Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MammoGRRRRam

I haven't written in soooo long. This is partially because the neighbor's wireless Internet connection, which I pay a monthly fee to use because it's the only one I can access from my bedroom, was killed by a lightning strike and I'm now reliant on public wi-fi that's frequently unreliable and has limited hours and is a hassle to get to.

But the bigger reason I haven't been blogging is because GUESS WHAT, I FEEL GREAT!!!! :) There are no cancer updates to give, because the cancer's gone and the treatments are over and I am living my life!!! Life is GOOD!!! (Or rather, my life of course has problems like everyone's does and I'm working on solutions, but the problems are thankfully not CANCER!) I've been on the Tamoxifen for almost 6 weeks now, and despite how incredibly scared I was to begin taking it because I was convinced I'd have all kinds of horrible side effects, I really don't have ANY side effects. I haven't even had a single hot flash! Well, my last period was a little weird, which is probably due to the Tamoxifen (e.g. super heavy for 2 days, then entirely gone for a day, then back, etc), but I can live with that.

I'm so grateful to be feeling so good right now. Now my tasks are to
A) Resume regular exercise (all I really do now is walk a lot - I need my yoga and trapeze back! But it's getting started that's the hardest part, now that it's not habit anymore!)
and
B) Figure out my post-treatment plan, in terms of check-ups/follow-ups/cancer screenings, which I'll need for the rest of my long, long life. The radiation oncologist wants me to see him in 6 months but I'm not going to, because I'm not having any radiation-related problems and I don't want to see him. I have a check-up with my medical oncologist in a couple weeks and will continue seeing her every 3 months for a while, then every 6 months, then once a year, etc., which I don't really mind. We've had a pleasant enough relationship ever since I realized she's not just chemo-obsessed and she realized I'm not a total hippie freak (e.g. we found a middle ground to meet upon). Then I have my 6-month check-up with my surgeon in September, which I'm totally looking forward to. (It would be great if K could just be my "everything" doctor!)

My upcoming visit with K was supposed to include a mammogram but I refused it. Or at least, delayed it. I'm worried about the radiation exposure from mammography, and thus will not automatically submit to the standard, recommended, annual mammogram. If I live to be 100 (and I plan to!), that means having like another SEVENTY mammograms! Geez Louise, that's way too much radiation, especially since I've already had so much, and especially because my breasts are so dense that mammography isn't even all that effective. I'm currently researching mammography more, and mammography alternatives, and compiling a long list of questions for K. At our Sept appt, we can chat about it all, and I'll decide when I would be okay with having a mammogram and how frequently after that. I'm not anti-screening... I'll have as many MRIs, ultrasounds, breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and thermograms as she wants me to have. But when it comes to mammograms, I am being a Difficult, Non-Compliant Patient for the time being!!!! (Funny how K is my favorite doctor out of all of them, and the one I trust/listen to/go to the most, but I STILL can't simply follow her instructions/recommendations without first researching the crap out of everything myself and over-analyzing and thinking thinking thinking till my brain hurts!!!)

1 comment:

  1. That is excellent, Britta. What a relief. Also, good that you question authority and professional medical advice; research, research, research. Think, meditate, sit with different thoughts, ideas and feelings around it and most of all, trust yourself. Enjoy the Festival and celebrate how beautiful it is to be a woman who is alive and healthy.
    Bettina

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