the next phase scheduled…(sort of)

O.k. so I got the official “all clear” from my medical oncologist – yes it is officially official — the girl needs no chemo. 

So I have scheduled my next meet and greet with the radiation oncologist.  At that appointment I expect to get my radiation tats and get fitted for the machine and set up my schedule.  I am antsy about this and the idea of allllllll those co-pays terrify me….and I have visions of being like a glow in the dark night-light.  But I keep reminding myself that it’s just 7 weeks.  But then I start 5 years of Tamoxifen and instant menopause just add water.  Any of you out there reading who have had to take Tamoxifen? I would like to hear how you find it. 

Onto the rest of life. 

Without sounding extraordinarily ungracious and hopefully not offending people, sometimes when I hear “I know how you feel” it is akin to nails on a chalk board.   Seriously, you really don’t unless you are dealing with a life crowded by breast cancer. 

Other things?  I am really sensitive to smoke in confined spaces now, so please be so kind as to refrain from that.  And along those lines, I am incredibly heat sensitive now for some reason, so pardon me if I don’t find it delightful to be outside of air-conditioning except in the cool of the early morning and after the sun has gone down.   I think this goes with the whole “I feel like I smell thing” – which incidentally is improving.  And of course I know the next seven weeks are going to suck big time since I am supposedly banned from deodorant during radiation.  I think the doc and I will have to have a chat about that since I am not crystal clear if this is what is medically necessary, or what she prefers.

My weight is down because I am back to walking, although not as far as I was pre-surgery. I find I still sort of tire easily.

Post-surgery I still find myself oddly emotional at times and a big thank you for putting up with me goes to that sweet man in my life.  I don’t refer to him or our relationship often on this blog because it feels oddly personal, which may be utterly ridiculous since I am sharing my journey with breast cancer with all of you.   But seriously, this guy is nothing short of amazing and I am so damn lucky and happy to have him in my life and to be building something with him.    It is so awesome to be in a real relationship not with a human version of a push-me/pull-you.  

Work continues to be liking poking needles in my eyes, this week’s latest thing is although I am a professional woman, Simon Legree has decided that employees are to do weekly time cards.  I asked if I was working in McDonald’s.   It continues to be a wonderful impetus to get the hell away as this is just the latest to try to create fearful and submissive employees.   He’s barking up the wrong tree with me – I have had to face the C word (i.e. breast cancer), so it’s all uphill from there. 

I still am amused at the thunderous silence which continues to surround the post I wrote about wanting new work opportunities and not to be a little bitch about it, but there are quite a few of you out there whom I have helped over the years, and even some non-profits who have milked this cow for free.  Here’s the 411: when I helped you I did it because it was the right thing to do.    Here’s hoping you decide to pay it forward like I did.

I have started taking photos again, I mentioned that.  I will resume seconding a professional photographer here and there at the end of the month and am quite excited, and have decided to once again be an exhibiting photographer for August’s First Friday Main Line .  Artistically I am going to take more of a chance and go for the funky.  And the pieces will be available for sale – I have co-pays to think of for the next 7 weeks, after all.

Life has been a challenge of late, but I am getting through.   One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.  Maybe I am just stubborn, eh?

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About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
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6 Responses to the next phase scheduled…(sort of)

  1. No chemo! Woo hoo! That is great!!! I am so glad and I know you must have let out a HUGE sigh of relief when you received the news (or possibly a tear).

    Radiation treatments go ALOT faster than all the long setup work. You have such a brave personality, that once you get a couple overwith you will sail through most of the way. It’s the unknowns of the thing that play with your mind at first.

    I’ve been taking Tamoxifen and it honestly hasn’t bothered me much. Of course comparing it to dealing with breast cancer, it doesn’t seem like as such a big deal. ha ha Each person is different though. Here are the differences I have noticed: weight gain, mini hot flashes, emotional changes, thickening of the uterine wall and my paranoid mind worrying about blood clots and uterine cancer. But hey, you’ll have radiation behind you and ready to move on with life.

    Glad to hear you are doing photography again. You are probably much happier doing that and writing over an office position anyway. (Just guessing here) I hope you are able to stick with things that let you use your creative side. Life’s too short not to have some enjoyment.

    One day at a time…you said it sister! It’s the key.

    • Huh. I already have to deal with thickening of the uterine wall…ugh…yes the blood clots and uterine cancer are worries to me too. How much of a weight gain? I had to fight that with the progestin they had me on before I got diagnosed with breast cancer. Shit. Hot flashes? Hmmm have already started mini flashes. How long have you been on tamoxifen now? Yep one day at a time….thanks for taking the time to write

      • My weight gain started with chemo (sounds weird huh?). Thanks mainly to the steroid. I guess I have put on at least an extra 20 pounds on top of that. But I have no will power so…there ya go. ha ha. I’ve been on Tamoxifen a little over a year now. Hope you have good insurance for your prescriptions. Yikes! Maybe we went into the wrong profession. Drug companies must be racking up with these prices.

      • hey prettygirllost,
        My insurance company basically said tamoxifen is cheap for me…we’ll see (of course). And yep, steroids will puff you up (and increase appetite too) – they did that to my late father at times – he had prostate cancer. Of course drug companies are racking it up – jeez what you expect meaningful healthcare reform in this country? As in reformation of insurance and drug companies and not just the healthcare system? Sigh….work to live/live to work

  2. joanna francis says:

    well, you ask and you shall receive….. tamoxifin ended up not working for me…..i felt basically fine on it, however you add in divorced single working mom of three boys and anything will make you a little nutty at times… my cancer progressed to stage IV withine 2 and half years of first diagnosis.
    i have 7 bone mets now. living is day to day. forgiveness, loving, laughing and crying. a little bit each days, makes for one happy momma and a glass of wine at the end of the day. constant treatement of some sort, the noises, of fear and anxiety in my head drowned out by the noise of 3 rambunkcious boys.

    • Wow, o.k. that is a lot for me to take in as a newbie. So I know every cancer is different, what stage and type were you at diagnosis? Were your margins and nodes clean? Chemo, radiation, both or none and did you have an oncotype? Thank you for sharing this with me and thanks for visiting my blog. How did you find it?

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