Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1.5 Years

I have no idea how to write this entry. No idea what to say. But I guess, in the context of this blog, an absence of material can only be seen as a positive thing.

Drumroll please.....

Yes folks, I'm still in remission. That makes it 1.5 years! I just got the 6 month all clear a few weeks ago. Whatever that weird hip/abdomen pain was, it wasn't cancer. They don't know why it was bothering me as all my tests are clear. This time those tests included a contrast CT so I can be fairly certain that none of Ethel's roommates have moved in to other parts of my body. For the time being, and hopefully forever, she is well and truly evicted.

I wish they could tell me more definitively what that pain in my hip was but for now I must be confident that these doctors know what they are doing. No one has come right out and said this (except for ladies on the internet) but I'm sure that for the next few years, and possibly the rest of my life, I will have weird aches and pains that are most likely related to chemo or radiation.

Don't get me wrong, in general I feel pretty great. But I still have a lot of tissue tenderness from radiation. For example, hugs can sometimes be quite painful for me. Isn't that sad? Hugs hurt, but don't worry, I still like them. Also, the tissue of my right breast just feels different - denser or something. I'd invite you to do a squeeze comparison but that is weird and also, you are probably not in Korea. According to the doc that difference normal and will (maybe) go away in another year or two. It is scary to think that all the zapping I did a year ago will affect me for a few more years to come but there is no going back. Besides, I do not regret doing radiation one bit. Finally, my wise radio-oncologist  also told me the right one "might be smaller" as though it was radiation's fault and I wanted to be like "Thank you Captain Obvious, that one only had an egg size piece of tissue removed. You think that, and not the radiation, might explain the size diference?" Honestly!

I feel like I still have a touch of the chemo brain, but I guess it could also be the tamoxifen. It isn't anything I think anyone else would notice but sometimes I feel like words aren't at the tip of my tongue like they used to be. I have to search longer and harder in my brain to find them. Who knows, that could just be age. I am a well seasoned 32 now. Of course I worry it means the cancer is in my brain, but since no one else seems to be worrying that this is the case I'm trying not to let it get to me too much. The truth is, I was probably always like this but I never worried about it before because I didn't have cancer before.

I'm listing all of my complaints not only to complain (which I do like to do, don't get me wrong) but so that if any one is out there using Dr. Google and finds my blog they can find at least one example of a woman with all sorts of weird after effects that aren't cancer. I always love finding those sorts of examples when I am in the midst of a Dr. Google session, so I thought I'd pass that gift along to the wide interwebs.

Laura: achy, tender, a bit slow in the noggin', cancer-free.