My last official day of active treatment for breast cancer was radiation on January 19, 2012. Almost a year later on December 11, 2012, I had final reconstructive surgery to replace the tissue expanders with silcone breast implants (I had to wait that long for the skin/tissue to heal from radiation before having surgery).
Here are some things I am noticing post treatment:
1. I still have lots of Dr. apt.’s and am being monitored by my medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeon, plastic surgeon and gynecologist.
2. When something feels off (like when I was having stomach pains for about 4 months) they usually order tests. So I had my first endoscopy and colonoscopy in Feb. “Nothing remarkable to report” (aka. good news).
3. I am tired a lot. I have never been a morning person, but it’s worse now. I have really weird dreams and night sweats and I am super tired in the morning.
4. My radiated side is really tight and my arm mobility kinda sucks now. I have a script for physical therapy and need to make that appointment.
5. My left armpit is totally numb and it gives me the creeps when I shave it (oh and there is no hair on the bottom half of my left armpit).
6. I am now comfortable calling myself a “breast cancer survivor.” That sounded weird to me before, wait, it still sounds a little weird.
7. My self esteem is fine, but I do feel a little bit like a cyborg.
8. I feel sad sometimes that I won’t ever be able to breast feed. I don’t have any immediate plans to have kids, but it still pops into my head at times.
9. Recently I have found myself really missing my two aunts who passed. I can really relate to what they went through and I wish we could all give each other a hug and talk.
10. Breast cancer support is amazing and the connections you make with other women are incredible.
11. I am still not sweating the small stuff. It really doesn’t matter.
12. Good health, happiness and friendship are the most valuable things to me.
I have a card from my aunt Lisa on my bedside table that I look at every night, it says “Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry, trust the process.” This is a good reminder for me.