Arzu Karataş (Breast Cancer) 

I was at the hospital in Bodrum when I first learnt my disease. I was shocked when mammograms and MRI results came up. I did not believe it later. Even, I denied it inwardly. Even in a dream, I saw that night, there was a sound rising to say "You do not have cancer." When I woke up, I faced the facts and started to cry. The next day, for the first time in my life, I got off work without taking my phone. I got on the plane and cried till I came to Istanbul. Although no one made an explanation when it was decided to have a biopsy in Istanbul, it could be understood on their faces that the situation was serious. I rented a room at a hotel in Bosphorus and looked at the sea asking about my life and death for the whole night. You feel death very closed to you like on your nape, but you do not know when it will ring your door. After that psychological state, your priorities for life are completely changing. The result of the biopsy was bad. There were tumors in five locations, and doctors suspected a lesion in the bone after PET imaging. I was collapsed with the possibility of metastatis while I even could not accept that I had cancer. I did not ask for doses of my medicines. I did not even look at my reports. I did not search anything on the Internet.

Having learnt that the lesion in the bones was only a deformation, the port was inserted into me. The only question in my mind was when my hair would be shedding, while my oncologist was telling me about the dosage and its effects. As a health professional, I knew how it would affect the patient. I always had the worst scenarios in my mind. I even expected to get die. When I was angry at something in the hospital or when I was very sad, I would go down to the oncology floor from time to time. I watched people who had cancer treatment and thought that I had no right to complain. Now I was on the other side of the mirror. I was on the patient side. I myself was living emotional parameters. According to my doctor saying, my hair would be shedding between 14 and 20 days. I was on the ground floor, but I did not know where to take a wig, how to apply hair prothesis, and what vitamins to take. I took 16 cycles of chemotherapy and it lasted about five months. Thanks to new medicines and advances in medicine, this process is no longer so intimidating contrary to what is believed. It gives you the power to believe that this process will come to an end eventually. In three days following the first day; it was worth everything to see that your tumors were getting smaller step by step, and that you had won a victory against that affection spread to your cells, although there were side effects such as heartburn, metallic taste on the tongue, inappetency and fatigue.

I could not be so strong without my friends, who turned chemotherapy periods to a feast, thought of my pajamas on the way to the hospital, disinfected my house, and did not leave me alone. Try to do what gives you happiness and do not suppress your feelings as my oncologist said and let your dreams rise up. Try to do anything that makes this process easier and get over better. 

 

Sema Ergenekon (Breast Cancer) 

Actually, I felt like it was not a good thing when I first realized a mass with my hands. But of course, people can not get it anyway. The first examinations passed with an undoubted feeling of concern. Then, my disease had a name when the result of the sample was ready. But comprehension and adoption do not come at the same time. Wonder. I expected someone to call and say "there is an error in the test result, it is wrong”. I was still in shock, even when the surgery was done and the mass was completely removed. I was even only astonished when it was certain that I would receive chemotherapy. Then a period of deep agony started. Fear. I think the most dangerous point for the patient is that perspective. It's imminent that the anger of "Why am I living this" seizes the person. At that moment, I decided I had to change my point of view. I believed that I should be insightful instead of being angry. About being insightful, what I mean is to understand the life. To find out why I was caught in this disease, and change it. I started to look for things that were missing and clunky in my life, looking back my life what happened before. I saw what was wrong, what was unnecessary, what was missing. Let's say I have had a period of enlightenment. Cancer has shed light on my life. It put everything in front of my eyes which I did not see or did not want to see. It reminded me the tired Sema whom I forgot and neglected. On that point, I chose to be changed instead of choosing to be angry and being weary of life. If you ask me whether I have been changed, I am still on my way. I have a long way to go but at least I have taken the road.

When the second week of my first chemotherapy session was over and the third week was going on, my hair started to be shed in small handfuls. My hair strands that flew over in the wind are still in front of my eyes. It's a sad frame of my life. Then you are facing your bald hair skin. At last, I found myself buzz-cutting my hair instead of wearing a wig. For the first time, at that moment I saw myself bald in front of the mirror. The woman I was looking in the mirror was very upset. She was offended. But I felt better when I wore a wig. I was getting bored and taking it out from time to time. I never used in some periods. Because it was summer and it was hard to carry a wig. But every time I went out, I put on my wig. People want to seem to be strong in such situations at first. For example, you do not want to wear a wig first. I decided to live in the conditions of the moment. But then I realized that I was pushing myself unnecessarily. I used it as I wanted or did not use it when I did not want. But it is certain that the wig was good for me in my spiritual fluctuations during the process.

