Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer Break!

In the two plus weeks since my last post I am starting to feel much more normal. My skin is healing slowly but surely and while my energy is still lower than normal, it's been very livable and from what I hear it should be returning soon.

About ten days ago Chris and I saw my oncologist, Dr. G., for my post radiation/next step appointment. It's taken me a little while to process all the statistics and information we received and to process my feelings about all of it.

The short story - my lab work post radiation was really good so that was a plus. Nothing to worry about there. My "meh" news is that I will start an aromatase inhibitor medication daily in September. I had really hoped to avoid it but it just doesn't seem wise given my tumor was estrogen/progesterone receptive and adrenal glands continue producing hormones even after menopause. My nurse navigator reminded me that as studies and clinical trials continue I could be on it for five years or longer depending on what seems most beneficial. I get that medication seems easy and not a problem for most people but I really prefer natural solutions since I tend to have reactions to some medications. There doesn't appear to be a natural solution with the proven track record of the aromatase inhibitors. I do want something that has statistics behind it but I will still pursue every sound natural solution in diet and exercise along with medication to do what I can to avoid another occurrence in the future.

There are pesky side effects to the AI's but the good news is things like bone loss are going to be monitored and treated before they can become bigger issues. Apparently I will get to enjoy hot flashes again! Yay! Okay maybe there was a little sarcasm there. The better news (really) is Dr. G. believes we can wait until mid-September to start taking them so that I won't have to deal with a sticky NC summer and the repeat of hot flashes. God bless that man (really).

I came home with a prescription and a ten year follow up plan. I have graduated to the Survivor Clinic side of Dr. G's office. Between now and September I will have an appointment with one of my doctors every month or so. Later this month will be a radiation follow up. In July there will be more tests - bone density, mammogram, blood work, etc. But mostly, I feel like I'm on Summer Break!

Oh, and the feelings, Really and truly an overwhelming feeling of being blessed just washes over me. Blessed by family and friends who still reach out with texts, scriptures, gifts and most importantly prayers. Blessed that I feel as well as I do as I heal. Blessed that we have wonderful insurance through Chris' company and that so much has been covered. But also sad that others do not share in these blessings of healing and support and financial help with insurance. Perhaps I even feel guilty that I have been so blessed as others suffer more. Survivor guilt perchance? So I pray and ponder what I can do.

In the meantime I am relishing this feeling of a Summer Break! There is so much to catch up on around here, a stack of books to study and Chris and I are driving to Maine later this month for a nephew's wedding. The chance to see so much of the East Coast is exciting as is family time at the wedding. My beautiful Compassion Bag will do double duty carrying car snacks and sunscreen instead of my medical information and my Renewing You skin care supplies. Mostly, though, Gus and I get to continue to enjoy our lake walks.


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