It has been a long time since I have posted anything on my Breast Cancer Blog, so I thought I had better let readers know that I am still alive and kicking and have just passed the five year mark since my whole journey started. I presume I am ok, I went for a mammogram in November, and I haven’t heard from the hospital. I will get an appointment in due course probably February and will find out then if I am all clear. That sounds bad, but the truth is the further you go along the further you get pushed back, and I don’t mind,. There are people in the first stages of treatment whose need is urgent, so folk like me who are five years in aren’t such a rush. Don’t worry, if there is anything wrong on the scan they flag it for the Doctor and they would have contacted me straight away to come back. So it is a case of no news, is good news.
Statistically with triple negative, very aggressive tumours like I had they told me can come back quickly, if you don’t hear from it again within five years, more than likely you never will. Ah! statistics, when you are first diagnosed you tend to read everything you can on doctor google along with any other information you can find about your diagnosis. While this is good to know it can also be a bit negative. Try to avoid negative as much as possible. When I was first diagnosed the Oncologist said if you don’t have Chemo you have a 50 percent chance of the cancer coming back, with Chemo 30 percent chance of it returning, instead of being more positive and saying 70 percent chance of cancer not coming back, which sounds much better. I would rather be a glass half full person, not a glass half empty.
Christmas 2014 was a weird time, we had the whole family for Christmas lunch, apart from Sarah and jarrad who were still living in Sydney with their children. I was Christmas shopping in between Oncology, Radiology and blood test appointments, and looking forward to having surgery on the 30th December, to have my cancerous tumour removed. Happy New Year to me!
Like my blog name, Cancer comes ready or not, a young friend of my daughters (follow her journey on her Facebook page ‘kick it in the tits’ ), just started Chemo to shrink the tumour she has in her breast before surgery Neo Adjuvant therapy. They do this for many reasons, sometimes to shrink the tumour so that they can preserve the breast with a lumpectomy instead of a full breast removal, or to get rid of anything in the lymph nodes quickly. The medical people don’t think Gee! its Christmas let’s wait till after, no Cancer is serious and needs to be addressed straight away, and the sooner the better. Cancer is not an automatic death sentence, so don’t think it is. The Chemo treatment ward at Fiona Stanley was always full when I went for appointments, and my Oncologist said that is because people that previously wouldn’t have had such a good prognosis are now kept going for years and years with new treatments that are constantly being developed to fight this sod of a disease.
Christmas is a day we have chosen in the Christian world to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is just one day of the year. We have a whole 365 days in a year to cope with everything life throws at us. Car accidents happen, heart attacks happen, stuff happens, there is never a right time to be hit by a curve ball. Life doesn’t seem to care that it is Christmas. I know for me the secret to staying strong during hard times is to lean on my faith in God. I never felt like I would die any time soon, even though there is a darkness that happens while going through life threatening illness, even though death is a possibility for everyone who walks the earth, death becomes more of a reality when you are faced with a life threatening illness, and along with that there is a darkness that seems to overshadow life. Time passes and the darkness becomes a distant memory, enthusiasm for living life returns, plans to pack my bags and travel, to finish decorating the house and more importantly be a blessing to my family and friends and to encourage if I can anyone who needs encouraging.
Life is happening now, not next week, and should be enjoyed. Someone famous whose name escapes me said ‘A life lived in fear, is a life half lived’ worrying about the ‘what ifs’ takes up precious life moments, wasting time that we could spend enjoying family or friends and the special experiences today has to offer.
When I was young our family travelled across the Nullabor Dessert in an old beat up car that shook and vibrated for the few hundred miles of corrugated dirt road full of pot holes. By the end the car was literally held together with elastic bands and clips, but, we made it, and you will too. So if your road is bumpy at the moment, hang on tight, and ride it out, the road ahead will eventually get smooth again.
Blessings from our house to yours for the whole 365 days ahead.
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