|The Awareness Bear, my Radiation Complete|
trophy, and my cancer memory jar. It has the
shredded chemo countdown loops and Dove
chocolate wrappers and gratitude lanterns
So what now? Even though I'm done with treatment and in remission, it's really not over. I'll have follow-up visits with all my doctors for months for months if not years, next week I'll see if the lady at the Hanger Clinic managed to order the right prosthetic (who wants to take my bet that she didn't?), and I'll have my annual mammogram in June.
Then there will always be that niggling doubt. What's that weird pain? Is the cancer back? What does my mammogram say? Do I have cancer again? This is an experience that will never leave me. I refuse to live my life in fear, but it's hard to keep those doubts from trickling in from time to time. It doesn't help that I keep hearing about people who beat cancer, only to have a recurrence or new cancer a few years later that then metastasizes and they die. It's hard not to be scared of that. Today I heard about a lady who lost her fight with cancer at the age of 41. It's hard not to think, "That could have been me." So, if you have a survivor story where the cancer never came back, I sure could stand to hear some of those.
|My hair, 19 weeks post final chemo. It's getting|
It will take a long, long time to get my body back in shape. I walked a mile on Tuesday and again today, and it was a lot of work. But I have lots of motivation to get moving!
Of course, I carried some good things away from the experience. I have a whole new perspective on life and what really matters. I made some great memories as we partied our way through treatment and did all our little rituals. My friends and acquaintances showed me how awesome they are. And I learned that maybe I'm stronger than I thought. While I wouldn't wish this disease on anyone, it's good to have something positive to look back on. I certainly hope others can benefit from my experience and perspective as well.
I'll still have a few more posts to make. I never shared my "what I learned from chemo," and I'll do the same for radiation. I'm sure I'll have other things to share as well. So, we're not quite done here yet!