Let me tell you one of the worst parts of a life-threatening diagnosis is the sheer amount of doctor appointments. That first few days after my cancer diagnosis my phone didn’t stop ringing as oncologists, radiologists, surgeons, genetics counselors, care coordinators, and nurses scheduled me in for 5 then 6 then 7 appointments. And it didn’t stop for weeks. Constant phone calls before work, during work, after work to coordinate pre-op and post-op appointments. Stomach dropping, fear of answering, but knowing it will be impossible to return their calls later if you don’t, cell phone ringing. Answering the phone when I was shopping for summer shorts to schedule yet another appointment. Appointments on appointments on appointments. After my mastectomy, I had follow-ups with my surgeon, my primary, and weekly office visits with my plastic surgeon. I never got a chance to not think about cancer. The health app my providers use even updates my status of “Breast Cancer” as active every two weeks or so and sends me an update notification, you know, just in case I forgot. Not a morning goes by even now, almost 4 months post-mastectomy, that I don’t wake up to the first thought of “Ugh, I had breast cancer.” Its mostly because my expander breasts ache from laying down, either on them or from the gravity of sleeping on my back. They hurt constantly, a dull sad ache that never lets me forget what was there before and is now gone. This is one of the pictures I took before my surgery. I didn’t love it then because I looked so sad but now I see it and it represents exactly how I feel each morning before I get out of bed and remember my life is actually the best it has been now than in years! I have great friends, I love San Diego, my boyfriend makes me swoon, my family is healthy and strong, and I have a new perspective only cancer can give you. I’ll take the dull pain as a gentle nudge of a blessing, thank you very much.
Monday I had an appointment with my oncologist and am happy to report that I have been cleared from seeing him for SIX MONTHS. Take that cancer. Now all that I have left is my exchange surgery and the pre- and post-op appointments that go with that. 2019 here I come, September 27th, 2018 can’t come soon enough. 🙂