February is marching along and soon, very soon, my cancer treatment is going to end. In fact on Tuesday next week – although I suppose I can’t really say it’s finished until the five years up! After being a little fearful of radiotherapy I have been pleasantly surprised and yes compared to chemo it is a “piece of cake”! That is not to say, however, I haven’t had any reactions - I now have a “heat” rash across the affected area and I do get a little tired but to be fair I am not sure whether that is the radiotherapy or the having my leg in plaster! The rash is not itchy but apparently I need to be prepared for it over the next ten days or so. I know people who have had no reactions at all to radiotherapy and others who have had much worse so keeping fingers crossed that this is all I am going to get.The next steps after radiotherapy is to carry on taking my pills, see the consultant in about four to six weeks, a further follow up three months later, then six months where a mammogram will probably be done again, and then a scan. Have been told that they only do a scan before the year is up if they have concerns – it’s more harmful to do scans then not. So once out of plaster I am hoping I will have new home, a new start and a plan in place for a healthier lifestyle. Life seems more hopeful and positive again but I do expect to still have a roller-coaster of emotions as I move from a breast cancer fighter to a breast cancer survivor and as I know now I am prone to depression have to be careful not to allow the journey I have gone through to go down that path again.
What is good is that I am actually feeling so much better in myself – my mind feels less foggy, my energy levels are much higher, people say my skin looks good, my hair is growing (new nickname for me is “chickpea”) and my eyelashes are coming back. I just feel so much happier in myself too – perhaps it’s also because I can eat well again (although my appetite is still not back to normal)! Apparently it takes a good year for all the chemo and its poisons to leave your body but the fear of reoccurrence will always be with me.The only real concern I do have is my son. He has grown up so much in the last months it’s amazing to see, but he is angry and sometimes you can feel the tension within him. In all other respects he is a normal young teenager going through all the normal teenager angst and growing pains but the stresses he has gone through over the past years are taking their toll and looking after me even more now has caused its own worries and frustrations for him. Last week I had a visitor from the Young Carers Association and Daniel has signed up for this. I am hoping that he will meet other young teenagers in the same kind of situation as him, outside of his school friends who will have a little more understanding of what he is going through and if he needs/wants to, to speak to people who are trained to work with children like him . He will have the opportunity to go out on trips to adventure parks, up to London and to take part in workshops over the holidays. It’s up to him how much or how little he wants to be involved but it really good for me to know that he has some treats to look forward to which I cannot provide for him.. They will even help me with anything that has an impact on my son – so if we do have to move soon they can get people in to help us pack so my son doesn’t have to do it all! I wish I had looked into this sooner …..
Since my last personal blog: A Step Backwards or Forward, which I must admit was not as positive as most of my blogs, and expressed some self-pity (not necessary a bad thing to release your negative emotions) I have had a lot more contact with friends and colleagues and as from Wednesday next week as I am going to be housebound for at least another three weeks without any daily trips to hospital to look forward to, some of them are coming to visit for catch ups. My Aunt and her friend from Gravesend came to visit on Friday (bringing with them a dish which is Sunday lunch today!) and it lifted my spirits so much and also gave my son a chance to air some of concerns to a family member which I know he and I found very helpful. I like to laugh, I like to gossip, I like to find out what other people are doing and these moments are very precious and appreciated.In three weeks my plaster should come off and I will get a Moonboot (cool!) , then maybe I will be more mobile again and can then think about going back to work as well. It’s just so good to feel positive again!
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurmon
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. E E Cummings
"Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats." ~Voltaire"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." ~Mary Engelbreit