Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Free With Purchase

So this is a weird phase. I finished radiation, and had just enough time to dance a tiny jig before visiting Dr. So. That meeting was just to begin the conversation about next steps, but it went really differently than I'd expected.
First, nobody's going to insist that I take Tamoxifen. It's pretty much up to me. So guess what? It's probably not going to happen.
Next, we talk about kids, which will be difficult to make, even without the Tamoxifen. Surprise. We are still learning about this, but there is a real risk in exposing my body to the sustained high levels of hormones that would come with a pregnancy. I'm not really sure how much I'll be blogging about that particular process. It's going to be very personal, emotional, and complicated. I can only promise to share what I feel comfortable with.
Just before ending the meeting I go out on a limb and asked the big question. When am I considered 'Cancer-Free'? I'm wincing as I ask this because I'm picturing years of scans to wait for and a very long time frame. But he looks at me and puts his hand on my shoulder and he says, "Now! Right now!"
Not the answer we were expecting. And I totally don't believe it.

Wait! I do! No, I don't. Not quite. Not yet. I keep trying not to, but even when I believe that I'm healthy, all I remember is what it cost me to get here. Maybe it's part of an ending; not having a daily fight of some sort to concentrate on. Maybe it's just time to grieve for some of these things. Maybe my next surgery will make a big difference. And I'm sure the regular scans I'll have for a very long time will be important. I'm a little bit sad that I'm not having the end-of-radiation party that I'd envisioned, but I'm also pretty sure this is so normal.

We are getting out of town in a couple of weeks, though. Hopefully we'll be able to take a break from some of the stress and drama that's been following us around here. First we'll be in Santa Rosa with Mark's family and then up to Portland for food, drinks, and books. We're banking on Portlad's public transport to keep out butts in check. I'd hate to have to fly home in my pj's.

1 comment:

Jenny Weddel said...

Hip hip hooray! Even if it hasn't sunk in yet, congratulations on making it through such a grueling and emotional phase in your life with grace and humor. Smooches, J&S