So lately I've been thinking about what I'm doing in the next stage of my life now that my treatment is coming to an end.
Next Wednesday is my last day of radiation (YIPPPEEE!) and boy that has come around fast. The radiation hasn't been too bad compared to what I had imagined it would be like. My skin is red and slightly swollen but it hasn't broken and I imagine will heal quite nicely (with maybe a wicked tan line). Despite the fact I'm happy to see the end of daily trips to the hospital and regular blood tests I will still have to see Auckland Hospital every 3 weeks until May next year to receive my infusion of Herceptin. But that is easy - and there are no side effects from that.
So I guess I'll be free to go off and live my life. This is exciting, as well as nerve wracking. This is the end of treatment and whatever happens from here on is really just up to my body. Lots of people keep asking me if I've been given the all clear, or when do I get the all clear? Well, the answer is, I don't. My oncologist was pretty sure that with surgery the cancer was taken out, but of course he can't see microscopic cells - this is why I had chemotherapy and radiation. We hope that any microscopic cancer cells were destroyed during this treatment but there is no way he can guarantee that some haven't. I suppose that's a scary thought if dwelt on for too long. But what is the point in dwelling on that? I'm of the thought that any problems get dealt to when and if they happen - not before then, else I'd go mad. This is really a philosophy that got me through the first few weeks after my diagnosis. Cross the bridge when we to it. If we get to it.
The other adjustment is getting the household back to where it was before my diagnosis. To being a functioning mum and housewife again. To Owen not having to be the caregiver. For the kids to have me back doing the normal things. Getting the balance back scares me a little - seeing as I've been so used to the luxury of having the washing done and folded for me, the meals cooked and the delightfulness of not having to be up at the crack of dawn to whip the kids into shape for school. HOW AM I GOING TO COPE?! is my first reaction. But although I must admit I'm inclined to be lazy, on the days when I don't feel like it I'm going to remember how it felt lying in my bed, hearing my children crying for me and needing me but I was in too much pain or just focusing on getting better that I wasn't able to be there for them. Maybe remember that life and all its mundane boringness or excruciating early mornings is where you can find the simple joys in life. When that is taken away from you, its then you realise how important it is to you.
(although I'm still not going to do any ironing)