I will

continue to have good results.  Will it

lose effectiveness like everything else does?

Will it provide long term results?

I guess only time will tell but for now at least I have hope again.

 

9 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Don't ever give up, there is always hope.

I have a condition called #Fibromyalgia.  It is a multi-layered condition.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with

this condition here are a few of the things it causes:

·

Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms, or tightness

·

Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy

·

#Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as

when you went to sleep

·

Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one

position for too long

·

Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and

performing simple mental tasks (“fibro fog”)

·

Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and

constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)

·

Tension or #Migraine headaches

·

Jaw and facial tenderness

·

Sensitivity to one or more of the following:

odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, heat and cold

·

Feeling anxious or depressed Numbness or

tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet

·

Increase in urinary urgency or frequency

(irritable bladder)

·

Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain

after exercise

·

A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling)

in the hands and feet

This isn’t a complete list, but it gives you an idea of what

fibro Warriors are going through.

For me the cognitive issues bother me a lot and then there is the

unrelenting pain.  I’ve been being

treated for this condition for around 15 years.

Name a treatment for it and I’ve probably tried it.  Some of them even worked, for a short time,

their effectiveness eventually wearing off.

At my last Doctor appointment my doctor basically said she

didn’t know what else to do for me.

We’ve tried everything and they’ve all stopped working.  She did say she was proud of how well I

handle all of this as I manage to keep it together unlike other patients

she sees.  My mind was frantic that this

was it, it wasn’t ever going to get any better, I was at my wits end.

As many of the sufferers of this condition I belong to

support boards on Facebook.  I’ve seen a

lot of people swearing by CBD Oil.  They

say it has no side effects and can basically give you most of your life back,

taking away the pain.

After doing a lot of research on the subject and speaking to

a few people I decided I would like to give it a try.

Knowing that some of the CBD oil out there

can have trace amounts of THC in it I figured I better let my doctor know that

I was intending to try it.  So, I

messaged her.  Her response was basically

“Absolutely not” there are no studies to suggest that it helps, and it isn’t

FDA Approved.  While she is correct that

it’s not FDA approved, which neither are the vitamins I take, she was wrong

there are a lot of studies that suggest that it helps with pain and other

symptoms of .

After careful consideration I decided to go against her

and try it.  Boy am I glad that I

did.  I’m like a new person.  I can function again.  My pain instead of being around a consistent

7-8 is now a 1-3 which just makes everything better.

My only question on it is how long I will

continue to have good results.  Will it

lose effectiveness like everything else does?

Will it provide long term results?

I guess only time will tell but for now at least I have hope again.

 

9 people are talking about this
Cat
Cat @cat-thurmon
contributor

To My Children: Despite My Illness, I Have Tried My Best

I want you to know that I want to be such a better mother than I am. I hope someday you can fully understand that I have tried my best. I hope you never really understand what I feel due to my illnesses, as I would never wish you to follow in my footsteps in that way. I want to play with you but the fatigue and the pain just makes it impossible. I hope you understand that my desire to do so is there, but it’s just not always possible. Trust me, I fight it the best I can to try to do what I can with you. I may pay for it for days but I promise I will do what I can and to me it’s always worth it. Each day is such a struggle. Just to care for all you takes all that I have. I know it doesn’t seem like I do much, but I’m doing the best that I can. I hope you can understand that. It’s hard for me to ask for help. I try to do more than I should, and it takes a big toll on me. I know you’re stuck helping more than you should, and I’m sure you don’t see why you have to. Trust the fact that your help is appreciated so very much. I couldn’t do what I do without you. You’ve always been Mommy’s helpers and it makes my love for you that much greater, if that’s even possible. I feel bad that so much is put on your shoulders due to my illness, but I hope you know that I wish it wasn’t that way. My life is a struggle, day by day. Pain, Fatigue and depression makes it hard at times to be the mother I want to be. Yet, you love my anyway. That is where I draw my strength. You give me the strength to do what I do to pull myself out of it all to enjoy my life to the fullest that I can. It is all due to you that I endure all that I do and keep a smile on my face. You are my heart, and when my body fails me I know that never will. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock Image By: mactrunk

