Last week, I had my biannual visit with my oncologist. I’ve been seeing him since I was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago. Though no one wants to ever they have cancer, one of the things I’ve appreciated is that in all my experience as the recipient of medical care, those who work in cancer treatment are especially more compassionate. I could be biased, but these professionals take extra care of the person.
What I love about my visits with my oncologist is that he consistently makes me feel like I’m doing something right. I think we all could use more of that. For each visit, I get bloodwork drawn after check-in…before I see the doctor. By the time I see him, he mostly has everything he needs to know from the bloodwork and vitals. But then there is also the qualitative data that he obtains from talking to me about how I’ve been.
Overall, my bloodwork is remarkable again…”all between the lines,” as he likes to say. The results of the cancer markers came a few days later, and all were normal. No one has ever described my bones the way he has (October was the first time I’ve done the bone density exam). He said my bones were strong (along with some other flourishing words of which I don’t remember). My mammogram was also clear. Win!!!
In June, he changed my cancer medication to accommodate my now post-menopausal body. It wasn’t long before I could tell body has been more achey and stiff. I’ve attempted to do more stretching to relieve it, but it’s the medication. I have a friend who has been taking it for years, and she has the same symptoms if not worse. However, her doctor hasn’t taken her off of it.
This medication is important, particularly because the type of breast cancer my friend and I had is fueled by hormones (estrogen and progesterone). The body still produces hormones after menopause. I told him about my painful symptoms and he listened. We discussed some options. He prescribed a different medication, which I haven’t picked up from the pharmacy yet. This is another win for me.
The light lesson for this post is to celebrate the wins no matter how small, big, or routine. As a high achieving person, I’m usually looking for ways to do more and be more, but I’m learning to be in the moment and appreciate this journey. These health wins remind me God has my back and I’m alright.
Cheers to this new week! Christmas is in 7 more days!