"OK OK ... It's been a while hasn't it?"
Funny how my last post started with that and it's stillllll appropriate. I've been slacking on posting. But really, that's a good thing. Things are back to normal - life is back in its normal rhythm and there isn't much that's stressing me out. And that's when I like to write - when I'm emotional. I guess that's not right exactly - I'm driven to write when I'm having not-so-good emotions: stress, sadness, worry, anxiety. When I'm happy - I'm good. So I guess in the end, that means I've a lot more happiness in my life than I have since all of this started. And that's good.
Medical updates - things are so-far-so-good. I have another 3 month check up with my Onc this Thursday. More blood drawing I'm sure. And we all know how much I love that. You'd think I'd be comfortable with it by now - but alas - all those sticks in the beginning have yet to desensitize me. No additional news on the tumor marker fluctuations, so that's a good thing too. I've been off of the tamoxifen for a long while now - since August last year officially, but really it's been since May. I only had a handful of doses left for August and it lasted about a week. I can't say that my Onc is thrilled that I decided to come off of it - and she's still pushing me to reconsider post-children. She says the benefit is still there and that perhaps after kids I'll tolerate the hormonal aspect of it better than I am now. I can't say that I'm going to - but I can't say that I'm not either. We'll see what happens. That's a few years down the road and if I've learned one thing from all of this - it's that I can't look or plan too far ahead.
Things with my monthly cycle have leveled out since about January. My hormones seemed to have calmed down a lot as well too -- not so many breakouts anymore, thank goodness.
A year out from my final reconstructive surgery, the scars look OK. They didn't heal terrible, but they aren't invisible either. They're there. Things I've noticed post-reconstruction: These things don't ever warm up. Unless I'm laying out on a beach somewhere and they're in direct sun for a few hours. For the most part, they're always about room temperature, which feels cold when we humans run much hotter. I've also noticed it's not that easy to sleep on my stomach anymore. They are malleable, but not that malleable, so I don't ever get to a comfortable "flat." Going in for a massage isn't as comfy as it used to be -- all that pushing down on me and such. It's more comfortable to pull my arms up and sleep with them at the sides of my chest with my hands curled under my shoulders, supporting me a bit more, than to sleep with them all the way down at my sides. They don't move. And that's sometimes a pain during yoga ... up dog is a little tough because I have to constantly readjust my arms. And they don't change. They won't change. Even with what's hopefully on the horizon for us.
We say we're "not, not trying" ... We started not, not trying in April just before our annual vacation. It was an interesting moment when we realized that we'd really stepped off that cliff. Everything you're taught growing up is to prevent, prevent, prevent. Practice safely - use this, go on that. You're whole life leading up to the "happily ever after" when you're "allowed" to stop preventing - is about preventing - until you're "ready." So actually being ready ... is a little scary. It's truly embarking on a new part of your life. Especially when you're planning to be ready - it's a conscious choice. You're choosing this new adventure in your life, good or bad - you decided to go down this road. I think that's the most scary thing about it - the choice.
I think cancer would have been scarier to me if I chose to have it, rather than have it thrust upon me without my knowing about it. Choosing it means I had time to think about it, plan for it, expect it .... not choosing it means I just have to deal with it, and survive it.
I'm making an honest effort not to make myself baby crazy. In that, I'm really saying I'm trying not to make Mike crazy. I do have a lot of anxiety about the unknowns ... about my ability to do everything I can possibly do to make sure I'm doing everything I can to get my body in a healthy place so the rest is left up to mother nature ... and the assurances of my Onc. Does that mean I'm working out religiously and eating only dark, green leafy vegetables ... no ... not exactly. I am only human. And I am trying not to make my life, and Mike's life, revolve around this so as to maintain the sanity.
But my mom did send me an article today that said ice cream can help increase fertility ... so maybe I'll try that tactic.