Saturday, July 27, 2013


My first cancerversary as we cancer survivors call the anniversary, is today. It was exactly one year ago that I got the phone call from Mt. St. Joseph Hospital asking me to come in for the results of my core biopsy. The rest is history now as I "celebrate" this event.

The past 9 days have been filled with memories of the first "waiting game" after I found the lump. I have not slept well and the feeling of stress that had diminished over the past couple of months has returned. My head hurts to turn and this has only been noticeable for the past week or two. Yesterday I even felt apprehensive as I had blood drawn for routine blood work for a baseline. No doubt the fact that blood can only be drawn from my "good" arm and there is only one tiny vein that is accessible to most technicians did not help and in fact dredged up memories of all the tests done in the last 12 months. My GP has ordered a full physical so that we have a baseline going forward and this is a good thing but it comes at the end of so many invasive and aggressive tests and treatments.

Cancer is a lonely journey and though I have referred to it before, I feel again that it is true. Because so much of it is in our heads, it is difficult to articulate other than with other cancer survivors, especially those who have had breast cancer since we share so much. This is not to say that I am not grateful to everyone who has cared over this past year but as I attempt to go forward there I know I still have a long way to go before I really can relax and not think breast cancer thoughts. All that I am doing helps and for awhile I thought that I had successfully pushed much of my earlier stress away. Not so!

My emotions are very close to the surface and small things can rattle me easily. That tension when I move my head is a sign too. It is not even thoughts of recurrence now but kind of living through this past year all over again in bits and bytes. I had a wonderful hour long conversation with one of my BCO sisters this morning who was diagnosed the same day as me last summer and we both acknowledged the rocky road this past week or so has been. It was good to talk to Jo and I felt much better after.

Tomorrow I do my planned short course triathlon with Andy and Karalee. Andy (my 21 year old son who has done almost 100 triathlons this year already to raise money for "Right to Play") signed up yesterday at the last minute and plans to shepherd me through the course. He will no doubt be almost back peddling to cycle as slow as me and may have to dog paddle to swim at my speed. He swims 1500 m in 25 minutes and I swim 400 m in 15 minutes so if you do the math it is be laughable. No matter, it is going to be reassuring to have him at my side. We walked the 5 k run/walk part of the course yesterday and part of it is on trails through UBC's beautiful Pacific Spirit Park. I am slightly apprehensive but know that it will be healing in a way to know that I can do it just a year after my diagnosis and aggressive and at times painful treatments.

1 comment:

  1. I saw your last comment on my blog so I wanted to pop by to read how your "celebration" is going. When you consider all that we have been through in the past year it is almost hard to believe it has only been one year. And now it is time to look forward to many more years......ideally with as few blood collections and IVs as possible!