Wednesday, 26 August 2015

All Clear

So,  I can't ever say that I have had the "all clear" or that I am cured.

What I can say is that my operations pathology results were extremely positive. I have been told that I have clear margins and no lympth node involvement. As good as it can get.

So the next step, as previously thought, is radiotherapy. The Oncologists at my Hospital did not recommend chemotherapy. As they think it would be more detrimental to my health than it would be a benefit. I struggled with this decision for a while. Why couldn't I throw everything at it? But as they see it, there is nothing there to have anything thrown at it.

So, if there are any bastard mutating cells left in my boob, then I really hope the radiotherapy zaps them into oblivion!  Radiotherapy does have it's own set of side effect. But because it is targeted therapy, it will only harm the area treated. When I say harm, I will be likely to have very red, sensitive skin, be more prone to skin cancer and because my cancer was on the left side, it could cause long time side effects to my heart. It's all serious. But then so is cancer. So I'll get on with it and deal with what comes my way.

I will be writing a more detailed post about it. But, I hope that my prognosis will show at least one person that early diagnosis is the best thing in a shitty situation. Self examination is the only way that you are going to find a lump early (in my own opinion). Taking notice of how your body feels and how it normally works will guide you when something bothers you. Do not delay in getting it seen by your doctor and perservire if you are not fully confident in their opinion.

I am also a week into my hormone therapy. 5 years of Tamoxifen. It will block any cancer cells from using my oestrogen to grow. It's not perfect, it does not stop it forever and when I stop taking it, it means that a flood of oestrogen will flow through my body once more, hopefully there wont be any bully cancer cells lurking, waiting to take hold. But taking Tamoxifen does lower the risk of reaccurance. So I shall take it and I hope I can handle the side effects (which I will not go into right now, but all I will say is, menopausal side effects and plenty of them! JOY)

As this goes on, I have a feeling that I will become a lot more interested in nutrition and how eating well will benefit me and ease what ever side effects I may experience.
I will also be working on my mental wellbeing, which to everyone's surprise (even my own) has been very resilient. I thought I was in deniel, I worried why I wasn't crying harder and more often. But I just didn't and wasn't. That wasn't how I dealt with it.
But that's the thing. NOW there is no IT, to speak of. Great. It truly is great. I think the problem with coming to terms with the fact you have experienced cancer and the over whelming fear it instils in you, is this;
The fear does not go away. When you are diagnosed. You get upset, angry, scared. And then in my case motivated. Motivated to keep positive and get the fucker out of me. There was an it, a thing that was not welcome and I was constantly telling it jog on, to get out!
Like a cancer cell, the fear mutates. NOW my fear is not an IT. It is an IF.
What if?
When I voice my concerns about What if this? What if that? I understand what my friends and family tell me.
You can't live your life that way.
You can't beat yourself up
What if you got hit by a bus?
What if you regretted not following your dreams.
What if you reach old age and feel a void.
Even though literally I have no void, as I was lucky to have breast reconstruction. Figuratively speaking there is a void that the lump has left within me. It is not constant, but sometimes, it opens and my fears pour out and my positivity gets sucked into the dark. WHAT IF it comes back. WHAT IF it is not all out of my body.
Let me tell you what I know.
Hopefully you wouldn't see that bus coming before it knocked you down. Your first Cancer Diagnosis, will knock you down. Friends, family and a team of medics will be there to help you get back on your feet and then you are left on your own. To deal with it. You don't have to die from being hit by a bus, you don't have to die if you get cancer. But once you have had cancer you will always be unsure about what's around the corner. Don't try and tell me that if you were hit by a bus, you wouldn't be looking left and right before took your next step.
Cancer will not rule me. But for a time it became a part of me. And it will forever leave a mark. It is up to me how big that mark will be. I hope it will become smaller as time goes on.

Thank you for your support and kind words.


1 comment:

  1. So happy to hear about your progress Liz. You deserve a weekend of indulgent pampering! And though it shouldn't take something like cancer to make you think twice about your life or value each day more, sadly we just don't think about the what ifs compared to those who have been and are going through a similar experience to yours. I think you've been brave to blog about it as I'm sure not many would feel that they could and I hope you've been able to find some love, support and encouragement from those of us who have been following your progress. Xx