There must be a reason if this disease has found us. There is a saying I like very much. Seeing the truth is painful. Yes, this is a very painful period. But it depends only on us how we get out of this period of time. I do not believe that cancer is a battle that needs to be won, it is a cry of body and soul. You need to listen and understand this cry and this rebellion. If you close your ears to truths, the intensity of the cry will be more. Or it will start again when you consider that it has ended. There is a book called "Spiritual Reasons for Diseases". It was very good for me to read and apply it. I would recommend it to anyone, not only to the patients under treatment.

 
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Nuray Bozdağ (Lymphoma) 

I reached the expected result and won a victory. Fortunately, the treatment is over. I am over with 8 sessions. I have realized that it takes patience and strength to reach the good things. In my life after that, I'm here to be everyone's life coach. I want to help you with my experience besides my knowledge. Never let the cancer be strong, you stay strong. Remember that cancer is just a disease with a bad reputation, and we will not let it overwhelm us. Take care of yourself, my cancer friends.

 

Seda Cebe (Breast Cancer)

I have always loved pink color throughout my life; I would tell myself that if you think in a pink way for everything, it makes these things pink and now I have a pink ribbon also. But I still love the pink, I still love it.

I first encounter this disease when I was 29 years old. Before I was pregnant with my baby boy, I went to a doctor with the symptoms in my ovary. There was also clear and blurred green discharge in my breast. The doctor never took me seriously, he said it would disappear spontaneously. I became pregnant with my baby boy a month later. It was my second pregnancy and the mass in ovary grew for 9 months and reached 20 cm. It was weighing 1.250 gr. The mass, ovary and my baby appendicitis were taken during the delivery. We learned that it was the 1st stage when it was puerpera for 7 days. Treatment was restricted to surgery, nothing else was done. My lymph nodes were also clean as it was early stage. 1.5 years later, I was going for a check-up to my oncologist and gynecologist every 3 months. The doctors were always telling me to be careful that I had a constant risk of breast cancer. The pain started on my right rib which makes me wake up at night and I realized a hard and immobile mass during the self-examination 1 month later. I went to the doctor, everything was clear on the ultrasound. In fact, while immediate surgery and biopsy were being planned, I learnt that I had the second stage breast cancer. We started preparations for mastectomy in 1 week. I had surgery, my lymphs were clean again, and the type of cancer was not aggressive. All the results were in favor of me. My oncologist did not order chemotherapy, I did not take radiotherapy, I am using only tamoxifen now. I have a chance to detect it at an early stage. Maybe you can ask the question how you ended up with while you have little children at such a young age. I would always pray to God, ask him to give me strength even if the consequences are bad. My prayers came true, I never lost my faith, and I never was afraid of neither disease nor anything else. I was even smiling while narcosis was being given on the surgery table. He taught me to be happy in every situation. Thank you for everything, thank you for all the bad days I have experienced, my Lord. Now I can experience true happiness, I know the value of every moment. My experiences always changed me positively. It's been 16 months since I had recovered from breast cancer. I am healthy now, everything is fine. I have a 6-year-old daughter and a 2.5-year-old son. They have not even noticed what I've been through for a while. I feel like I was just caught the flu and returned to normal. If I were a little late, I would receive chemotherapy, the treatment would be prolonged, and it would be harder for me. There is only one thing I can say to all my lady friends: Do not be afraid of cancer, be afraid of being late. Please take care of yourself, do not be afraid of being examined, do not neglect your health and your future.

I would like to say one final word that: nobody had cancer in my family before, it was the first time that occurred to me. Brca1, Brca2 genes were examined; there was not a gene mutation. I do not consume alcohol and smoke, I am not a person with bad nutrition pattern, and my doctors also could not understand why it happened to me.

 

Elif Çinko Sara (Breast Cancer)

2015 started with a magnificent new year celebration. New hopes, new dreams and waiting a baby...The disease encountered us when I was 32 years old. I do not even know how it happened. Everything started when I realized a lump with my hands in the shower and my right breast was larger than left breast. I went to doctor with the pressure of my mother-in-law and the result was breast cancer! The worst thing was that my right breast would be removed completely. I was collapsed and did not accepy my breast to be removed.  I tried so hard, but all the doctors said it would have to be extracted. One day before the surgery, I had the second shock that there was a suspicion on the left side and it would probably be removed. On March 25, only the right breast was removed with a major surgery. Fortunately, the left was good and my armpit was also clean. In the end, I said that every cloud has a silver lining. 

Then chemotherapy started. There was no need for radiotherapy. It was very hard, but life was so beautiful, to live, to breathe ... My wonderful husband, my big family and all the surprises... I was telling myself that it was too early and I was so strong. During this process, I continued my life without wearing a wig, went on my joyous moments and in the end I won. Now nothing is important to me. I still do not have my right breast but life is beautiful, living is incredible. Thanks be to god for every moment.