I cannot believe it is 2018, another year of survivorship is upon us, with new resolutions, new goals, inspiring ambitions, and when the holiday cheer winds down and the excitement wears off, I realize I’m still just taking it one day at a time, and that’s OK.
I fall into the category like most people around this time of year; I set new health and fitness goals, still trying to lose the “chemo” weight I put on last year, planning new financial goals, striving to be kinder each day, and to laugh more. But as the weeks go on, the overzealous plans to make this the best year ever starts to fade away like a dream.
I was doing the 2017 inventory of everything I’ve been through in 2017:
12 months of chemo therapy (multiple drugs)
6 weeks of radiation
And just a few weeks ago, I finished my last round of the oral chemo drug, Xeloda.
Now that I am finished with one drug, it is time to look ahead and start taking others! As I head into 2018 I am looking at 10 years of hormonal therapies and shots, infusions to counter bone decay and osteoporosis, and additional meds to assist with joint pain, fatigue, mental health, the list goes on.
The only way I can describe this is that I am 36 years old on the outside but 80 on the inside, but I’m grateful! I am alive and thriving! Can you relate?
Among the breast cancer community, I hear a lot of people saying this is the “new normal” and we need to learn to live with lymphedema (or being at risk for it for the rest of our lives!), joint pain, the fear of recurrence, quarterly diagnostic testing, mammograms, CT Scans, MRI’s etc. Unfortunately, we were the ones indoctrinated (not by choice) into a lifelong club, but don’t get me wrong, the pink sisterhood is a bond like no other and for that I am grateful.
While the initiation process into this “club’ is grueling, the perspective gained makes the fight worth it! Cancer has actually made me a better person! Instead of focusing on what I cannot do and settling for the “new normal”, I am approaching 2018 as my year of REDISCOVERY.
Rediscovering the things that matter most
Rediscovering the activities I enjoy doing
Rediscovering the foods I enjoy tasting (now that my taste buds have returned)
Rediscovering how I can take a devastating experience and make a difference.
Follow me on my rediscovery in 2018! There is so much more to learn about breast cancer and while I have gone through the traditional steps of chemo, surgery, and radiation, no one has given me the road map for what happens next.
While several amazing women with inner strength have gone down the path of survivorship for 5 years, 10 years, and decades, understanding how being diagnosed with breast cancer manifests in terms of longterm treatment continues as rollercoaster ride; I am so glad you are on this journey with me!
What have your experiences been like? I’d love to hear from you! Share Your Story.