Archive | June, 2014

So glad to be on this side of things . . .

14 Jun

I checked my site stats for this blog today and saw that the top searches were for the following:

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1) are nights sweats a symptom of breast cancer and/or symptom of estrogen responsive breast cancer, and

2) I have cancer leave me alone,  and

3) 6th chemo could be not so bad

AWE . . . and an extra awe for the last one. Do I ever feel for that person. My sixth chemo was nearly five years ago now. And, it wasn’t so bad, not really. Chemo number 2 and 5 were by far the worst . . . in case you are reading this, whom ever searched that last search, number 6 does not have to be so bad. Mine wasn’t. Although it was a bit anti-climatic because it was still early on in my treatment (had a year of Herceptin to complete and still had many surgeries ahead of me including the one that really changed my life, a bilateral mastectomy as well as radiation. It was quite a year. Been a long haul, still not completely “over it” really. But, it is what it is.

Today was a pretty great day. Went to Venice Beach and walked from Venice Beach all the way to Santa Monica and then to the Third Street Promenade and then all the way back. Something I definitely could not have done a few years ago. And, I walked at a pretty good pace, wasn’t tired a bit. I remember three years ago a friend of mine took me to Santa Monica and I could barely walk up the hill from the Pier to Ocean Blvd. I had to stop a couple of times to rest. It was a very discouraging time.

So for whom ever you are, searching for “6th chemo could be not so bad” . . . I hope your 6th chemo is not so bad and I hope your recovery from all of this is quick. Know that it does get better. I know there are no guarantees but, it is the only way one can think when in the midst of chemo.

I have to say it has taken much, much longer than I expected to get better. But, I am rather impatient. Always have been. Cancer has made me learn a knew level of patience. And it has also lowered my tolerance in some other areas. My doctors all tell me I need to be more patient. But, quite honestly I think it has been my impatience that has helped to get me through.

And, for the person who was searching “are night sweats a sign of estrogen responsive breast cancer” – I so vividly remember those days of worrying about whether I might have cancer and being turned away by my doctor who rather than simply send me for a mammogram, told me I was just experiencing some hormonal changes and blamed it on the fact that I had not yet had children (unfuckingbelievable now that I think about it).

So, in my case, the answer was yes, night sweats were a sign of estrogen responsive breast cancer. It doesn’t mean that yours are . . . but, get to a doctor and be persistent. My doctor ignored my complaints for six months while I whined about how I woke up drenched several times a week . . . it wasn’t until it was time for a mammogram that I figured it out. I am not one to seek out regrets, but if I could give any advice it would be to definitely pursue getting yourself truly checked out. Trust your instincts and your gut. I can’t say anything would have turned out differently if I had been better informed (or if my DOCTOR had been better informed) but, if I could have avoided a mastectomy . . . well, that would have been really nice. But, I am here and having lots and lots of pretty great days these days.

Sigh. Those searches made me feel pretty sad for whom ever was searching . . . and super grateful to be well.

Wishing you well out there.

Love and peace,