One-Year Survivor!

I’ve talked to other cancer survivors, and we all seem to feel as if we got handed a Get Out Of Jail Free card with a clean lab report, which frees us until about a month before our next scheduled test. For me, this means that I’m free until about the middle of May, when a subteranean anxiety will start tunnelling upward, reaching full force between the test time and results.

Many mammogram facilities these days recognize this anxious time and will give the results on the spot, but mine has not progressed to that point and I have to wait about three days. That’s better than it used to be.

There is more to worry about for me than a breast cancer recurrence. The treatments–Arimidex (which I no longer take due to excruciating side effects) and perhaps radiation–have resulted in something called osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. Like most other survivors, I have to deal with side effects for big meds, which I don’t seem to tolerate very well. In fact, I tolerate them so badly that I have opted to park my hopes on a positive attitude, daily exercise program (which one doc says won’t affect recurrance at all), diet (same doc says that fat makes estrogen which feeds my kind of cancer cells, so maybe lose weight?), and just being happy with each day of my life that I feel reasonably good.

Meanwhile, my projects are doing well: The Mary Blocksma Gallery is going far better than I expected, although I confess that my expectations were not high. Also, I’m waiting for the Bay City Times to come up with a contract that reflects our agreement that I do a weekly nature column. That is an exciting possibility. And I am painting again.

And I’m taking photos. This one is the view from my bathroom window on an early sunny Saturday morning sparkling with new snow.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.