To an extent, I’ve been feeling pretty comfortable without breasts. I would still prefer to have real natural breasts, but that isn’t an option. The best thing about not having breasts is that running is so easy. No giggling, bouncing, or that strong stinging pain you get from a rigorous run while wearing the wrong bra. Now that the boob bouncing is gone, my attention really goes to all the other areas that bounce….like my bum, the sides of my waist. Also the backs of my upper arms, but I think that that’s because I have weird and uncomfortable nerve pain in that area. So sometimes when I run it feels like someone is slapping the backs or my arms. Oww. So running gets two thumbs up.
If you weren’t totally convinced yet that I’m a very un-photogenic person, here’s the proof. I love it though. It’s a good face for ringing the bejeebers out of the bell/triangle at the end of radiation and end of 9 months of cancer treatment.
Today I was lucky to have my sweet friend, Jules accompany me for my final appointment and witness my bell ringing. Thank you so so much Jules!
Tomorrow is my last day of radiation. I get to ring the bell at the end of it. The bell signifies the end of radiation treatment. This is a different bell than the one I rang at the end of chemo…different clinic.
Tomorrow is also the last day of my 9 month long cancer treatment. 9 months! Long and intense and fucking awful. I was diagnosed 9 months ago and began treatment a few days after that.
It started with fertility treatment, egg extraction and freezing, complications of fertility treatment resulting in a rough case of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome(OHSS), starting on Depot Lupron which places me in an artificial and temporary menopause but with real and intense menopause symptoms. Then double mastectomy, 2/3 of my lymph nodes removed because the cancer had spread to them, getting a PICC line (port) put in me for administering chemo, chemo, positioning tattoos for radiation, radiation, horrible emotional strain, needles needles needles, my body becoming an object of science and math, tons of side effects from every step along the way, stress, worry, anxiety, job loss, medical tests and scans, hoops of service office and paper work to jump through, financial strain, feeling like my body aged 60 years in a short time and then slowly bringing it back to it’s proper age and functions, life being put on hold for an indefinite period of time. I could go on and on.
Nine months done. That’s it for cancer treatment, except for Tamoxifen. I begin Tamoxifen in a week and I will be on it for the next 5 years. It blocks estrogen. The tumours I had were from estrogen. And there’s also still lots of follow ups. The follow ups are still pretty frequent.
So although the bell at the clinic tomorrow is for being done radiation, it is also for being done cancer treatment.
Unfortunately there’s lots of waiting left to do. Waiting until I can get the go-ahead from doctors to start my life again. Waiting for tests to come and their results. Waiting to start drugs and stop others. Waiting til I can do normal things again, like work and dating and running around topless all day at the park (haha I wish). Waiting til I can move to a city and not be concerned that my doctors aren’t living there too. Waiting to meet with surgeons. Waiting til I can get reconstructive surgery…I need to wait at least a year from when I’m finished radiation because the skin contorts. Waiting til I stop Tamoxifen. Waiting til I can get pregnant (I can’t be pregnant while on Tamoxifen, unless I want children with super powers).
This takes so long. It would have been so much easier for everyone involved if the doctors had just physically examined me on any of the occasions that I begged them too, and diagnosed me properly the first time. How lazy can they be? Do doctors and clinics actually practice “early screening”? Or is all the talk about it in the pamphlets, commercials, and the news just “talk”?