Progress Not Perfection

So much for keeping up to date.  It’s been a crazy busy month.  But I like it.

I took my mother to Frankenmuth for her birthday at her request.  It was a nice trip and a long day.  We left at 9am and met the boys back here for dinner at 5pm.  I think it was 8pm when I dropped her off.  That’s a lot of having my arm slapped every time she thought of something new to tell me.  But it was worth it to see her enjoying herself.  And she’s becoming so frail.  More and more I notice it.  I think it frightens us both.

I haven’t been doing as well on the weight loss front as I’d like.  These meds are making me so tired.  Or maybe it’s the fat and lack of exercise that are making me so tired.  I’m trying to do better and am, a little.  Been keeping better hours at work. Been pushing the plate away a little more.

This week has been an interesting one.  Around the holidays I notice a lump in my right “breast”.   When I saw my Oncologist we agreed I should have an ultrasound and see my Surgeon to have a look, but since I have no actual breast tissue and my recurrence numbers are so low, it was most likely nothing.   Both the Ultrasound Tech (Anne, who is wonderful, but who I should not know as well as I do) and the Radiologist thought it was nothing, but wanted my Surgeon to look at it to be sure.  And my Surgeon thought it was nothing but wanted a biopsy to prove it.  I had the biopsy on Monday and I could tell by everyone’s attitude it was nothing.  I got the call from my Surgeon this morning telling me so.

So all is well and good. Except this every six months panic was one of the things I was trying to avoid with the mastectomy.  And the lump I’m feeling is a lymph node that is fine now, but they want to keep an eye on it.  Which means it’s going to be in the back of my head for six months.

I attended my first support group meeting last night.  I’ve rearranged my day working from home to accommodate my needs, for a change.  It was a very small meeting, which was great for me.   The facilitator is very warm and inviting and the three members I met were very open with their stories.

One woman went through two years before she got a diagnosis and each doctor kept telling her there was a 1%  chance that it was any kind of cancer and it was absolutely just a benign tumor.  For two years.  And not only was it cancer, it was a type of cancer for which there is no treatment and almost always recurs. She’s two and a half years out but will have to have period scans for the rest of her life and each time the probability of her having a recurrence increases.

That’s the part that I need help with.  The fact that no matter how many doctors tell me it won’t come back, I won’t ever believe them.

But it also means that I am determined – no matter how many times I have to start over – to not let my job interfere with my health and to rid myself of some of the bad habits I’ve let myself return to in the last year.   And I’m trying to balance kindness to others with kindness to myself.

It’s a work in progress.

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