You read that right. It’s May and I’m putting out my first post of 2017. There hasn’t been much to talk about. Or at least, I haven’t felt like talking about it.
My hair is growing out. It’s kind of fun! If you don’t get too caught up in the growing mullet around the back, that is. Here I am 5 months post-chemo:
I took this while sitting in the infusion center. Yep, still getting treatments. My last one will be in August. I don’t mind the treatments this year, though. They don’t make me sick.
My nails are starting to look better, too. I think the ends that came off the nail bed have almost grown completely out. They never bothered me; they just looked rough.
From time to time I still experience things that remind me I’ve had chemo: memory lapses, mental fog (can’t find words), low appetite, and other minor things. Surgery and radiation have restricted my range of movement in my right arm slightly, but it’s not really noticeable unless I have a itch I can’t scratch.
I got my first saline expansion this week. 50 cc’s. I am now almost an A cup. Hello to being 12 again! I will get 50 cc’s per week until I reach the size I am happy with. It will take a couple months, but by the end of summer I should actually have a chest again.
Some days I do miss my real breasts. I didn’t think I would, but like most things in life, you don’t miss something until it’s gone. I will say, though, that I don’t have to wear a bra with most things, and I don’t have to hold my chest anymore while running down the stairs. So there are perks! No pun intended.
Every day I actively try not to think about recurrence. I stay away from breast cancer forums, skip over articles that mention it, and fill my mind with everything in life that I love. It’s what works for me. If I didn’t do this I would go crazy. It’s how I fight depression and major anxiety. It’s how I get back to my life, and live to the fullest. So I don’t apologize for it.
This summer’s going to be busy, but I hope with all my heart that it will be good-busy.
God’s leading me down this path of learning who He really is, learning how real He is, and learning how to really believe Him. It’s taken me almost 3 years to get here; He started this with me just after Luke was born. I went through almost 2 years of questioning everything about my faith, about God, and about life in general. Not sure why, maybe it’s an existential crisis of my 30s. Maybe it’s because I was a new mom and Satan knew when to attack. Maybe it’s because God knew I’d need a major spiritual overhaul before -and during- being diagnosed with cancer. All I know is that it was scary for a while, as I didn’t know where I would end up – but I can see now that God used it (IS using it) to develop authenticity in me. I am developing a perspective of God that I was hungry for, and I didn’t even know it.
I want to be careful to point out that this didn’t happen right after diagnosis or during treatment. It started when Luke was an infant. And my faith didn’t automatically get stronger when I was faced with a life or death diagnosis. I didn’t necessarily draw close to God during treatment. I just held on tight and asked Him to get me through it. Not the most spiritual of journeys, I know, but I’m being honest. I was either sick or tired most of the time, and He wasn’t a priority. But I trusted Him to get me through it. And it’s part of a bigger picture of what He’s been developing in me over the past few years.
There’s no escaping how scary this cancer stuff is, even if you’re declared “cancer free.” I don’t know if I’ll be one of those people whose cancer returns. And there’s nothing I can do to ensure I stay cancer free. It’s truly an unknown.
The only thing I can do is cling to the God who says that even if that happens to me, that He is still very real, that He is astonishingly powerful, that He is more than what I can see or contemplate, and that I don’t know what He has in store for me and my family – and that’s not necessarily a scary thing.
From my Bible study this week:
“He persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.” -Hebrews 11:27