Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Changes are Forever

I'm still feeling like I'm in a good place in my life. My health has been stable for a few months. I really like my new job - the commute is much less stressful; the work is interesting; and the people are lovely.

In two months, I am looking forward to attending my oldest daughter's MBA graduation in Chicago. I'll meet up with a fellow breast cancer survivor, who happens to be the aunt of my daughter's boyfriend, and whom I've gotten to know during this past year, as I supported her through her journey with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. We'll both hug and feel grateful we can share in a joyous family occasion together - celebrating the spirit of living with the breast cancer diagnosis behind us.

In the beginning, I thought about the cancer every hour of every day. Survivors told me it would get better. It was hard to imagine at the time. I sought the solace of support groups and read anything I could get my hands on regarding my diagnosis, treatment, physical and psychological outcomes. I was consumed, and the knowledge eased my angst.

Slowly, as the seasons changed, the focus turned toward living and not just surviving. Sure, there are days when I think of what it was like, but more days I think of what will be - the future, retirement, grandchildren...all those things I've always dreamed about.

So, if you are reading this and just starting your journey, be assured that time does bring forth joy in the morning, and that what you are going through now will hopefully be a distant memory as the months roll by. And if you find you need a little extra support, email me at joannklein@gmail.com. Pay it forward...the dividends are priceless.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today's Oncology Visit

All is well. The blood work was perfect. The only thing the oncologist mentioned was that because my December surgery for the breast duct excision showed that the tissue was atypical, usually a precursor to cancer, but not a surprise since they already found cancer in the breast, that the breast will need to be watched closely - every 6 month visits with her and yearly mammograms. She feels strongly that the Tamoxifen will prevent a further recurrence and that the five years will cover a lifetime, based on research. I'm lucky since I tolerate Tamoxifen well. So I feel quite blessed today and grateful for good medical care.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another Checkup in the Morning

It's hard to believe that it's time for another checkup with the oncologist tomorrow. Last week, I had bloodwork done, and tomorrow, everything else gets evaluated. I feel confident that all is well, but I can't help worrying that the bloodwork will show that my liver is being affected by the Tamoxifen. In addition, my skin on my radiated boob continues to either rash or itch. I'll be glad when the visit is over.

In the meantime, my new job is going well. Shorter commute and less responsibility = less stress, and that's a good thing for sure.