Midlife necessities

Midlife necessities
Midlife necessities

Friday, May 8, 2015

Life goes on

The diagnosis of breast cancer is a lifetime journey.

I read this somewhere awhile ago and now I understand. 

My last radiation treatment was on April 14, eight months after first hearing the words, "You have breast cancer."

Better than a tanning salon.

I've spent these last weeks recovering from treatment and working to figure out my new normal. Last week I had a follow-up appointment with my surgeon. Not only did he check the breast where the tumor was, he checked the other one as well. Why? To see if there are any new lumps anywhere. Ahh. He said it's normal for me to be tired and lack energy for several more months. I will continue to see him every three months for the next two years, then every six months for the next three years.

Yesterday I had a follow-up with my radiation oncologist. She said my skin looks good and she also checked for lumps on both sides. She was pleased to see my hair and eyebrows and lashes (as am I!). She also said that I need a mammogram in six months, and because I'm taking Tamoxifen, I have an increased risk of uterine cancer and blood clots. I don't have to see her again or come back to the radiation department! Unless... ahh.

Next week I see my chemo oncologist, the one who will be monitoring me for the next five to ten years. 

I remember something a dear friend told me about the cancer journey. When you first share the shocking news that you have cancer, people react and respond. When you first start chemo, people react and respond. And then, after awhile, they don't. Life goes on. Except you are still in treatment. And when treatment finally ends, your life will be different., YOU will be different. Life goes on for everyone, but a cancer diagnosis means that your life will never be the same. You will experience a lot of emotions, body changes, LIFE changes. It can be a lonely and overwhelming time as you figure out your new normal. And when all is said and done, you will be left to put together the pieces of the puzzle that is your new life on your own, with the small band of loved ones who've always been there with you. 

God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you". Hebrews 13:5