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.
Although 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.
There 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.
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.