Yesterday, I had my first mammogram since May 2012 when this whole breast cancer journey started. I was anxious about it, and relieved that everything looked clean and clear—cancer free! I also had an appointment with my surgeon. He did a thorough exam and he also gave me a clean bill of health. I return in three months. My physical therapist says that from interviewing her cancer patients, it takes about seven years before they can say they don’t think/worry about cancer every day. It was nice to hear that at some point it won’t occupy so much focus and concern. I am vigilantly watching for any signs of recurrence anywhere, hoping if it does come back, we can catch it early enough to prevent harsher steps. I’m thankful that they are checking me every three months and doing mammograms every six months. It adds to having peace of mind.
My energy continues to build. I feel like I’m at 85% of my normal energy. I’m running/walking with Denise for about 45 minutes to an hour, 3 days a week, and we are running for more of that time than walking, so that’s exciting and encouraging. Plus, it seems to increase my energy for the rest of the day.
My hair continues growing, though the length is hard to notice since it tends to coil more and more with curls. I’ve tried blow drying it and using a flat iron. Neither technique has had an attractive result—about four inches of fuzzy hair sticking straight out, like the Afros that were popular in the 90’s. So, the easiest method of putting hair products on wet hair, and then letting it curl up and do it’s natural thing is working best at this point. Since they say it will be curly for about 2 years, I’m trying to decide if I should try growing it out, or just keep it short. With the curl, it may look short no matter what I decide. It’s fun experiencing a new kind of hair. It’s thick and very curly.
Last year we kicked off this whole cancer journey with “Shave the Date,” a party to celebrate baldness, where everyone wore a hat or a wig. I’d mentioned to several people last year that we’d do it again this year, as a celebration that it was all behind us. Here we are, a year later, and it really is all behind us. It’s really exciting! Every day I feel even better. But, as I thought about the party that was so much fun, I felt embarrassed to have thrown a big party, sort of just for myself. Who does that kind of thing?! It was really helpful at the time, and really fun. So, today we are having a party again, and I will personally be celebrating yesterday’s great news, but the party is simply a “Celebrate Summer” gathering, perhaps now an annual celebration. I’ll be celebrating the wonderful friends and family who have been so supportive through this journey, celebrating the opportunity I’ve had to share my experience with others going through similar journeys, and celebrating my faith in my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. That faith has helped me feel peace throughout the storms of this past year. There are so many things to celebrate this summer!