In less than a month I have my next 6 month checkup.
It's been a little over 4 years since I was diagnosed with cancer.
It's been 3 years since I finished Chemotherapy
It's been 2 years since I finished Herceptin
It's been 2 years since I had my port removed
It's been almost a year since I stopped taking Tamoxifen
It's been 7 months since I had my ovaries removed
It's been 6 months since I left my Doctors office in tears...
Those six months have flown by. I was supposed to have made a decision by now. Have I? I'm pretty much avoiding the topic. Do I want to start taking Aromatase Inhibitors (AI) or, as my doctor would put it, do I want to die?
My goal is to live. Fully and consciously. In the present. Intentionally.
It's one of those impossible decisions. I reacted badly to the Tamoxifen. You can read about it on THIS blog post. I have done a lot of research about the AI's. It seems that out of every person who says they can tolerate it, 9 more relay stories of horrible side effects, severe bone pain, depression, weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, the list goes on. What are the chances that I will be the "one" out of 10 who has no side effects, when I had major side effects from the Tamoxifen?
The doctor says there are drugs to take for the side effects. Drugs for depression. Drugs for pain. Drugs for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Drugs for Osteoporosis. All those drugs have side effects. When does it end? I don't want to be a walking pharmacy. I am Granola Girl... I avoid GMO's and pesticides. Why would I want to fill my body with chemicals upon chemicals? I did my time. I did Chemo. It's a horrible catch-22.
I don't want to spend the next 4-5 years of my teenage daughter's life being in a brain fog and depressed, not being able to go for walks and bike rides, not being able to drive for more than 30 minutes. These are formative years. I am a single mother, for the most part. She lives with me 26 days out of 30. We have a great relationship, her and I. She still talks to me about everything. She still wants to do stuff with me. She still wants to just hang out. When I was on Tamoxifen there were too many days I told her "not today... I'm too tired." Too many days I had to cut our walks short with a "my muscles are cramping up." Too many excuses to get out of living.
I want to live for this. Deliberately.
I need to be conscious the next 4 years. I need to grow my business and/or find a new business to grow so I can support myself and plan for my future. I also have a dog to take care of now too. I have plans. I want to travel. I have masterpieces to create. I have people to help and love to give. I need a clear head and energy to live.
I have a lot of living to do still. I'm not done yet. I guess that deep down, I have already made my decision. I am just dreading meeting with my doctor again and telling him. How do you explain all this to someone who hasn't walked in your shoes? Who isn't living the life you want to live? Someone who only looks at numbers and statistics and drugs?
There are times, days, when I want to shout and cry "It's not fucking fair!" For doing this to me. For making me choose a (maybe) longer life or fully living life.
Fuck you Cancer. I hate you.