Check-ups and catch-ups

catch up 1

So yesterday saw Pete and I heading back to the Cancer centre for the very first of my 3 monthly check-ups with the Dent Doctor…

This meant that Thursday saw me heading back to the Lab for bloods to be taken for tumour marker testing and the like. BOY I’ve missed those trips ———-NOT!

But I really can’t complain too much, a functioning vein was found in my left arm without much digging around and I was quickly sent on my way. I was even more grateful for that after meeting a fellow breast cancer survivor for lunch the same day.

She had also recently been for her 3 month check-up and after enduring numerous unsuccessful attempts to extract blood from her arm, they had to resort to dreaded Plan B, or rather Plan F, and took blood from her foot. Boy I miss those days ……………again………NOT!

We had a great afternoon catching up and lamenting our lot! I had spent an hour with Gillian that morning with her trying to bring my right boob back in line…….. so to be honest, I was doing most of the lamenting.

Not only had my boob been slowly heading north again, but I had been experiencing some discomfort when bending and straightening my right elbow. I was totally convinced that auxiliary bands were starting to form again, which to use technical terms are horrible, horrible things. Gillian and I had spent months following my mastectomies breaking these down!

FORTUNATELY upon examination, Gillian gleefully informed me that it was in fact only bicep tendonitis. And even though I had no clue of exactly what bicep tendonitis was, I was bizarrely thrilled to hear that – for so many reasons.

It meant that at least that I wasn’t regressing in physio terms. It meant that it was something that NORMAL people get that wouldn’t require cancer codes for medical aid purposes. AND most importantly – it meant that this was indisputable medical confirmation that I indeed HAD biceps!

It was great catching up with Carol and to be able to freely speak to someone who had “been there, done that” and been there and done that recently. I could admit how awful some days could be…without feeling that I was being ungrateful or trying to invoke sympathy. It felt good to be able to verbalise the things we unanimously agreed upon, things that we would have changed in our treatment plans with the benefit of hindsight, experience and the absence of shock and fear.

I mean how could it not have been an awesome afternoon when one of the first things we said to each other was how great our new boobs were looking and then laugh hysterically about that!

It was good to laugh……when I met her last year, we both had very little to laugh about.

So yesterday morning I woke up feeling rather positive and not too concerned about my visit to the Cancer Centre. By the time I showered, got dressed and walked to the kitchen, my emotions had made a 180 degree turn. I felt physically sick. And that annoying whispering voice of doubt started shouting rather loudly in my head…

The Dent Doctor asked me how I was doing. And actually chuckled when I said rather nervously “I don’t know, how am I doing?”

Long story short: bloods are looking good. The tumour markers for my ovaries also are low, which for hormone sensitive breast cancer is really good news.
The constant swelling of my hands and feet is actually quite normal…………for menopausal women. YAY me! *slaps head*.

And other than a spasm in my mid back which he picked up (apparently very easily fixed he said to Pete, with a visit to a SPA – I love this man!), things are looking good!

So we made an appointment to see him in another 3 months and left the Cancer Centre with happy hearts and that shouting voice of doubt hopefully shut up for at least another 90 days!

catch up

“Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.” Voltaire

“For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind.

But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.” Tahereh Mafi

“We live in a world that is beyond our control, and life is in a constant flux of change. So we have a decision to make: keep trying to control a storm that is not going to go away or start learning how to live within the rain.” Glenn Pemberton


2 thoughts on “Check-ups and catch-ups

  1. Yes, not so sure I agree with Dr Dent on the spa treatment although he did seem rather baffled that appliances don’t constitute as gifts in our house, so perhaps that was all he could think of suggesting 🙂 As always he was a calm and collected, but as happy as we were to be able to say that things are looking good. It’s never just a visit to the Doctor anymore, there is always that doubt that starts in the back of your mind, and its not only for us – the sms from my mom worrying as to why she hadn’t heard as soon as we were done reminded me again of just how much this journey has impacted so many people in our lives. But while the majority of this battle is physical, we were reminded twice on Friday as to how much a positive attitude and fighting spirit contribute towards overcoming challenges like this, I’m truly grateful that you have both!

    Regardless of the checkup anxiety this week – we’re in a way better place than this time last year. You can laugh about your alignment issues with new friends – who have been on a similar road, you have hair again, it’s holiday season, we can enjoy Friday night laughter with good friends, there are Christmas Celebrations to look forward to – we have a lot to be thankful for this year.
    Constant reminders never to take anything for granted xxx

    “When people have a positive attitude, they have this magnetic field of joy and energy around them. You can feel their happiness touch you from across the room. This field of joy is so magnetic that you feel it. Because the more positive you are, the happier you become, drawing mind like people into your life. That is how powerful a positive attitude can be.”
    – Brigitte Nicole –

    “Just remember, the storm doesn’t last forever. It can scare you; it can shake you to your core. But it never lasts. The rain subsides, the thunder dies, and the winds calm to a soft whisper. And that moment after the storm clouds pass, when all is silent and still, you find peace. Quiet, gentle peace.”
    – S.L. Jennings –

    “Life has knocked me down a few times.
    It showed me things I never wanted to see.
    I experienced sadness and failures.
    But one thing for sure, I always get up!”
    – Anon –

    “As you get older you find out that true happiness is not in how much you make or how many degrees you have or how big your house is or how fancy your car is. It’s finding peace and joy and a calmness in your life that will soon become the most important thing to you. Your family is what really matters to you, love is what matters to you. Things that are of quality, not quantity.”
    – Anon –


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