I am trying to remember my most current diagnosis date. It is nearly a year now. I know that
because this is very close to the surgery I had last April or May. I was feeling very tired and getting dizzy. The pain had increased under one arm and I found a swelling on my clavicle. I found a little series of lumps near my most recent masectomy scar. That feeling of dread was creeping back in. Familiar.
I went to see the oncology surgeon and she tossed me in the hospital the next day. Quick. Easy.
Beautiful scar. No concerns.
My surgeon called me back in on a day when people were sicker in the chairs.
I was completely unconcerned and had been packing for the summer season in Wells.
I went in for a follow up appointment and was little shocked to hear that the was a "small" area of cancer.
My surgeon was visibly shaken. We both expressed real sadness. She was sure I had beaten it! We had been at this together for 10 years.
I was booked back into the Cancer Clinic to see a new oncologist. I had cancer. Again or still. He was delightful and sent me for a new test. A PET Scan. Used in Europe and new to Vancouver. Just to get a clearer picture.
The picture was way too clear.
Cancer showed up all over. It had probably not stopped developing for 11 years. It was through my lymph nodes, all around the breast area, in my ribs with a little showing up in my spine and my lymph nodes, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer that appeared to be very slow growing. All the chemo and radiation did not work. No more chemo would kill it at this point.
I was offered a estrogen blocker that showed promise in slowing the growth of the disease.
I left for Wells. Eventually got the hormone blocker by injection. Once a month. Continued taking other hormone blocker by mouth.
I' telling you this because sometime in the next few weeks I will celebrate another year of survival. I am a bit weaker than a year ago, my breathing a little impaired and feeling a little more tired. Pain is more than manageable. I am moodier and sometimes a little nuts. More self centered. Less patient. More urgent sometimes. I am mostly happy and am thriving in my life. I decided to buy a new house on an island.
Last night I sat alone and looked at the sunset through the trees, watched the deer grazing, had a lovely dinner and a glass of wine. This is better than a birthday.
In the next few weeks I see how this has gone. Clearly not dead yet!!!