The Journey Begins

In June of this year (2018), I was diagnosed with breast cancer -- to be specific, invasive ductal carcinoma (stage 2, initially stage 1), hormone positive, Her2/neu negative [I've learned that these details are important to survivors and help us recognize one another and understand our respective journeys]. It was an absolute shock, coming after... Continue Reading →

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A Far Cry From Normal

New normal, day 45. I just returned from my first "big trip" to visit my daughter and her boyfriend in NYC and it hit me like a ton of bricks how far I am from anything even approximating normal, or at least from what was my "old normal." I used to travel to NYC with... Continue Reading →

Mourning

New normal, day 30. As I begin to re-enter the world in increasingly larger ways, I find myself thinking back across the last nine months with a bit of sadness. I'm certainly not sad that that time is behind me (one can hope), nor am I sad that I'm able to do more now, but... Continue Reading →

Only the Good Stuff

New normal, day 26. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I ran across a quote that went something like "you may not recognize me, I put back my pieces differently," and at this stage of things, I can certainly see how that is true. I see how my perspective has changed entirely, and ditto... Continue Reading →

Rebuilding a Life

New normal, day 16. I just came back from seeing the radiation oncology nurse for a "skin check," required as part of the follow-up to radiation to see how my radiation burns are faring, and I got some good news. As of the end of next week, I should be able to get back into... Continue Reading →

Magic Marker

New normal, day 9. I had my port removed today. I admit to having been a bit anxious about the procedure when I learned that I would be awake and that all I would get would be something to numb the site. This would be the first time in my journey with cancer that I... Continue Reading →

It’s the Little Things

I'm three days out from my last radiation treatment and starting to feel a tiny bit more like a person who lives in the world. While I'm still dealing with side effects from the radiation (burns, fatigue), I'm also starting to see that those will have an endpoint. Next week, my port will be removed,... Continue Reading →

Everything in Its Own Time

Radiation, day 30. Radiation is officially done, complete with my very own graduation certificate. I asked why I didn't receive a certificate (or better, a party) when I finished chemo, since that was a bigger deal overall. One of the radiation oncology staff explained to me that while it's likely that I won't have to... Continue Reading →

Done? Hardly.

Radiation, day 27. I am nearing the finish line of 6 weeks of radiation and profound fatigue has set in, along with a lovely bright red sunburn-type rash on my neck and chest. I was warned about the fatigue, and thought I would escape it until it hit me like a ton of bricks last... Continue Reading →

A Numbers Game

Radiation, day 23. I am nearing the finish line of radiation, 23 treatments down, 7 more to go. The remaining treatments are "boost treatments" to the area around the surgical site, so I'm officially done with the treatments to the lymph nodes. Good thing, since I started having side effects in that area this week... Continue Reading →

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