I realize I am way overdue for an update. I will try to catch you up on my last several weeks.
As of last writing, I had the follow up mammogram which would show that at the end of this first year, I am clear. Yay! With many cancers you have to wait 5 years before you are considered truly clear. The type of cancer I have is aggressive, and if it is going to come back, it will do so in the next 3 years. This is part of the good news. After I make it 2 more years, I will have a less likely chance of it coming back. I am not in the high risk category for re occurrence, but then again I wasn't in the high risk category to have it in the first place so go figure.
I started the hormone blocker, Tamoxifen, two months ago. In the beginning it was a struggle. I felt like I was having physical symptoms, but I am not sure if they were real or manufactured. I was nervous about starting this new medication, so I know that probably had some effect on my mental state. Right now, I am doing okay on it and don't have any major side effects to report.
I had my follow up echo a few weeks ago. The appointment didn't start out well. I arrived 15 minutes early for my appointment and stood in line with all the more "mature" people. When I approached the counter and gave them my name, there was a lengthy delay in her response. My appointment had been scheduled for me to be seen at the hospital and here I was at the Cardiac center where all my other appointments had been. I was feeling a bit bummed about this, because I even have my favorite tech that I had requested. Rather than get upset, I asked if she would like me to drive over to the hospital? I also mentioned my desire to have my favorite technician. The sweet gal at the scheduling counter asked me to hold on a second while she went to see if my tech was even in and if it was at all possible to squeeze me into today's schedule. God was smiling on me today. Not only was she in, but it was her free hour right then and she was happy to do my echo.
A week later I had my check-in appointment with my oncologist. She said all my labs looked great and that my echo showed that the ejection fraction had remained the same. This is good news. There was a little funky activity on the right side, but nothing she was going to get too alarmed over at this time. So just a little something we can be praying about for the future.
For the most part, I feel pretty good. I have had to fight a constant dizziness that arrived a few weeks into radiation. The Dr. thinks it is a nerve damage issue from the Taxol (the last of the chemo drugs I had). They are hopeful it will go away over the next year. It might improve when I am done with my infusions in June. In the meantime, I have discovered that if I over do it, it is worse. The trick then is trying to slow this girl down. I have decided to walk instead of run for a while or at least go slower and just take it day by day. I have added in other physical activities that are less jolting to my hurting joints. In fact, my new favorite is indoor rock climbing. I can't wait to try it when I am actually in shape. I have also discovered that what I would consider a terrible meal, actually physically makes me feel better. At first I thought I was kinda crazy and lookin for an excuse on this one until I received a message from a fellow PINK fighter who claims the same. Who knew a big old juicy burger had healing powers. Just sayin.....
I am going to live as if the cancer doesn't have an option to return. I am not going to waste my days on what ifs. When those doubts blow in, I will call on friends and family for support and find encouragement in the scriptures. I want to live my life worthy of the calling... Ephesians 4:1
My friend Michelle and I shared our stories last week at the Relay for Life kick-off event. We were both quite nervous, but in the end, felt very supported by the people who were there. I am grateful whenever I get a chance to talk with someone about their stories and hear how it is affecting them, for this reason, I am eager to start my volunteering.