I know a lot of breast cancer survivors don’t like calling it a “journey” but that’s exactly what it was for me. There was a start point – a middle slog – and God willing there will be an actual end.
As with all things in life there is always an end to the tough times – one way or another. We just sometimes forget this when survival mode kicks in.
So I thought I would give you an update considering I’ve been a little bit quiet this side of the internet. Not for any other reason except life has all of a sudden gotten busy again. As per usual I am up to my eyeballs in new adventures, schemes (the good kind), and creative stuff. Not a ‘stressed’ busy either, just incase you find your eyes rolling at the thought.
You can take the wind out of the sails but you can’t take the ship out of the water!
Speaking of ends, I’ve often grumbled that the problem with breast cancer is that there doesn’t appear to be an end point. Even after you’ve had your surgeries, gone through chemo, burned through radiation, and taken 10 pill popping years, the black BC shadow lurking in the background is never far from sight. Even if you try to ignore it the constant check ups, specialist appointments, six monthly scans and mammograms, prescription adjustments, new treatments, and physical issues that are a direct result of your treatment just won’t let you. Then there are the memories and the anxiety related to the blimin thing making a comeback – where every ache and pain in your body is looked at sideways. So no I don’t make the above statement lightly. But I must adjust it somewhat for the sake of my sanity and a truer reflection of who I am.
I’ve decided that it’s all relative. And really just a matter of perspective.
I can decide right now that it’s over – if I wanted to. Very easy to say, not so easy to do. But that’s not my point. The point is it is possible and well within my power to declare.
Ah but I am quite a logical person, so the first thought that pops into this ticking brain of mine is “Show me. Where is the evidence….what proof do you have?”
I love the principles of faith and hope - don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t even be sitting here typing this if it weren’t so. But I do like to see a little fruit from the tree if you get my meaning.
And boy is my basket is full - that’s the beautiful truth. I’d be here ALL DAY if I were to show you each and every one of those pieces of fruit, but for the sake of the ‘update’, I will share a couple of choice shiny pieces.
Last week I had my one year mammogram checkup on the other breast, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it threw me a little. Just the flashbacks alone were enough to make me retreat into my bat cave once again. I received my results back a few days ago and I’ve been given the all clear. No breast cancer in sight!
I also got my results back from the gene testing to see if I had the BC gene in my dna. Again, it came back negative which is great news, not just for myself but for my daughter and any daughters she may have. I still have quite a strong family history of BC so we are looking at doing some preventative surgery, but that is all MY CHOICE and as such don’t feel like I’m being led like a lamb to the slaughter.
My right arm started swelling up a few weeks ago and I feared the worst – Lymphodema is common in women who have had their lymph nodes removed and is not easily treated. Some even have it permanently once it comes on. I got my arm tested at the hospital using some fancy new flash machine and (without going into technical detail) my lymphatic system is working almost perfectly. AKA no lymphedema. Great news as I gear up to fly over to Aussie (flying can make it really bad).
My body is FINALLY going into menopause. Now that doesn’t sound like good news right!?? Well believe me it is. It (my body) was being a bit stubborn there for a while, and while that sounds all cool and stuff, it’s NOT when there’s a very good reason you need your body to shut down. Like keeping the cancer away – that kind of reason. The hot flushes are a REAL BEEP but better than the alternative so in a strange kind of way I am happy that this young chicken is turning into a wise old hen (HA!).
I'm nearly off all my painkillers. This is a huge win for me!!!
I’ve also managed to sort my hair out to. That’s always a bonus!
So as you can see, LOTS of fruit and evidence that the journey is finishing up. Even though there is much around the corner in terms of prevention and maintenance, I am happy to say IT IS FINISHED.
And all I can say to that is THANK GOD. And PLEASE can we not have a repeat of that thank you very much (please) lol!!
Also, thanks to the faithful prayer warriors that have and continue to pray for my family and I. Prayer works – I can’t exclaim it enough!
On another note, I have finally finished the first draft of my new e-book. It is currently being edited but I hope to have it online and available early in the near year. This book, which tells the story of this particular journey and all that I have learnt, has my heart and soul poured into it and I believe there is a little bit of something for everyone in there. If you want to be notified directly when it’s ready, please pop your details in the box HERE and you’ll be the first to know.
Lots of love and blessings to all those reading. And if you have shared my blogs with friends or family, don’t forget to share this one. It’s always good to witness the light at the end of the tunnel right?