Health Mirror: Reflections on Health

Nutralady's Views on Building Healthier Bodies, Minds, & Spirits

Post-Breast Cancer: Routines & Challenges

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New routines are finally taking shape, thank goodness! We get to the gym 1-3 times per week, upping activity & exercises one by one.

My Oxygen saturation levels have begun to improve since I started at the gym. The anemia keeps them low, which is part of why I’m so fatigued a lot. I’m hoping that this will all improve as my activity increases & my weight drops.

My Dr (PCP) started me on a BP med to counteract the high BP caused by 2 other meds I’m on, 1 to control my overactive bladder muscle, & the other to suppress estrogen, which is what breast cancer feeds on. I have to take that med for a total of 5 years (3 yrs, 8 & 1/2 months to go, maybe longer), just in case any cancer cells got into the lymph system to go hide elsewhere in the body. If there were any, which I’m told is unlikely, they would be unable to grow without any food source. Supposedly, the 5 years is long enough to keep them from ever activating, if there were any hiding anywhere, but recent research is indicating that should be anywhere up to 10 years, in many cases.  Since I’m not a gambler & am more practical & pragmatic, I decided I wasn’t willing to take any chances, so I take the medicine. If the recommendation increases the length of time for that in the future, I believe I would be inclined to comply. For now, we have to counteract the side effect of the High BP so that it doesn’t cause other damage to any organs, etc.

In the meantime, I have been declared a Survivor, a year ago May 14th (389 days), by my oncologist. My breast cancer surgeon declared me cancer-free after the first hour of my first surgery on November 17, 2016 (567 days ago), when she removed all breast tissue plus 4 lymph nodes, only one of which had any cancer cells in it, but not enough to truly call it positive, by current standards. There needs to be a 2mm cluster for that; mine was only 1mm. As for the breast tissue, she removed all of it, said she got all of the cancer, & the pathology report declared clear margins around all the cancer spots; there were quite a few, 2 different types.

I’ve learned, over the past 18 months, that most drs never really say “cancer-free” anymore; they say “No Evidence of Disease“ or (NED). I’ll take it either way.
The future will be what it will be, but I won’t live my life expecting cancer to rear its ugly head again!

It’s only been 7 & 1/2 months since my last surgery (of 7), and I keep thinking I should be better than I am, then someone reminds me it was only 7 months ago, & I had a total of 7 OR visits in 11 months, with an enormous amount of anesthesia hours racked up, & the last 3 times I experienced a full system crash after anesthesia & antibiotics were administered.  So, actually, I’m doing pretty darn well, all told!!

The recovery & recuperation continues, & I continue to improve, slowly but surely.

The takeaway?

GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS on time, every time!!! Doing so absolutely saved my life!!

No amount of fear can justify not getting them done routinely!! Be more afraid of the nightmare you might have to live in if you don’t do them on time & have to deal with worse stuff than you would need to if it’s caught early!!

PLUS… think of the peace of mind you’ll have when the test results all come back negative! 1 in 8 women will face off with this monster up close & personal, but that means that SEVEN WILL NOT!!! That will most likely, statistically, be you!! If you’re one of the unlucky ones, like me, it’ll be so much easier to deal with in the earlier stages.

Please share the link to my Blog so the message can be shared far & wide!!!

Thanks for listening! ❤️

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