Once again we will be shining the spotlight on our amazing breast cancer survivors and caregivers. This week our Spotlight Survivor is Mar Silverblade.
How and when did you learn about your cancer?
I am a breast cancer with metastasis in the lymph nodes survivor. I learned that I had cancer in October 2013 after I went to see my doctor because of a lump in my left breast.
What types of treatment(s) have occurred?
Started chemotherapy on November 2013 till April 2014. I had lumpectomy surgery and all my lymph nodes to the right side were removed also. After surgery, I started estrogen hormone inhibitor treatment with Anastrozole. I went through seven weeks of radiation post surgery.
April 14, 2014, is a day I will always remember, that day after surgery, my Oncologist nurse called to tell me that I was cancer free.
I felt blessed at the time and also right now. Still, the journey to recovery continues, I did not tolerate my treatment with Anastrozole, later I took Letrozole for more than two years till I had severe joint/bones pain, so much so, that I could not walk farther than a block. The Oncologist stopped the medication for four months, I did recover from the joint pain after that time.
In January of 2019, I was taking Aromasin with some of the same bad side effects showing up already.
Nobody said that it would be easy, it is not, but I am not giving up!
What have been the most important things that have helped you through your survivorship?
Having my husband, family, friends, and the online ACS Support Group in Second Life helping me all the way. Knowing that I am never alone makes all the difference in my journey throughout my cancer treatments and recovery. Also, my belief that there is a God who is always there to help me.
What have you learned from your experiences that you would like to share?
That even in the most difficult times I have the ability to fight back. That I am never alone in my journey.
Are there positive experiences you would like to share?
Yes, the support of family, friend and Second Life support group made a big impact in my life. I wish I never had cancer. But it happened, so I learned about how strong I can be in such difficult times. I know how much my loved ones care for me and that I even have virtual friends that are there for me 24/7 as much as I am there for them.
For three years now I have been a volunteer in an online support group for people in cancer treatments and survivors. I am part of the ACS Support Group in Second Life. I am very proud of this group, everyday people come together to help each other in the journey to survive. Helping others helps me to know that I am are never alone.
This is my motto, I say it over and over, “we are not alone in this journey. Together we can cope with anything.”
What else would you like to tell us?
Do not be afraid to ask for help.
I am a member and moderator of the Hope Haven – ACS Support Groups in Second Life .
Five years ago I met Sandie Loxingly in a Relay For Life Christmas event. She told me about the support group that meets at Hope Haven, which takes place every Sunday at noon SLT. I went the next Sunday. I was so pleased to be able to meet people that have gone through cancer treatment and others that were in treatment, all of us cancer patients and survivors are willing to share our story and support one another.
I will always be thankful to Sandie for being there that day when she opened the door of the support group for me.
We meet every day as we please in the Support Group Chat Room. Also, we have Sundays meetings in person at the Hope Haven Support Group Network building. If we can’t be on Second Life we can communicate and share stories and thoughtful articles, and so on in the group Facebook page.
Also, The amazing support from the ACS Caregivers Support Group in Second Life gave to me when my sister passed away last January 02, 2019 is still in my heart.
Currently, I am dealing with very bad side effects from Aromasin an estrogen hormone inhibitor, but I am not feeling isolated in my journey. I asked for help, in the support group, with my feelings of having to choose with my Oncologist if I will have to stop my medication, losing the protection against another possible metastasis.
I just needed to know that others can deeply understand the nightmares that come with the uncertainty of your future. As soon as I shared my concerns many people in the group supported me and gave me suggestions.
I asked others with the same diagnosis how are they were coping and they shared with me their good wishes and many more little details of caring and taking the time to listen to me.It really makes all the difference in the world knowing that I am not alone.
I know that whatever I do it will have to be with my Oncologists medical advise. That having been said, the support from the group is also part of my daily routine. I am there for them and they are there for me. That is priceless!
The ACS Support Groups in Second Life gives me comfort and the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that you are with your peers. I can be myself with them, we trust each other, we deeply care for one another, we fight together, we celebrate our victories and we hold each other in the dark times. There is so much more to say, but for now, with a chemo brain, all I can say is thank you to all of you for being there for me.
I am living one day at the time, because of all the side effects of medications, my life is not easy and my road to recovery probably will never end but I am fine with that, I am a fighter, I am not giving up.