My radiation oncologist tells me my skin will start to get red after 12-14 treatments (out of the 36 or so total). I just had my 8th treatment yesterday. So far so good. I know the 35-minute drive one way every afternoon for my 2:00 appointments is going to become more and more of a drag, but I'm determined to remain positive and upbeat about it. The good news is both of my children and their families live within minutes of the Elliot Hospital. My hairdresser is there too and pretty soon I'll need to get my new head of hair trimmed and shaped. That is really good news!!
My 7-month old granddaughter, Anna, loves to rub her hands over this soft, new growth on my head. I stand her up in my lap and drop my chin as she squeals in delight to touch it with both hands. It's quite comical actually. Lots of people want to feel of it because it looks so fluffy and soft. It's fine with me. I invite them to if they mention it.
So now here I am, near the end. Because the pathology report from my lumpectomy and the sentinel node came back completely clean, we know the chemo took care of the cancer. My oncologist tells me I have a 90% chance of being cancer-free from now on. I recently read about someone who had been given that good news who had a recurrence after three years, so nothing is certain. If I approach it from a philosophical point of view, we're all going to die from something someday anyway, so if my cancer recurs, it recurs. I'll deal with it then. In the meantime, I'm not going to dwell on the possibility.
Looking back over the past eight months, I think about the three New England seasons it has spanned: Summer, Fall, and Winter. The Summer and Fall were actually nice seasons to go through chemotherapy because I could enjoy the open windows and listen to the birds and watch the leaves rustle in the breeze on days when all I could do was lay on the couch for hours on end. The easy recovery from surgery in December and January flew by. And now, with Spring just around the corner and timed pretty much after my radiation treatments will be done, it will be the season of renewal and reclaiming my life even though it is going to be much different than the day before my diagnosis!
Life is good!
The road not taken
1 day ago