Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Over...sort of

 [No, no, I don't mean that Chris and I are over. That's just a cute New Year's Eve picture I'm sharing (and what a shocker, we're at Bistro O at Omakase!!).]

An interesting, and I think very good, thing has occurred. I think my mental state as a "Cancer Survivor" is over. I actually forget I had cancer...and I only finished treatment 6 months ago. I forget that when people say "How are you?" and they tilt their head and squint their eyes slightly, they don't mean "hey, how's it goin'" in passing. They mean "you've been through an awful lot and I really do hope you are okay but I'm a little afraid to ask." I forget that it was only a year ago I was headed into surgery and looking chemo straight in the eye. I still forget that I have short, dark hair (my reflection has startled me more than once). Heck, I'm even forgetting to blog. I forgot to blog when I had my 6 month check-up and found out I'm still Ned (No Evidence of Disease). I forgot to blog even when they scared me momentarily at my mammogram by telling me I had to come back in for three more "special" shots. That cannot be good---but all was okay. I even forgot to blog that we went for drinks with the good and great Dr. Karam afterward and he got carded! My surgeon got carded!! He took it with good humor (apparently it happens a lot) and I threatened a blog caption of "My surgeon got carded". But I forgot! I forget to blog and this was something I was obsessively doing daily not too long ago. More on that in a moment...

I had dinner the other night with two friends who've both recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and it felt odd to be the one on the other side of the "journey" (yep, still hate that word in this context).  I had to work to remember what it was like at the stage they're now in. It really seems like a long, long time ago. Of course, much of it comes back immediately in conversation and I am oddly proud to be a "Survivor." But at the same time, other than the fact that I can help others when they get diagnosed (or, well, I hope you found it helpful ladies!), or help raise funds for The Pink Ribbon Place breast cancer resource center and the part where I still go for check-ups every three months, well....I think I'm just back to normal. I don't really give a lot of thought or time or energy to the whole "breast cancer" thing. That should be a good thing, right? I never really did have that epiphany, so I don't feel compelled to walk 3 day walks to raise funds; I'm not part of an ongoing research study, and "my" breast cancer was triple-negative (not hormone receptive on many--well, 3--different levels) so I don't have any continuing treatment. So where does that leave this pretty pink blog?

Luckily, the name of the blog is The Dog Lived. And boy has he. So I'm thinking that's what this blog will become. Just a blog about living post cancer (breast for me, mast cell tumor for Seamus). And living well, I hope. We have climbed/walked/ hiked Mt. Rubidoux twice now (Photo is Chris and Seamus on the last walk; then me and Seamus on the Humane Society monument about 1/2 mile up) and will for a third time tomorrow if the rain lets up; I am writing the "everything I needed to know about cancer I learned from my dog" memoir (126 pages so far!) and I took a memoir writing class (see where I've been in the 10 days since my last post?);  and I am launched into my duties as honorary (but I hope also hard-working) chair of the 2010 Shop to Stop breast cancer event. I'll update on those things but also, I'm going to just feel free to blog about whatever's on my busy little mind whenever I want to...and it may or may not be about breast cancer. It also may or may not be funny, but we can all hope. I'm mostly funny in a tragedy (see chemo blog posts) and I'm sort of hoping that's held at bay for a bit.

I also think, however, I will be asking my two friends who've now started their own "breast cancer journeys" and joined the C club to guest blog from time to time. No, this won't be at all confusing!

January 28th  (ha! my original post said 27th but I checked my blog and it's the 28th--see, I'm forgetting everything!) will be the one year anniversary of my surgery. Thus, it will be my "one year" cancer-free mark. They start counting from the time there are no signs of cancer detected and for me that was post-surgery (the chemo was just a little extra insurance, as was the radiation). I think I'll post that day...and then I think I'll change the look of the blog. No more pink.

Your thoughts? Comments? Hopes? Dreams? Prayers? (Totally kidding on those last few; get your own blog for that stuff!).


  1. Happy Early One Year Anniversary! I know what you're saying about the "cancer survivor" state of mind. My mother had breast cancer 23 years ago and we do forget. You'll hit the 23 year mark, too!

    My Beagle Bernie (Bernadette) has a crush on Seamus!

  2. Happy Anniversary! I didn't know because I was behind on the blog...but then so were you! or I would have (maybe) had another margarita to celebrate. It was, after all, PINK. Speaking of which, leave the pink alone! It's a good color!


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