I have to fill in a form which asks for explanation of my illness under a certain heading…what do I put?..was dx in jan o4 finished treatment in aug., 04 taking tamoxifen…can anyone help please.


Hi Karen, I was dx March 2005, lumpectomy, chemo, rads, zoladex and tamoxifen. My oncologist told me a few months ago, she views me as someone living with a chronic illness.

Hi Karen

My circumstances and prognosis were similar to yours and my onc said last week he regards me as “cured”. I dont like to say that though as I believe I am tempting fate.



Hi Alise

I used to say that I was in ‘remission’ because there isn’t a cure yet for b.c. And if it does come back after, say 10 years, does that mean if he said you were cured for 5 years then you were ‘uncured’ at 10 years?!

I think it is living with a chronic illness but hopefully for primary breast cancer, once you’re past your treatments etc. you’ll go on to have many years and never have a recurrence so in that sense you’re not living with a chronic illness - confusing!

One of my friends is 17 years down the road and she doesn’t consider that she’s living with a chronic illness as it’s so long ago


Hi Pinkdove

It is all v confusing - I know what you mean about 5 and 10 years. My friend is 8 years down the road and she thinks she’s fine, cured etc etc.

My onc did say that to me but like I say I think its tempting fate myself.!

Love Alise x

Hi Alise

This is quite close to my heart as I was first diagnosed in 1995 and then re-diagnosed in 2004 so was I cured or what? You’re right it is all very confusing!

I think the main thing is that you enjoy life - I’ve put this on a different thread (can’t remember which one!) but I was talking to a lady back in 1995 who was about 14 years down the road and I said to her how did she cope with the thought of it coming back (I’d just finished my treatment) and she said none of us know what’s round the corner and you may well live to old age and what a waste all those years would have been because you were worrying about something that didn’t happen.

Enjoy your life - I still do mine and hope you have loads of years ahead of you.


Thank you Pinkdove.

Here’s what I think - if you were dx in 1995 and re diagnosed in 2004 how do they know the 2nd time was anything to do with the first if you see what I mean. Could it not just be that lightning struck twice? ( and I am so very sorry it did x).

When people get it again 20 years later and things I wonder if that is another cancer that has started?

I suppose we will never know but its all a pile of cr*p!

Love Alise x x

Hi Alise

I don’t know how they know but they knew that it was breast cancer cells and not a new primary - bit of a bummer really as I thought I’d cracked it!! Although, having said that, I have quite a strong family history and am waiting to hear whether I’ve got one of those lovely little genes (??!!) so maybe it’s always been on the cards for me that it would come back at some time or other. I’m just really pleased that I had nearly 10 years of good quality life (not that I don’t now but it’s different) which my mum and her sister never had.

It just makes me wonder what starts it again after so long? Maybe it’s genetic in my case (who knows?) but I also had a very stressful job and it was really hard that year leading up to becoming ill again and I do wonder whether stress has played a part in it - there’s no way of really measuring it.

I agree with you - it’s a pile of cr*p!!!

Love Pinkdove

Hi Karen,

You’re not ill. If the BC treatment is over (apart from the tamoxifen) and the cancer has not reoccurred I’d say that you had had a serious illness, give clear details on the form under that heading and leave it at that.

With best wishes,


I’d agree with SuperSue.

If treatment has ended and you are in remission, you are not currently ill.Unless there is a complication you haven’t mentioned?

Hi everyone

It is interesting about stress, I was very stressed for two years before my diagnosis and had chronic fatigue syndrome, my husband and some of my family believe stress is a contributing factor to my BC.

Thanks for everyone on the site


Hi Ladies,

I was always inspired by a nurse who had looked after me in hospital when I was having chemo and I caught an infection.
As you can imagine I felt so poorly but one day she sneaked over to me and said…

“I was like you five years ago, small children, breast cancer and really poorly,
I am now five years on I’ve had reconstruction and no-one here knows I had breast cancer”.

I don’t worry where I am in the grand scheme of bc I just go by how well I feel!

Thanks girls,…interesting comments.
Thanks supersue…thats what I was thinking…wanted to be sure.

karen x

Decided to write footnote explaining circumstances around BC…I do not and never will consider myself a survivor or cured…my aunts has returned as bone mets 15 yrs after original dx!!!

karen x