Today I’m celebrating 3 years since my final cancer treatment. I’m also celebrating that last week's check up and mammogram showed that all is still clear!
We moved to Utah just before Thanksgiving. Scott started a new job in Salt Lake City (which he LOVES!). I was anxious about finding a new doctor to watch over my cancer follow-ups. A good friend from our Denver days now lives here and has been through the same journey. She recommended Dr. Saundra Buys at the Huntsman Cancer Center. She was amazing! I learned things from her that I had not known three years and nine months ago when I was diagnosed. The Huntsman Cancer Center was gorgeous, and all of the workers were so kind and caring. In the past for me, I had to travel to 3 different locations for my 3 different doctors, and travel to other spots for mammograms and blood work. Here, I saw a fellow (working under my doctor), then the doctor, and then she called over and schedule an immediate mammogram. I walked across the hall, waited maybe 5 minutes, had the mammogram, and was given the results as soon as I was dressed. Then I was taken across the hall to the lab, where there was no wait. The Huntsman Cancer Center also provides free valet parking, with a no tipping allowed—what a kind gift for those going through treatments that cause fatigue. I self-parked in the garage, but was so thankful for those that need the valet.
I did not realize that this visit would be so emotional. Walking into a cancer center brings back the anxiety and worry that is present with every new experience of the journey. I was teary eyed with both concern and with gratitude for coming through it all so well. Two women that I know of, who were going through breast cancer at the same time, didn't have the same outcome and have passed on. It is sobering to be reminded of how fragile life can be. I hope to never need to go through cancer treatments again, but if I ever do, I am so thankful to have a caring team of professionals at an amazing cancer center. I feel thankful to have moved back to a state that has such a great facility. It gives some added peace of mind.
Looking back at the last 3 years and 9 months, it has been life-changing, and most of that has been great. It feels like it has taken almost 3 years for my energy to return. That delay may be due to the last 6 months recovering from my fractured pelvis (in June, see my previous post). I can now run again, only having to stop because I’m out of shape (or still adjusting to the Utah altitudes), and not because my body aches has no energy. Due to my fracture, I am WAY more careful about everything I do—knowing that my bones may still be weak from the chemo and the hormone blockers.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve also had the opportunity to help several women going through similar adventures. Recording major happenings in this blog has also been helpful to friends of friends going through cancer. It has also helped me look back and remember details that I’ve forgotten.
|View from our apartment.|
I am full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father and my Savior for opportunities to grow and learn, and the peace they give me along the way. I thank them for blessing me with a wonderful husband by my side as we climb these mountains together. I’m also thankful for my children, their spouses, our extended family, and friends—from all over the country. I am so blessed.