Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting sucks

Anxiety has been difficult to control since the past few days or so. It crept back up on me since I failed the last presurgical blood test for low white blood cell count last week. It was somewhat of a surprise, although I was getting over the stomach flu when I got it done. So I'm stressed out over it. I just want the reconstruction to be overwith. It's already been a long process, and this would be the final surgery if everything had gone as planned.

I keep hearing that recon can be a bitch. I know it first hand, but if it doesn't work this time I might go without it. I just want to live my life. I want to ski, snowboard, ride my bike, run, climb, do yoga and high impact exercise. I wan to throw my kids around. Because I have a temporary expander, I'm limited to what I can do. Movement has to be low impact, and I can barely use my chest muscles. There's also a heavy lifting restriction which I break often.

Yesterday I retook the test. If they're good, March 8 another expander will be put in. If not, we have to reschedule the surgery. The latter would suck, but I won't go too far ahead of myself. The phone call should be coming within a couple of hours.

(Yeah that's Joslyn wearing my wig.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life after treatment

It's a month and a half out from my last chemo. I feel amazing. Hair is growing fast. My nails are getting stronger, and the black line in the middle of my thumb is beginning to grow out. My chemo brain is starting to go away, but there are still moments where I completely forget what I was going to do. I think people do this all of the time anyway.

The main focus of life without cancer is maintaining health. To help prevent the cancer it from coming back, I have to be a good girl. This means living stress free, exercising regularly, having a plant based diet, and no more than one drink a day.

And no... I can't save the drinks up like I'd hoped... More than one drink a day increases your risk of recurrence. Being alive is better than an alcoholic buzz.

I continue to see the Integrative Medicine doctor and take an arsenal of supplements. I'll be seeing my oncologist next week for a post chemo follow up. I'll also be getting presurgical testing next week in preparation for surgery on March 8.

I've been working out with a trainer. She wants tattoos, and I want to get into shape. It's a match made in barter heaven. There are limitations since I have an expander in. I can't do anything strenuous on the chest, and cardio is limited to low impact exercises. Despite that, it's still working. I can barely walk up and down the stairs today. She kicked my ass yesterday.

My diet has changed from the see-food diet to plant based again. I've been slowly switching over since treatment finished. I enjoy cooking so veganism is fun for me. It's a challenge when you want something in a pinch, though. My goal is 80%. If I do 100% then I exceed my expectations. So far so good, though.

People often ask me about when I get my scan to see if I'm clear. Well they don't do it. The drs are confident that they got it all with surgery. They think that the chemo would've shrunk any microscopic pieces that they didn't pick up from the initial scans. If they found something, which there are often benign things that come up from scans, there would be biopsies and lots of stress. Stress is bad. I'm embracing the art of living in the moment and letting go.

I try to think positive and have faith that it IS gone. I've been pretty happy. I love my job, kids, friends, hobbies, laughing, eating, and playing. I love living, and life is grand after going through a year of constant turmoil. The bar has certainly been lowered in a good way. I can appreciate the little things.