It seems appropriate that for my 100th post on my cancer blog I get to write about my one year check-up with my oncologist. I’ve always been very nervous prior to previous visits, but I felt pretty confident that I would get a thumbs up. I feel great this go-around and didn’t get the phantom symptoms I sometimes get prior to my appointments.
As I sat in the waiting room, I was feeling so grateful to have my hair back. I saw a lovely bald woman come into the waiting wear a pink bandanna, and the memories of wearing wigs and scarves during the hot summer flooded my mind. I wanted to go to her and tell her that it grows back and that a year from now she’ll be dealing with unruly inconsistently textured hair. But I also remembered how crabby and tired I was when I was going through chemo and that I may not like her response to my “helpfulness.”
When I was called back for my appointment, I was put in the Lance Armstrong room. Always a symbol of hope that Lance! I should note that I didn’t actually get to meet with my oncologist. I am doing so well apparently that he felt it appropriate to just pass my visit off to a physician assistant. And in all honesty, that was perfectly ok with me. Let him focus on saving lives rather than carrying on chitchat with someone who feels great.
She said that my blood work looked good, and then proceeded with the usual list of questions they always ask during the check-ups. Any fever? Feeling tired? Trouble breathing? Lumps or bumps? Problems going to the bathroom? Any vomiting? Night sweats? Coughing? Aches and pains? And on and on … I was given a clean bill of health and will go back in August. I will be scheduled for a PET Scan prior to the August visit since it will have been a year since my last one.
Probably the only lingering side effect from the “Cancer experience” (almost sounds like a Disney theme park ride – ha ha) is a continuing struggle to fully bounce back. I think the break you take from leading a normal/regular life is both good and bad. Good in that you get perspective and clarity around those things that are important. But bad in the sense that you took a break from the “game of life” and have to get reconditioned to play again. Lately, I have been struggling with time management, creativity, balance, etc. and I had an epiphany about this just this week. I don’t think I’ve lost the ability to do those things, but I do think I’ve lost my confidence. Believing you can do something is such a HUGE part of actually being able to do it. Just having that thought process has made me feel so much better. I can be awesome; I just have to believe it. I just laughed out loud as I was typing this because for a moment I thought about the blog reader and envisioned them thinking “How ego-centric can she be? Seriously? What kind of dribble is this?” That is completely alright; I know I’m a little crazy. But I also know that some cancer survivor will read this and totally get it.
Thanks for sticking with me. If you’ve read all hundred of my posts, I should bake you cookies or give you wine. But this will have to do for now: A virtual toast to you wishing you love, friendship, good health, and a spirit of gratitude!