When I was in the midst of my cancer battle, I longed for the days when I could finally say those 2 sweet words "cancer free". I am thankful to God, my awesome healer, for getting me to that point. I just never imagined the ongoing aftermath of cancer. Sometimes it is frustrating and discouraging to have one thing after another pop up and in the end all point back to either my cancer, my surgery, my radiation or my blood counts being so low they were classified as "life threatening". In my head I know, and am continually working to accept, the fact that every little twinge, pain or "off" thing is going to send me into a spiral of worrying whether the cancer is back or if a new cancer has started to take over my body. I'm trying to look at things positively and remind myself that at least by the time I get to the age where a normal person would actually be having all these procedures (mammogram, colonoscopy, breast biopsy) that I'll have already gone through it and be an old pro and have no worries:) I just pray to God for peace, discernment, wisdom, and the strength and desire to make that leap from surviving to thriving-my new goal for 2010!!
So the latest... had a colonoscopy this morning. It honestly was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be-I was totally zonked out so I didn't even know when it started or when it was happening, and all the nurses were so awesome and kind. The worst part, as you can easily imagine, was the prep-not even gonna go into those pretty details LOL Really wasn't fun when you are attempting to help your spouse get 2 little people to bed, and pathetically even the "food" on Cafe World (Facebook) was looking soooo scrumptious!
I had the colonoscopy because I've had alot of lingering symptoms since my last radiation treatment-some of it started during radiation, some stopped when radiation stopped, some continued and some new ones started. So my oncologist wanted to make sure it was related to damage from radiation and nothing else was going on.
YAY good news (or I guess best that it can be in this case)-I have radiation proctitis (no cancer, no polyps, no biopsy necessary, so basically as "normal" as could be in my case). Apparently 75% of cancer patients who receive radiation to the pelvis/abdomen end up with radiation proctitis. We are hoping mine is mild enough that it can be treated with medication.
First attempt will be an anti-inflammatory enema, once nightly for one month (oh yeah, gonna be fun evenings in our house BLAH). The surgeon also mentioned trying an anti-spasm medication which I think would do wonders because I had to take something similar when I had bladder issues during radiation and it helped alot-so I'll discuss going ahead with that when I see him next month. If neither of those work, we'll look into other meds and as a last resort, surgery. Gonna definitely do my research and find any and every med tried so I can avoid surgery!!
So the near future holds- breast biopsy follow up with Dr. Friesen on Friday, colonoscopy follow up with Dr. Rogers early next month, routine oncologist appt in April, and then follow up mammogram this summer. I soooo long to be 5 years out, officially in "remission" and prayerfully done with all this JUNK!! But I know I just need to rest and be thankful that I AM cancer free, I'm not in the middle of that battle, and I am ALIVE-here with my husband, my babies, my family and friends, and am able to get out of bed every day and not only just function but live a pretty darn awesome life:)
Thanks for all the sweet and encouraging emails and cards-love you and thank you for the prayers!!