Category Archives: (1) Learning about the disease

When do I get to say, I had breast cancer?

So I did it. Yesterday, on my birthday of all days, I started taking tamoxifen. This is a medication that blocks your body’s production of estrogen – which is what was feeding my cancer. It is interesting, as the information package talks about how the medication is used to treat breast cancer. It is used to… Read More »

Driving and a glass of wine

Today marks a transition. I’ve been off the narcotic pain meds for over 24 hours, and I’m not feeling any sense of apprehension about movement in my upper body. As far as the plastic surgeon is concerned, my breast flaps have healed (the skin/scars need work, but the flaps themselves are fine). With full motion… Read More »

Breasts that aren’t breasts

Over the last couple of days I’ve been reflecting on how I now have breasts that aren’t breasts. It is an odd thing really. They look like breasts. To the external toucher, they feel like breasts (or so my husband tells me). The nipples don’t react to anything, because at the moment they don’t have… Read More »

Everything yet nothing is cancer

At this stage every ache causes me to question, then dismiss cancer. My first thought is, is this cancer? Has it spread … and then my logical brain jumps in and says no, this is not cancer … so in some ways, everything feels like cancer, yet nothing feels like cancer. I did get some… Read More »

Debridement and a rest day

Spell checkers hate the word debride. It seems that ‘debridement of a wound’ is the correct spelling, but debride by itself is not. I also tried debreed – that too does not show up as a word. Too bad it is a real thing! After finding out that my plastic surgeon would have preferred the… Read More »

Celebrating my boob job and cancer language

Several women in the breast cancer blogosphere have commented on how inappropriate it is to say to someone with breast cancer that “at least you get a free boob job” or any variant thereof (see Reconstruction after breast cancer: It’s not a boob job). I agree. If you have never had breast cancer, you really… Read More »

lightening up …

It may not seem like much, but today marks an important transition in my healing. It has been four weeks since my surgery, and the first time since my last surgery (November 19) my breasts don’t feel heavy!  They feel like they are starting to soften up (a hard spot that was there yesterday isn’t… Read More »

Ups and Downs

Healing is full of ups and downs. One day you are doing really well, and then then next, not so much. Saturday I really over did it. I walked over 5km, then went to two support groups (so sitting for 4 hours). To top that off, I tried to taper my overnight pain meds …… Read More »

A small cup of coffee

I am reminded that recovery is slow. Although I was happy to announce the end of active treatment, I still need to recover from that treatment. I was lucky in that I only had two surgeries. Many women go through this process with a lot more surgeries a lot further spread out – such that… Read More »

The end of active treatment …

Emotions flood over me in waves. Whenever I think about it, I cannot stop crying. It has been a roller coaster of a journey, and it is now officially over! What do I mean? As of Dec 17th, I’m cancer free. The double mastectomy removed the last bits of cancer from my breasts. The pathology… Read More »