Looks like today was my final oncology appointment. Been told not to come back, in the nicest possible context.
I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January of 2002. It came as a surprise, as I had always gone in for my annual visit to the gynaecologist and come out with clean smear results. By March, I had a few procedures under my belt and was scheduled for a ‘radical hysterectomy’ where they would remove everything above the vaginal canal and then darn that up like a sock. They saved my ovaries and moved them higher into my abdominal cavity, then reconnected them to alternate blood supplies. (By moving them, they hoped my hormones would remain normal and that – should I need radiation treatment – the ovaries would be spared damage with their change of address.)
Fortunately, I was (and am) made of stubbornly good stuff and healed without the need for chemo or radiation. I have a tiny bit of muscle damage where the c-section scar is, and I still have have a sizeable patch of missing hair on my head (possibly hormone related) but all-in-all I had a relatively easy time kicking cancer’s ass.
That’s not to say it ever 100% leaves my thoughts. How can it? Everything was fine and then POW! you have a tumour and we need to put your guts on a tray while we remove your baby-baker. So, sure, though I’m a confident, optimistic and tough little girl, I wondered if I’d continue to be OK. I still wonder, despite today’s official discharge from the oncology appointment books.
Apparently, one in nine women will get breast cancer; that’s what the doctor said today. (We had a good chat and I tend to ask a lot of questions.) I am not eligible for a mammogram until I’m fifty, but I’m counting on that being clear. I had a dragon in my belly and cut it out of my life. I know that nothing makes me any more special than anyone else, but I’d like to think one dragon slaying is plenty for a person, so I’m planning on passing on a second battle.
So far so good, if today is any indication. I guess I can put my sword down for awhile.