Saturday, December 28, 2013

I'm done, so...

In the last nine months, I've gone through diagnosis, surgery, recovery, chemo, and radiation. I'm still on an every-three-weeks drug until July, but it doesn't have many side effects, other than an hour drive to and from Huntsman. Also, I'm planning on getting another mastectomy this spring, followed by a double reconstruction in the summer. I'm done with nausea, constipation, diarrhea, hair loss, and the "that lady has cancer" looks. I think it's natural, although counterintuitive, that I'm having the scary thoughts again.

As long as I was actively doing something for that dang cancer, I could focus on that. I could imagine that radiation bombarding any leftover cancer cells like a video game. Pow pow powpowpowpow! Now, even though I'm getting Herceptin and Projeta (thank you, Altius!), my treatment is winding down. People keep asking me what my prognosis is, and the real answer is that we assume my cancer is gone until it comes back. So every cough and sore bone COULD BE. In five years or so we can say, "Huh. Guess I'm cured." That's not really the answer people want to hear, nor is it the answer I want to give. So mostly I just say the prognosis is great, we think it's gone. That's not the whole truth, but it's not a lie either.

The whole truth is, I still get scared. I want to put this chapter behind me, but it's hard. It's been a constant in my life because of the fear, the change in appearance, the questions. Now I'm supposed to just leave it behind. How do you do that? I guess that's what the next year is for -- to figure out how to get back to normal, and hope that yes, I'm truly cured.

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