The song Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence rings true, it was one of my Dad's favourite songs when it was released in 1996. 27 years ago...really? 27!
Maybe you're wondering what's been going on with this journey after life has returned to "normal". Time marches on quicker than ever. It's unbelievable how fast you can fall back into life routines.
Between work and travelling to Germany to visit our son it's hard to comprehend that it's nearly Christmas. The lack of snow doesn't help, the scenic winter wonderland has eluded North Central Alberta this year.
Europe was interesting. Paris was not a highlight for either my husband or myself not surprising since we are not city people. Augsburg where our son lives was spectacular. To walk the streets of Old Bavaria surrounded by history was something neither of us had experienced before. Stained glass in churches from 1100 AD and Roman Ruins isn't something I expected to see. It's truly humbling to walk around these places.
While taking the train from Paris to Augsburg I was overwhelmed by such deep gratitude. With so much uncertainty, this trip was not even a thought in August. To be physically there and visiting Europe was a gift. But it also doesn't take me long to start going stir-crazy lol. The weather wasn't great it waffled between rain, overcast and the odd sunny day. After being a tourist and eating out for the fiftieth time I start to itch for home.
The food and beer in Germany were phenomenal, I can say we would go back to Germany in a heartbeat. As excited as I was to leave for the trip, it's exactly how excited I am to go home near the end of it.
Back home and back working again I've enjoyed the good driving conditions along with mild temperatures.
Physically, I feel fantastic. It's wild for me to recognize how sick I felt before diagnosis. The unfortunate reality for perimenopausal women is half the signs and symptoms of breast cancer are also those for menopause.
The lack of energy or deep soul tired I felt for the past two years was confusing. Upon starting Tamoxifen the oncologist warned me that I could have severe joint pain, mental health challenges, fatigue and on and on.
Honestly, I know they have to inform you of the risks involved but I promise you many women go home to wait for it to happen. The power of the spoken word from medical professionals wields a lot of influence. In my mind, I just believed that it was a non-issue. I would start taking it and continue with life. That's basically what has happened.
The pharmacist from the Cross Cancer Institute phoned for a follow-up check-in. As I was lying on the physiotherapist's table she asked all the questions regarding symptoms. Hot flashes? No worse than prior. Depression? Nope. Joint Pain? No worse than I've had in life and it's improved. She finishes the consult and says well it sounds like you are doing great I won't contact you again.
What I do have remaining from surgery is cording. Cording I believe is caused by scar tissue adhering down to the fascia not allowing the connective tissue to move freely. I've been going weekly for scar manipulation at Leading Edge Physio Cancer Center.
At this point, I have no mobility issues and no pain with it so next week will be my last appointment. Christy agrees that this is probably the best it will get. However, they are known to also disappear over time. It's not something that I am concerned about interfering with my quality of life.
How strong I feel lately is unbelievable and so welcomed. Building up my strength training routines again and being able to lift heavy makes me so happy. I feel like a machine. Sprinting on the treadmill at 9.0 mph, deadlifting nearly 100 lbs easily with no pain in my back, pullups, pushups you name it I am doing it. What a gift!
I find it ironic that when one is thriving after cancer surgery there's no follow-up on what that person is doing. It must just be luck. Of course...
Since my surgery, I have incorporated improved nutrition protocols and lost 13 lbs. I go for Vitamin C IV treatments once a month. Along with ice baths 3-4 times a week, a new addition to my routine has been an infrared sauna 4-5 times a week. Mobility work, flossing of my knee joints and getting back into running have me feeling like I did in my 30s. I am so grateful to have my physical health back.
Even with the peri-menopause train kicking in full force on Tamoxifen life is thriving. Other than having a touch of the cold virus making its rounds right now my energy levels are great. Life is good, if you're human there are ups and downs no matter what but I can say I love my life, love the people in my life and I'm excited to wake up each day!
Waiting for my 6-month Breast MRI appointment will be the next step forward. I require one every six months for the next year or so. The head game currently is working out hard again I have pain in that breast but logically I tell myself that it is from working out. Except the last time that wasn't the case...
But I don't stay here long in my brain, I remind myself I'm cancer-free because words are powerful!
Whether you've had cancer or you just feel stuck in life right now. The only way out is forward movement. Change something, one small thing. It might be painful and hard but being stuck is way way harder.
Sending You Love N' SUP,