It's amazing how there's almost a recipe for the progress each one of us makes as we move through breast cancer treatment. Diagnosis, despair, pick up by the bootstraps, surgery, chemo, radiation, recovery...on and on. One after another. Like cookie cutters. I read one blogger friend will finish chemo this week and I think of how I remember the same time in my life. As clearly as I remember the birth of my children.
One of the things that fried me the most when I was first diagnosed was everyone thinking BC made me like everyone else. I didn't like pink (still don't) and don't want to be part of the club. I tear up when I see pink ribbons, pens, socks, purses - because it defines me now. It's who I am.
I don't think a day goes by that I don't wonder if the beast will return. I know I'm reminded of the mess made of my body on a daily basis. I have to laugh when people say to my whining, "yea but what's the alternative?" Hey, no one knows more than someone who's faced what I have. Eye to eye with mortality at age 40 wasn't/isn't fun. I've also had people tell me "it's life" - thanks, but no thanks. I'll take reduced levels of stress for $100, Alex.
I went for marker tests yesterday and a checkup. I'm fine, although Tamoxifen isn't being kind to me. I bought an urban rebounder today because it's supposed to be low-impact exercise and excellent for lymphedema. Hips, knees and ankles hurt brutally at times. I'm 8 months out of chemo here and the bone pain still overwhelms me. I gimp frequently, tottering around holding onto stuff - especially in the morning.
Jackie and Steffie start school next week. I'm looking forward to it, sort of. My baby won't be home with Mommy anymore. She needs to be in preschool for the phonics, writing and socializing. I just can't help feeling this last year was stolen from us both. Hell, it was stolen from all of us.
This time last year I still had my drains. Yuck. I guess that's progress in someone's eyes. Still have another surgery sometime this fall but I don't feel rushed about it. At least I won't have drains this time. Slice and dice - driveby surgery to swap out my implants. I'm told the new tatas will already be filled so I don't have to go in for filling. I sure hope so.
I did something very therapeutic this summer. I chose 20 or so breast cancer articles for the company I write for. I researched and wrote until I purged it all out. I did learn a lot but ultimately, I think a writer wants to help their readers gain a better understanding. It was medicinal for me. If one women who's scared stumbles across one of my articles, then it makes it worth it.
There really isn't anyone who can relate better than someone who's been there...