Nakita Garcia's Battle With Cancer Part 2
9 Thoughts Women Battling Late-Stage Cancer Have
"My daughter will never know me."
"I was so overwhelmed by the diagnosis that I had to give it over to a faith experience. Here I am, a type-A control freak. That was really hard for me to let go of my destiny, but there's a lot of freedom that comes with that. As long as I'm taking care of my body and controlling my thoughts, it's really out of my hands. When I have dark thoughts, I shut them off like a light switch. I visualize that light switch. All I can do is all I can do." —Lynda, 52, Washington
"My 4-year-old daughter is the center of my world, and yet she may never know me. I've never been able to wrap my head around how something can be such a big part of my life, but I might not be a big part of her life. In some ways, it's good that she is young so she doesn't remember the tragedy of it, but she also won't know anything about me, and that is a really hard pill to swallow." —Aimee, 37, Canada
"I liked my job and I like to work. It was hard for me to give up work because it was a part of my life that I could control. No matter how I felt, I could get up, get dressed and go to my job and it made me feel like I was winning. Now, I sit on the couch and fold two of my husband's shirts and my oxygen levels drop to 77. The normal level is 90.
Everything numbs when you hear the word "cancer." You're not hearing anything else that's said because you can only think about that word. There was no family history. I never smoked. I rarely had a drink. I've done all the right things. Then you realize, "OK. This is negative," and you start to think "OK. How do I go forward from here?" — Linda, 63, North Carolina
"I finished college just a few years before I was diagnosed with stage four cancer and I was finally in a job that I loved. I was single and didn't have kids. I've put dating on the back burner for now. I almost feel guilty even thinking about it. Most people with a metastatic diagnosis only live for about three years. Do I really want to form a relationship and bring someone else into this?
I went from being a typical 30-year-old to going on disability. It's difficult because you think of this as your grandma's disease. I still have to pay student loans and I'm on disability. A lot of financial worries go through your mind." — Victoria, 31, Ohio
"I know death is a part of life. I don't have any regrets. I have been loved and loved people and I've traveled the world. I am in the best place I've ever been. I'm OK because I understand the process, but I don't know if my kids understand it or get this. Sometimes I can't talk to them on certain days and I worry about how this affects them. My kids trigger a lot. After you hang up the phone, you worry about what they are experiencing." — Debbie, 60, New York
"If I'm lucky, I am going to get ten years. That is not the average, but I am optimistic about new drugs. I'm 65 now, and you start thinking, "Maybe I should just take social security now because I'm not going to get to 80." My husband hates that conversation, but it's easier for me because it helps me deal with it. In many ways, he is the one who will be left behind. It's harder for him, and if I were in his shoes, I wouldn't want to be hearing this conversation either.
I don't want my kids to think I'm not strong. And yes, it is important to celebrate survivorship and being fierce, but in those darkest moments, there is a lot of pressure. In those moments, you can be strong but still feel like crap. It is those dark moments when you feel very alone." — Pam, 65, North Carolina
"If I am by myself and alone with my thoughts, my mind can go all over the place, especially with a new baby. I know she will be OK, but I would never have wanted to have a baby if I knew I couldn't raise her. It's always a battle to stay positive. It wouldn't be any good for my daughter to think like that.
I wanted to have another kid, but now I don't think it would be responsible if I did, and that is hard to swallow. The doctors told me having another baby was a terrible idea as I wouldn't be able to do treatment while I was pregnant. I have a lot of friends who had their first babies at the same time as me. Now, all those friends are popping up with their second pregnancies. It hit me that that wasn't going to be me. I had to accept it. I just have to be the best mom I can be to my daughter, and that's all I can do." — Lisa, 33, Virginia
"I worry and wonder if it's genetic. Is this something I will pass onto my daughters? I want to understand what caused this so I can leave them with the information they need to protect themselves against the possibility. I wish I could look at my daughters and say, 'Don't worry. This isn't coming your way. This was the result of my decisions.'" —Kelly, 55, Canada
"I think constantly about the fatigue. I struggle with being honest about that and feeling like I am being negative. It's a really hard one for me. You have to be upfront about these things and just get it out there so people know. At the same time, part of our culture is, "Oh, we don't complain. If you talk about it, it just makes it worse." It's a really confusing world because if you do focus on the negativity it becomes the reality. It's a balance between the two, because to stay focused on the positives is not a matter of denial.
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