Seems this whole cancer thing may be coming to an end soon. Well, my whole cancer thing. At least we hope, right? I've still got 7 radiations to go, but it's been almost 7 months since I made my way into the doctor's office to have a thickening lump in my right breast checked out. There is a way in which it just seems like that time has flown by--and I'm amazed at everything I've been through. And in another way, it's almost hard to remember time when I wasn't dealing with The Cancer. Little things will happen that point out how much time has gone by and how Cancer really does suck away all your time (not to mention energy). For example, I was at Barnes & Noble on Friday and found out my Reader's Advantage card had expired. How can that be? I'm in bookstores all the time. Nope, it expired. In December. Right. I haven't been there since December. 7 months ago.
Chris and I were also talking about our upcoming trip to Chicago, which is a little bit business (I'm going to a conference and Chris has two Forgotten Grapes wine tasting events) but we're also swinging down to Springfield, Missouri to visit parts of my family for a couple of days and we'll have a day and a half or so in Chicago to play, so it's a little bit vacation too. Then I realized that while I've of course missed a few days of work here and there for The Cancer, other than the Monday we took off for our La Jolla weekend of decadence, we haven't been on vacation in over a year. Don't get me wrong, I realize lots of people don't go on vacation for a lot longer than that. It's just that we're not those people. Much like being in bookstores a lot, we also travel a lot. We get away as much as we can, whether it's weekends in San Diego or San Francisco or wine tasting in France, we kind of like to go. That's why we have a townhome and no real yard--our money goes elsewhere and we don't have a lot of "house" to take care of. Surgery, chemo and radiation have really put a damper on the travels. We canceled our trips to France of course, but also to Napa/ Sonoma and never did get to even finish up plans for a long weekend in Cambria and the Central Coast of California before The Cancer intervened. Wow. I miss traveling!
Another thing has got me thinking about the fact that this Cancer treatment drama is coming to an end and that's this blog. Some of you have even asked--what happens to the blog when the treatment ends? And fellow blogger Sara (Sara in Vermont--- check it out!) had early on mentioned to me that when the breast cancer "odyssey" ends, the blog will too. She learned this herself when she had a Sara Meets Australia blog that ended when....well, Sara was no longer in Australia (she's back in Vermont--you got that, right?). Treatment ends July 14th (The Machine willing) and the Survivor party is July 19th. Then I get an entire one-month break before I go for check-ups with Drs. Glaspy (oncologist) and Karam (surgeon; you could not have forgotten this!) on August 14th. I assume then I will learn what my follow-up care will be. At this point I understand it will be every 3 months. I'm hoping I get to talk to a nutritionist also. Even though me talking to a nutritionist my have the same effect as me walking into a church (cue the lightning), I think it would be a good thing to do. I believe this every 3 months thing goes on for a few years. And of course, I'm not considered out of the woods ("cured"?) for five years (although apparently with my kind of cancer--triple negative--there's a higher chance of recurrence but it peaks at three years). So what do we call the end of treatment and therefore the end of the blog?
I sort of like a different date as the "end" of the blog. December 15th, 2010. It's the day Chris and I hop on a plane for Maui. But it's also the 365th day since I walked into the doctor's office complaining of that dang-blasted (and doctor-excised) lump. Kind of a year in the life of a breast cancer patient. But then, what will I be posting for the next 5 months? (I realize that Chris's hair growth even when combined with my far less spectacular hair growth does not an exciting blog make.) I suppose I'll know more (and probably post less) once I have the follow up appointments. In the meantime, there is only one thing to do. I must take it to the readers!!
Yep, there is a new poll over there to the right. Vote now. Vote often (I'm kidding; you can only vote once...per computer).What makes sense as the end of this blog? You will note this blog has a much shorter polling period--that's because one of the options is to end the blog with my final treatment. There are some other choices, but it does seem the blog must end. Sorry, but I'm not willing to have a recurrence of cancer just to keep blogging. Besides, Chris and Rachel and I have been talking about getting our Words & Wine blog going (wine, writing, books, France...stuff like that; or drunk ramblings, it's a TBD thing right now), so there is always that to turn my attention to.
P.S. The picture at the top is from one of our trips to France (we're in the Rhone Valley). Sometimes I like to reminisce about our travels...and having hair longer than Chris's.