As many of my friends know I do not shy away from talking about my cancer, showing my scars, my man made breast, or sharing my ongoing treatment. I honestly believe fear is our greatest enemy, and if someone, anyone can take comfort in my oversharing, then it’s worth it. There is hope. There is no need to be fearful. But, it is lonely. No-one as much as they try can understand the feeling of utter dread the first time cancer and your name appear together in print. If it’s written down it can’t be removed kind of thing. No-one can take away the fear, only you. Who knows what the ultimate outcome will be. What will be, will be, but every single day, put your best foot forward, embrace life and do what is required. Share and talk and laugh and cry, just don’t hide. Fear will win, if you let it in.
So ….where I am now in my treatment? I had my mastectomy on 18 June 2007 (our 13th wedding anniversay, how funny is that?), I had my last chemo session on 3 January 2008 and my breast reconstruction on 14 February 2008 (valentine’s day, how funny is that?) My cancer was stage 111, recurrent, aggressive and on the move, so with no intervention the likelihood of me being here in 5 years time was significantly affected. The goal is being here 5 years after treatment. 5 years. Hilarious. Shit. My 5 years is next January. My cancer is estrogen receptive which means cancer cells accelerate in growth when they encounter estrogen. Clearly it’s best if there is no estrogen around. Today I had my sixteenth zoladex implant, which is a slow release pellet that is implanted into my stomach every 3 months with a very fat needle, it’s main function being to put and keep me in menopause. Because the ovaries are not the only source of estrogen, our adrenal glands are also culprits, I am also on Femara, an aromatase inhibitor, a tablet I take daily, which blocks this. The worst side effect of all of this for me, as B and the girls will attest to, is a firey disposition. If anyone snorted at this point, implying what’s different, piss off. Okay, I’m just damn moody, and very quick to ignite. But luckily there’s a pill for that too. I know many believe the power is within and not to rely on all this stuff. I do too. I have come to understand how strong I am, and how much I can and we all can handle. But I also know I have too much to lose.