1 Year Cancerversary

Even though I honestly detest cutesy word twists, especially when it comes to the subject of cancer, I am in a mood to go against my own mind and coin the “cancerversary” term on this occasion because I simply am not feeling celebratory at the time of this writing.

1YearCancerFreeAlthough the cute little pink cupcake, with one candle, claims “One year cancer-free”, I do not, in all reality, know that I am 100% cancer free. A much more PRECISE  phrase to post with the cupcake would have been, “One Year BREAST-free” since August 13, 2013 was when both breasts were removed, along with the breast cancer.

During this past year, I have survived. I have been in survival mode. I have not “fought” cancer during this year. I do not know how to fight cancer. I do, however, know how to survive!

I am of strong will. During my survival mode, I recognized the need to disown persons of petty, narcissistic, know-it-all egos, those needing to be the town criers, cancer-like persons who spread venomous stories and lies. I no longer count, among people with whom I commune, those who have no tolerance for my “quiet” brand of survival-ism. Yes, I may shout and scream and swear here, on my blog, frustrations with my struggles, but I do it out of protest, not for pity.

>Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I am VERY grateful to be among the survivors of breast cancer, but I did no fighting. My body healed from the surgeries with rest, healthy food and lots of water.

5YrMilestoneThere is still a countdown though. The five year milestone when many women release a deep sigh of relief upon reaching. Typically, they are also the women who are taking hormone blockers. I am not taking any hormone therapy, I am taking chances because hormone therapy was making me loose my mind, literally, losing memories. I did not want to end up as a vegetable when my five year anniversary might come to pass.

A cousin of mine recently posted on her facebook page an image proclaiming “100% Cancer Free” on her one year cancerversary of having her breasts removed. I messaged her, “How do you know you are 100% cancer free? Did your Oncologist put you through some sort of tests on your anniversary?”

No. Her Oncologist did not put her through any more tests, she was simply declared “cancer-free.” Why? Because she is still alive? Am I to think and have the mindset that everyday I am alive, I am cancer free – until I am proven wrong?

My Oncologist gave me the impression that I was of no great interest to her because all of my tests were good, my chance of having cancer recur was less than her chance of developing cancer for a first time. Ok. That might be good enough for her, but, since it is my life, I would like more attention.

DecreeOn my one year anniversary, I wanted proof, I wanted some form of medical documentation declaring my body cancer-free. I did not receive such a document, no testing either, not even a pink cupcake.

September 3rd, I have an appointment with a different Oncologist. I switched to an Oncologist who is within my driving capabilities (I’m a chicken-driver.) I am hoping that she will “hear” my concerns, especially the part when I emphasize how my family, both, paternal and maternal relatives, have a lot of different cancers. Another cousin has just been diagnosed with bone cancer and is starting chemo. My concerns are well-founded.

Meanwhile, my pets are needing special medical attention as well as my husband while this “new year” continues with numerous medical maladies. 

Looking back at when I began this blog, I wanted this to be where I wrote of “My Journey Through Breast Cancer.” It has been a place where I stored a lot of important information, a place where my children could reference if they ever need to do so.

My hopes for the future of this blog are to focus more on breast cancer news, the science and research as well as networking with more women who are finding themselves in the same place I was last year. I want my “journey” to have taken me to a place of service, a place where I might, in some way, be of help to others.

BAR_LINE2

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18 responses to “1 Year Cancerversary

  1. I’m closing in on my 3 year anniversary. Breast free. Hormone suppressor free, like you. Except since then I also had 4 kinds of heart surgery, so I’ve got way too many surgeries to celebrate. I barely can remember the dates. What I CAN say — like you — is SO FAR, SO GOOD. I have no idea if I’m cancer free. Neither does anyone else. I hope we are. Here’s to you, here’s to me, here’s to all of us. May we live long and prosper.

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  2. My acknowledgement of the “cancerversary” (on August 21st) was a short note on Facebook, stating “One year down, four to go.” In my heart of hearts, I consider myself cancer-free until proven otherwise, because it’s just a saner way for me to deal. I am on Tamoxifen, and Effexor to counteract the side-effects. Congratulations on making it this far, and prayers, happy thoughts, and crossed fingers for the next four. There are plenty of us on this road, so we needn’t think we’re traveling alone. I’m probably even quieter than you, but I’m here. Holler if you need a fellow traveler to lean on…

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    • You are so right, I think we all deal with the labeling in whatever way is easiest for us. To some people, I say, “Yes, I’m cancer-free,” because that is what THEY want/need to hear and I just don’t want to talk about my real thoughts/feelings with some people.

      By the way, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR “cancerversary!” 😀

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  3. Reblogged this on Adventures In Hooterville and commented:
    My one year “cancerversary” was August 21.

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  4. Swoosie you are on point here. I would have told you I was cancer-free up until about 3:45 on October 7 2013 which is when I received my diagnosis. And of course the evil beast had taken up residence probably a year prior to that so I will not ever suggest I am cancer free. Until there is a definitive test that I can take daily, you won’t catch me using that phrase. Anyway, always good to hear your voice if only in my head as I read. We all soldier on together by whatever means available.

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    • That is a very good point, about probably having cancer a year before even being diagnosed with it. I was actually thinking about that the other day, remembering a visit to Canada to see my new grandson, and realizing that cancer was working on my body unbeknownst to me.

      Here’s to us Super Troopers!! 😉

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  5. Reading your fun post and extracting out all the sadness turned to happiness from it feels good…. My heart cries for you though. I can’t even imagine the pain you guys are going through. My best wishes and prayers will always be with you. I hope you get healthy very soon 🙂 love you ❤

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  6. hope everything keeps moving forward. nice to read this post

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  7. Hi – well I had the chance to read a few back posts – and I am so glad I did – congrats on this milestone (even though I know I am very late to say that) – and wishing you many well days coming forth 🙂 ❤

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    • You are so kind! I have also done the same thing, backtracked on blogs because sometimes we just become too busy with other things, like today, bill paying day. Ugh! Have a lovely day! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • go fun wow – bill pay day – have a nice time – lol – and yeah, while I know I miss a lot of posts here and there from the bloggers I follow – I also find it a blast to sometimes take those rabbit trails and peek in their archives – TTYL

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