Pattie’s Story

I was 30 years old, my mom had just passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. She was only 62. I found out two weeks later that I had breast cancer. I was devestated. I really needed my mom and she wasn’t there. My dad said it was my own fault for not taking care of myself. My sister is like my dad. My kids were too young to talk to and my husband just became distant. I had no one. I had the mastectomy and I was lucky. I had 30 negative lymph nodes so no chemo or radiation. The doctor said I was cured. So what does this have to do with ADD? My life became a game of constant fear of cancer.

I was unable to concentrate on anything. I was going to college at the time and I don’t know how I made it through. My grades were certainly not what they should have been. Unattentiveness and disorganization became a way of life. So much so, that I always felt like a deer trapped in the headlights. Four years after the cancer diagnosis, it returned. I went from a stageI to a stage IV. I thought it was all over. I tried Chemo but it kicked my butt. I was going to have a bone marrow transplant but I couldn’t handle the chemo. My doctor put me on tamoxifen and I had radiation. They told me at the most I had 5 years to live.

The disorganization became worse as time went on. I didn’t pay bills, I barely kept track of my kids and my husband and I barely spoke. I thought it would be over soon enough. Then my husband was diagnosed with lymphoma and he had Chemo and learned what it was like. We became closer,and he was more understanding, but it was still hard. Years passed by and I hit the 5 year mark. An amazing thing happened. My cancer did not advance. It stayed in a localized spot in the bone. I was in remission. I began to dare to think that I wasn’t going to die, so I went to counseling and learned a lot about myself. I was severely depressed and I was ADD because of that. It sapped my short term memory wo that I forgot information that I just recieved. It was very hard, but I pulled myself together and decided to use my biology degree since I was now a living person.

My husband and I moved South to Georgia and I found a great Dr. who has treated the memory loss and ADD with adderall. I still fear the cancer now and then, but I am stronger for having gone through what I did. Fourteen years have gone by and I am still here and I am functioning on a high level. I feel blessed that I was able to get help for all of my problems and that they didn’t defeat me. If I can do it, anyone can.