On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am thankful I'm not.....

For an online autobiographical writing class the prompt this week was, "I am thankful I'm not......" So here's what I wrote (and the instructor praised):

I am thankful I’m not dead. I’m supposed to be, or maybe I’m not, but everyone’s prediction was that I’d die at least five years ago.

I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer on January 2, 2002, my own infamous day. I was diagnosed when the cancer advanced to my bones and liver. After my bones started breaking. When I complained about the pain.

And then the first treatment failed...massively. Too far gone for surgery, I went straight to chemotherapy. There were nine new lesions after three cycles of the drug that stole my hair. My shoulder length hair that fell out in globs and plugged up the shower drain.

So treatment number two began. After only one infusion the skin fell off my hands leaving crusty soreness like a sunburn gone amok. “Forget it,” I said, and left for Honolulu to visit my son.

Between the vacation and the treatment schedule it was five weeks without chemotherapy, a wonderful break. I started feeling better in the first week. By the time I resumed chemotherapy I felt just about normal.

And then....five cycles at a lower, more tolerable dosage, and another scan. And I was in remission where I have been ever since. I am thankful I’m. not. dead.

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