This week I went to see my radiation oncologist for my post-radiation follow-up appointment. It was a quick visit. I reported that I was experiencing no further side-effects from radiation. I was told by the radiation oncologist that unless I felt some sort of need, that I was released from their care considering my regular oncologist would be performing my follow-up scans and any necessary maintenance treatment. It is nice to have one less doctor. One step closer to freedom from cancer!
I do still have a bit of post-cancer anxiety. Anyone who has been in this situation will probably attest to having a bit of paranoia that the cancer will return. Early this week I had a little lump under my right armpit. For about two days I was terrified that it was a swollen lymph node and had planned on calling my oncologist by the end of the week if it didn’t go away. It has since disappeared and was probably a pimple or a minor sweat gland issue. Not unexpected with the hormonal changes that happen with chemotherapy and new hair growth in the area. And pre-cancer, I would not have given it a second thought. But these are different times now.
In the cancer community, we have coined a term that describes how we feel as we approach our next PET Scan appointment: Scanxiety. We all anxiously await our next scan to hear the words that are golden: No Evidence of Disease (NED).
In the meantime though, I have to focus on the business of living! This week has been good in that regard. Number one on that list is the joy that has been brought in watching my dear sweet Zoe bounce back after being diagnosed with diabetes. I have watched her go from being lethargic and achy and uninterested in anything, to being playful and full of life. The insulin is working and it has given her a spark that has been missing for far too long!
This week I also served as a juror. And although I felt bad that I was missing work yet again, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the experience. It was a civil case that lasted about four days. I liked the chance to learn about the process. I was also fascinated that twelve people who had never met could work together so well to agree on outcome.
I am off to enjoy the three day weekend. I know that this year, the thoughts of independence and freedom have a different meaning for me.
Happy holiday to you and yours!