Simply Grateful

So yesterday I was officially declared “cancer free” for the 3rd year in a row by the Dent Doctor.  ***smiley face, smiley face, smiley face, and then some more smiley faces***

And just like that, I have another significant cancerversary under my (ever increasing!) belt.

I have been inundated over the last two months with Facebook memories – aren’t they a wonderful invention – a big round of applause to the Facebook developers – some fun and not so fun trips down the memory highway!

Well, September and October brought a string of pics and posts about surgeries and chemo starts, and for most part they were quite a shock.  And not for the reasons you may think. I actually wasn’t (that) traumatised by the memories they invoked.  Nope.  Mostly, I was completely shocked by the fact that both Pete and I, had by some strange turn of events, forgotten the actual second, minute and even more bizarrely, the day of each one of those events.  Something I had previously assumed would be burnt into our psyches FOREVER!

So therefore yesterday’s routine 6th month check up to the Dent Doc should equally have been handled with exactly the same attention to detail.   (After all there wasn’t anything I was particularly concerned about). And it was, for the most part.  Right up until I went for my bloods on Tuesday, and until I went to sleep on Wednesday night, and until I walked into the cancer centre, and until I waited while he took an emergency call regarding a patient receiving palliative care, or while I waited for him to announce the results of his examination and my blood tests.  Yes, up until then, I was good…

And it was all good!  ***smiley face, smiley face and then some more smiley faces***

So this morning I woke up with a renewed understanding of one simple word….grateful.

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Cancerversaries

So as I mentioned in my previous blog, this month is a month of anniversaries or perhaps more accurately, cancerversaries. Two years since my diagnosis, two years since my surgery and more significantly – two years of being cancer free.

And since we’re making note of significant dates… this week concluded my 3 month check-ups with the Dent Doctor!

Which heralds a new chapter in life post breast cancer… **cue the scary music**
”THE SIX MONTH CHECK UP!”

Well, actually there is no real significant or physically difference to the previous chapter **cue the scary music**
“THE THREE MONTH CHECK UP”.

For most people, this is viewed as a VERY good thing, and let’s face it, there really is no logical reason to look at it in any other way –
• I only have to stress about having bloods taken every six months
• I only have to go to the Cancer Centre every six months
• I only have to see the Dent Doctor every six months for my examinations
• It means that I have been cancer free for TWO YEARS
• It means well, I have been CANCER FREE FOR TWO YEARS!

END OF STORY – Right?

But in fear of sounding like a serious Debbie Downer, there is also the other side of the coin –
• My bloods are only being monitored twice a year
• I only get to see the Dent Doctor for a full examination twice a year
• A LOT of scary things can happen in my body without me or anyone else knowing, in that time

So, I thought if this was going to be my last examination before being set out to fend for myself for the next six months, I was going to make the most of it!

I mentioned some lower back pain that I had been experiencing, not particularly unusual for me, I have always had a weak lower back, hence my years and years of pilates! But cancer has a way of making you doubt everything you have ever known about your body.

I also mentioned that I had made a chiropractor appointment for the next day as I had been experiencing some (more than normal) tightness between my shoulder blades, which turned into a bit of a spasm in my chest when I lifted my arm to get a mug out of the cupboard that morning.

I expected him to laugh and say that I was clearly pushing for another excuse for a massage! But he listened carefully to my lungs and breathing and did a thorough check up of my lymph nodes and abdomen. He concluded that everything looked in order and agreed with me that it was probably muscular. And while I was getting dressed, planning my next massage, he picked up his phone and booked an ECG.

HUH hang on a minute?

What happened to the massage prescription?

He said he honestly did NOT think it wasn’t anything to be worried about, but because the pain was in the vicinity of some very important organs such as my heart and lungs, he felt it would be best to be safe and rule out pulmonary embolisms and the like.

GULP

OK

GOOD IDEA

So there I lay at the Cancer Centre while the sister hooked me up with some sticky patches to some very scary looking electrical thingies!

Long story short: I am very happy to report that all was well with my heart and lungs! AND the chiropractor sorted out the spasm the very next day!

But to be honest, the whole experience kinda rattled me a little…..six months sure feels like a VERY long time!

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