One Year Down

It’s been 8 months since my last post, but that’s not because things haven’t been happening, both on the medical front and otherwise.

The biggest change these past months is that I am not working. I took the next couple of months off, and then headed to Australia in mid-November, where I was chairing a conference. My husband joined me and we spent almost 3 weeks vacationing Down Under. If going to Australia is on your bucket list, GO. A beautiful country with so much to see, with friendly people and great food. We can’t wait to go back.

As soon as we got back from Australia, I had my port removed – finally.  After having it in for almost 2 years, my body had started to integrate it and it was very difficult to remove. I was sore for a few weeks from all the cutting that needed to be done. Now I have a pretty nasty keloid scar, which occasionally itches and is just generally annoying. I’m thinking of getting my first first tattoo in and around it, just because. What to get….

Since the new year, aside from looking for work, I’ve been busy with volunteer work and trying deal with other ongoing issues from my cancer treatment. Yep, still have diarrhea and take 2 Imodium every night. Yep, still have neuropathy in my feet. Yep, have curly hair – and less of it, too. The muscle aches in my knees are better, and I wonder if it’s because my magnesium is more “normal.” Apparently drinking soda can be a cause for low magnesium, and since I haven’t been working, I’m drinking a lot less Diet Coke. I used to drink 1-3 Diet Cokes by noon, mostly due to stress. My ankle, for which I was getting PT in the fall, is good, and my shoulder is slowly getting full range of motion back. I can finally zip up a dress…with difficulty, but I can do it.

My last chemo treatment was May 6, 2016, and so much has changed since then. Well, really, so much has changed since my diagnosis in December 2014. I had my annual diagnostic mammogram in March (I can never have just a screening mammogram), and it was normal. I continue to see my oncologist every 3 months and my breast surgeon every 6 months. I’ve put on weight because for so long I didn’t care what I ate as long as I could keep it down.  That habit plus not working resulted in the extra pounds, which I need to lose. All in all, though, I’m fairly lucky:  I am feeling well, I have a great support system, I have medical insurance, and my prognosis is good. Life could be worse.