Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Land of Uncertainty

I'd love to say that I weathered my year of cancer and emerged stronger, tougher, and ready to take on the world.  The truth is that I'm living the aftermath and that often isn't pretty.  I was focused so much on simply making it through last year that I kind of forgot the fact that after months of chemotherapy and radiation, my body might just be a tad pissed off.

I'm still dealing with daily pain.  If anything, it is greater than when I last wrote. 

Yes, it's frustrating.  Yes, it's likely a side-effect of my treatment.  No, it's not neuropathy. I'm trying to remind myself that while I (hopefully) killed all the cancer in me, I killed a whole whole lot of good cells, too.  Cells that ... are kinda necessary.  Our bodies are mini ecosystems in which cells of one type work with cells of other types and, well, last year was spent dumping a shit ton of nuclear waste in that world.  Gaia is pissed, you guys.

Gaia as in ... the mini world of me.

Do you know how incredibly messed up it is to read posts from a year ago, when I was in the MIDST of chemotherapy, and realize that I felt BETTER then? 

My body roll call?
  • Hair:  kick ass and growing wildly
  • Frankenboob: a seasoned veteran ready to tell tales of bravery
  • Bride of Frankenboob:  frankly rather cranky and still healing from her transformation last November
  • Nails:  I have a pedicure scheduled in June - my first since I was sure chemo would take four of my toenails.  It didn't but it was touch and go there for a bit and they are still slowly - freakishly slowly - growing back to normal.
  • Pain: Yep. Everywhere.  Still.
  • Weight:  Yep. Everywhere. Still.

I try to keep telling myself that it took a year to go through the treatment, it might take at least that long to recover from it, but ... I'm tired.  I'm so tired of pain, tired of ... being tired.  I don't know exactly what life will be like next year or the year after.  I'm living in the land of uncertainty.

But what really drove me to write tonight is more basic.  It wasn't the overall sense of uncertainty that I feel as I recover.  It is the sharp jarring uncertainty of tomorrow.  The fear of tomorrow.
As in ... literally tomorrow.

Tomorrow I have my first post-treatment mammogram.  I'll be back at the Betty Ford Breast Center, donning those deep purple/maroon/plum half-robes, and watching the Frankenboobs get squished.

I've been told NOT to expect an all-clear.  Not because they expect something horrible.  Just because there is no baseline anymore.  I've had surgery on both sides and, so, the images will likely show scar tissue; none of my old mammograms will mean anything. 

I've been told to expect "It's probably okay."

" ... probably okay."

You know what?  That sounds a hell of a lot better than "little bit of cancer."  I'll take it.

*fingers crossed* please 

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