Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1103

Lately I've felt like Snoopy in that cartoon.  I don't claim to be a writer in any way, shape or form .... but as a blogger, writer's block can and has hit me a time or two.  This is one of those times.

In 2013 I was in the midst of a grueling chemo regimen designed to save my life.  I had a lot more to write about back then.  Chemo details, cold caps, appointments, medication, injections, side effects... the list was endless.  Now that life is settling into a new normal for me, it's more of a same stuff, different day kind of thing.

I have four cancer doctors.  One of them I only have to see once a year.  The other three are six month visits.  I'm lucky because aside from Tamoxifen side effects, I'm feeling pretty good, so when I go to an appointment, I usually get a "everything looks good, see you in six months".  Considering where I was this time three years ago, I consider that progress.  If hot flashes, hip pain and restless legs are my biggest complaints, I can't really complain.

One area I haven't made a lot of progress in is dealing with the fear.  I don't have any reason to believe I am not cancer free.  I did everything medically possible to give myself the best chance to live a lot of years with NED (no evidence of disease).  Sixteen weeks of chemo, seven surgeries, six weeks of radiation and now eight more years of hormone therapy..... that's a pretty impressive attack on cancer.  

The unknown is a dark and scary place, though.  I haven't had a scan since I finished chemo.  My mom had colon cancer and she has routine CT scans to check for the dreaded C.  While those scans are nerve-wracking, it's a relief when she gets the all clear.  Aside from routine blood work when I see Dr. H, I don't have any tests or procedures to check for cancer.  Basically, unless my labs go wonky or I start showing worrisome symptoms, everyone is happy, and that is my "all clear".  Despite that, there's a small part of me that always, always expects to have the other shoe drop eventually.  I'm only 43 years old and I had Stage III cancer.  I'm also positive for the BRCA 2 gene, which means my chances of getting breast cancer, as well as many other cancers, are much higher than normal.  That's serious business to me.  

How do I combat that fear?  By being grateful for every moment.  I get to watch my son march with his band during the halftime shows at football games.  He loves band, and I love that for him.  

I get to spend most of my free time doing softball stuff.... I am vice president and scheduler for the league, and team mom for K's team.  Saturday she had five games and she pitched and/or caught in all of them.  I love, love, love watching her and her Diamonds teammates play.  

Today is Labor Day, which means I got to spend an extra day with Hubby.  We walked hand in hand through Lowe's, planning a bathroom update.  Two years ago I was recovering from surgery.  Today I was shopping for a vanity.

A couple weeks ago my sister-in-law (another cancer survivor) accompanied me to my doctor appointment in Dallas and we had an overnight detour at the casino.  Last week I had dinner and a drink with a friend.  I read a lot, I drive around with the sunroof open and the music loud, and I've been binge watching Sons of Anarchy with my husband.

Football games, softball games, band performances, dinners out with friends, home improvements..... all little things that add up to one big thing:  my life.

There have been many dark days since August 1, 2013, but life is so good.

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