Cat
Cat @cat-thurmon
contributor

Sick of Being Sick With Fibromyalgia, Chronic Illness

Having a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia really does take its toll on you, especially when you have a ton of other stuff along with it like me. It waxes and wanes but it never goes away, at least it doesn’t for me. Right now I must say it’s as bad as it has ever been before. My pain level has driven me so far down that even my positive outlook is suffering. I am so sick of being sick. My only escape is the sleep I get but now the pain is twisting my dreams and I can’t even escape it there now. I awake so sore that it makes me want to scream out just to move. I’m as tired when I wake up as I was when I went to bed. Relief seems to be escaping me these days. Get more exercise, that’s what they say. They have no idea how hard that is to do when every movement makes you want to flinch with pain. When walking any distance at all makes your spine feel as though it’s just going to crumble apart and disintegrate. I do what I can, I walk short distances, I do leg lifts in my chair, but it’s hard. I wish others could understand how hard. Lose weight. I try, I really do. Without being able to be as active as you need to be it’s a very hard thing to do. I know my weight, which was put on after falling ill, makes it worse. It makes my self-image worse too which doesn’t help things at all. I wish I could lose it and I’m trying hard to, but it’s a slow process feeling as I do. Take your meds. I do, I promise I do, just as they tell me to do, but it isn’t helping enough. I have missed them and I was lucky not to spend the day curled up in a ball on the floor, so I know they help, but they aren’t doing enough. There has to be something out there that will help give me my life back. Depression? Sure, I struggle with depression. When there isn’t a part of your body that doesn’t hurt all of the time, you might be depressed too. I think those of us who function with this are a lot stronger than people give us credit for. I can’t even eat without experiencing symptoms. I eat something, it sends me running to the bathroom. There isn’t an aspect of living that fibromyalgia or the slew of co-existing conditions do not touch. You name it, there is an ill effect to go along with it. The symptoms feed off each other, each one causing the others to be worse. I try to stay positive. I know this will pass and I will feel better, but even then I won’t feel good. I have my good spells but even then there is still the ever-present pain, depression, stomach issues etc. Still, there are better times when I can do more and enjoy more, but what do I do in the meantime? I’m getting worn down, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m losing hope that there are good days ahead and that relief can be found. I mustn’t let myself get like that, I must always believe there is hope, but right now that’s hard. I must hold onto the thought that this too shall pass. I just hope it passes quickly…

Cat
Cat @cat-thurmon
contributor

Sick of Being Sick With Fibromyalgia, Chronic Illness

Having a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia really does take its toll on you, especially when you have a ton of other stuff along with it like me. It waxes and wanes but it never goes away, at least it doesn’t for me. Right now I must say it’s as bad as it has ever been before. My pain level has driven me so far down that even my positive outlook is suffering. I am so sick of being sick. My only escape is the sleep I get but now the pain is twisting my dreams and I can’t even escape it there now. I awake so sore that it makes me want to scream out just to move. I’m as tired when I wake up as I was when I went to bed. Relief seems to be escaping me these days. Get more exercise, that’s what they say. They have no idea how hard that is to do when every movement makes you want to flinch with pain. When walking any distance at all makes your spine feel as though it’s just going to crumble apart and disintegrate. I do what I can, I walk short distances, I do leg lifts in my chair, but it’s hard. I wish others could understand how hard. Lose weight. I try, I really do. Without being able to be as active as you need to be it’s a very hard thing to do. I know my weight, which was put on after falling ill, makes it worse. It makes my self-image worse too which doesn’t help things at all. I wish I could lose it and I’m trying hard to, but it’s a slow process feeling as I do. Take your meds. I do, I promise I do, just as they tell me to do, but it isn’t helping enough. I have missed them and I was lucky not to spend the day curled up in a ball on the floor, so I know they help, but they aren’t doing enough. There has to be something out there that will help give me my life back. Depression? Sure, I struggle with depression. When there isn’t a part of your body that doesn’t hurt all of the time, you might be depressed too. I think those of us who function with this are a lot stronger than people give us credit for. I can’t even eat without experiencing symptoms. I eat something, it sends me running to the bathroom. There isn’t an aspect of living that fibromyalgia or the slew of co-existing conditions do not touch. You name it, there is an ill effect to go along with it. The symptoms feed off each other, each one causing the others to be worse. I try to stay positive. I know this will pass and I will feel better, but even then I won’t feel good. I have my good spells but even then there is still the ever-present pain, depression, stomach issues etc. Still, there are better times when I can do more and enjoy more, but what do I do in the meantime? I’m getting worn down, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m losing hope that there are good days ahead and that relief can be found. I mustn’t let myself get like that, I must always believe there is hope, but right now that’s hard. I must hold onto the thought that this too shall pass. I just hope it passes quickly…

Cat
Cat @cat-thurmon
contributor

To My Children: Despite My Illness, I Have Tried My Best

I want you to know that I want to be such a better mother than I am. I hope someday you can fully understand that I have tried my best. I hope you never really understand what I feel due to my illnesses, as I would never wish you to follow in my footsteps in that way. I want to play with you but the fatigue and the pain just makes it impossible. I hope you understand that my desire to do so is there, but it’s just not always possible. Trust me, I fight it the best I can to try to do what I can with you. I may pay for it for days but I promise I will do what I can and to me it’s always worth it. Each day is such a struggle. Just to care for all you takes all that I have. I know it doesn’t seem like I do much, but I’m doing the best that I can. I hope you can understand that. It’s hard for me to ask for help. I try to do more than I should, and it takes a big toll on me. I know you’re stuck helping more than you should, and I’m sure you don’t see why you have to. Trust the fact that your help is appreciated so very much. I couldn’t do what I do without you. You’ve always been Mommy’s helpers and it makes my love for you that much greater, if that’s even possible. I feel bad that so much is put on your shoulders due to my illness, but I hope you know that I wish it wasn’t that way. My life is a struggle, day by day. Pain, Fatigue and depression makes it hard at times to be the mother I want to be. Yet, you love my anyway. That is where I draw my strength. You give me the strength to do what I do to pull myself out of it all to enjoy my life to the fullest that I can. It is all due to you that I endure all that I do and keep a smile on my face. You are my heart, and when my body fails me I know that never will. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock Image By: mactrunk