The Bitch Is Dead!
I told myself when I started this blog that I wouldn't go MIA after treatment was done. Oops.
I know now, though, why every blog I read about cancer seemed to go missing, at least for awhile, once they were done with chemo, radiation, etc.: We're tired of cancer.
Cancer, cancer, cancer. For about 6 months, my life revolved around doctors, diagnosis, and dealing with side effects. When I was finally able to leave the house on my own and not nap all day, I wanted to GTFO (get the fuck out, for you non-texters out there) of my damn living room.
To catch you all up on the cancer-related events of the last couple of months...
I've had several follow up appointments with my oncology team. At 30 days, both oncologists looked in on my (literally) to make sure I was healing normally and to help with side effects. At 90 days, I had a PET scan. Talk about a stressful 6 days. It was just as bad as waiting for the original diagnosis. Fortunately, this one had good news. They were pretty confident that everything lighting up on the scan was radiation change and scar tissue, and my lymph nodes were clear, AND nothing had spread outside the original treatment area. I had a minor freak out when my gynecology oncologist called me in for a follow up in January (about 120 days out), and wanted to do a biopsy. She didn't want to scare me, but wanted to make sure there wasn't anything they couldn't see physically or on the scan hiding in the scar tissue. There wasn't, but I think that may have been even more stressful than the first biopsy back in June. I'll get into more detail in another post, but if the cancer wasn't gone, my next step would have been a life-altering surgery that I wanted to part of.
I'm still dealing with side effects. My digestive system was in the line of fire with the radiation, and that means I may have bladder and bowel issues for months or years or forever. There's really no way to know. So far, I just have to push a little harder to pee, I don't have much notice or control with pooping, and I have to really make sure I stay hydrated. I'm on a hormone patch, so the hot flashes have calmed down, but that brought on more fun (will post more later). I also still suffer from fatigue. Yesterday, I took the kitten to the vet, got a haircut, and stopped for burgers on the way home. I was EXHAUSTED. I was home by 5pm, but I literally ate, set up my new laptop, and watched TV until bed. I had aspirations of cleaning the kitchen and cooking a slightly healthier dinner, but that wasn't happening. Just when I feel normal and think I can function again, side effects flare up and remind me that I'm not there yet. My next follow up is in 90 days, and then I'll see my radiation oncologist 6 months from my PET scan. I'll go in every 90 days for the next 2 years, then every 120 days, then every 6 months, and so on, as long as Lois the Tumor stays gone.
In non-cancer news, we made a quick trip to Detroit in October to see the boy's sister and grandmother. Fortunately, she doesn't move too quickly, either, so I wasn't slowing us down. Shortly after we got home, my sister called and asked if I would help her rescue a kitten that was hanging out in a gas station parking lot, trying to get hit by cars. That's a no-brainer. The little guy had no sign of a mom or siblings, and he was terrified. After a little chase, he decided the undercarriage of my Mazda was the best place to hide, and nothing we did would coax him out. We couldn't see him in the engine compartment, so I drove like my car was made of glass all the way home. He wouldn't come out for 3 days, and I wasn't driving again until I knew he wasn't in my car, so we had to get a small animal trap and catch him with some food. We had some gender identity questions (black cat, really squirmy, and bad lightning), but the vet confirmed I was still the only female in the house, and we named him Felix. We celebrated my birthday in December with a nice dinner, and I cooked up a storm for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The boy and I were both sick over New Year's, so we made soup and chilled on the couch. I've been cooking a lot more lately, because I missed it so much while I couldn't move, and also in an effort to eat more healthily. Follow my Instagram (@cookingunfiltered) to see what I'm making. #shamelessplug.
I still have plenty to write about, especially now that I can look back on this whole ordeal, at least until my next checkup.
The important thing, though, is that Lois is dead.