I’ll be quick because this way I update both of my parents on how my quarterly visit with my oncologist went with out calling either one, since they’ll both fuss over the fact that my voice still sounds like hell. I’m actually feeling much better from the cold that knocked me out late last week, but I’m still pretty tired.
I actually ended up having two appointments, one with the nutrition department at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the other with my doc. The former was significantly longer than the latter, and the main things we can away with was that I should cut back on milk (no more 24 ounce iced latte every morning) as there can be estrogen in milk (you know, since it’s MILK) and I need to try to eliminate “soy protein isolates.” I can eat edamame, even tofu, but since my cancer was hormone positive, it’s better to stay away from processed soy. Which doesn’t SEEM like such a hard thing to do, but it’s a cheap protein that gets added in to a lot of things like Cliff Bars and the like, which my boys love to have around the house.
This is not to say that they or even YOU need to cut back on these things. Unless you also had ER+ PR+ cancer.
For my doc, I had a question from almost every member of the family.
From Mom- when will we do any CT or PET scans to make sure I’m clear. The answer- we won’t unless I have symptoms that suggest that I should.
From the Sidekick- what can we do about sleep. He’s tired of me waking him up at 3a every single day, or being up for hours after he falls asleep. When the doc asked, “are you having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?” my answer was, “Yes.” We’re going to try melatonin for a little while to see if it helps. I wanted to get it cleared first, since I have to quit my AM latte because of hormones, I figure it’s best to check. If melatonin doesn’t work, we’ll start to work on some of the less natural solutions. Since I haven’t had more than a few full nights of sleep since last summer, I’m ready to try whatever.
From my little man- did I get treated with monoclonal antibodies? The answer was no, because that’s not what was indicated by my cancer, but the story goes a little further. My doctor was most interested in hearing what my son’s question would be, because he was one child who really stuck out in his mind. He said he can’t wait until he can get his hands on my kid as a researcher, since last summer, when I found the lump the same week he turned 9, he was planning to cure cancer some day. When I told him what the doctor said, he was SO proud.
(Total tangent- but if your kids like science at all, I totally recommend the Basher series. This one on Extreme Biology is where he learned about monoclonal antibodies and then he was telling me about Pharming.)
All in all, medically I’m doing great. Dr. Gadi ask how I’m feeling, and I told him that physically, I’m doing great. There are a couple of side effects of Tamoxifen that I’m less than fond of, but it’s doing its job. Evidently we keep waiting, and if my period does not come back in one year (so Jan 2014) then I’m officially in menopause.
Emotionally, I admitted, it’s been harder. There’s nothing to fight anymore, so it’s a little anticlimactic. People keep asking if I like my new boobs. I still hate them. The swelling is going down, and they don’t hurt unless I over do it, but I have a hard time accepting them.
So he referred me to a young survivors group with a pretty active local chapter. So that I can talk to someone else, in person, who is also trying to work, and raise a kid, and keep moving forward. I’ll see where I can fit that in, but I think it may help. I’m not willing to let today’s version of normal become my “new normal.”
I expect tomorrow’s normal to be even better, damn it. And as always, the only one who can get me there is me.