When I was diagnosed in March 2017, I calculated that worst case scenario, my treatment would end sometime around Christmas. All year I said “I’m leaving this in 2017, I’m leaving this in 2017”. Well, treatment ended on 1/2/2018 😂 Seems fitting that treatment would extend one business day into the new year, teaching me once again to not have expectations. But I’m done! And that’s what matters. 16 rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy, 30 rounds of radiation are now behind me.
People have been asking me a lot “What’s next? Are you done?” I’ll tell you what I assume to be next. When I go to my follow ups later this month, I imagine scans will be ordered, if and when those come back clear I’ll be in remission. Of course I do have to still get a hormone blocking injection once a month for 2 years, and take a daily hormone blocking medication for 10 years, but active, invasive treatment is done.
Where things are a little fuzzy for me is, can they definitively tell me that I’m in remission? If every lymph node they removed at surgery still had cancer in it, and they’re not biopsing that area again, how can they be sure it’s gone? I imagine that they can’t, which is why people aren’t considered cancer free anymore. At least for a long time. Which is why they monitor you with scans every 3-6 months for years and years to see if it in fact has travelled.
I feel very confident that I am in remission, but I have felt very confident before. I try to not dwell on the information from my oncologist, that 45% of people with my type of cancer come out of radiation in remission. 45% isn’t a statistic I like to hear, but who’s to say that I’m a statistic, or that if I am I can’t be on the good side of that number. I certainly can be. And my radiology oncologist said very confidently he felt I was curable, so I’m just going with that 💪🎀