And you know, I had somehow been in a bubble post surgery, like now that it was out of my body, I was done. Even though I knew radiation was coming and the hormone blocker was coming, I had convinced myself it was kinda over.And then the appointment to talk about radiation happened and the next day the sitting in the oncologists office for hours happened (which I find emotionally exhausting and so so sad) and the talk about Tamaxofen. I will be on this estrogen blocker for 5 years. And the list of side effects are almost the same as chemo! Not the fatigue, but joint pain, swelling of hands and feet, hot flashes. FUCK. I really wanted to be done. I came home and I cried and had a mini meltdown and I was really bummed out and defeated for a few days. So in a fit of rebellion, I waited three days to fill my prescription, but I did start it. And you know what? it's not bad at all. My hot flashes are a bit "hotter", I'm having night sweats a bit and some joint pain in my elbows and fingers to compliment my already aching hips and lower back. Incidentally, the doctor ordered another bone scan, just to be sure it's not bone "mets". But not until I get back from seeing my Mom in B.C.
And there was a fantastic 10 days, with my Mom and me and Jake on Cortez. I started feeling better about everything. It seemed far away, in another life. And I was taken care of in that way only Moms can do. There was wine and silly movies and laughter. Just what I needed. It was rainy and foggy and windy and chilly, but I'm glad it was. You see because the last few visits have been in the Summer, I had created this idealized version of the West Coast in my head, like it was always warm, there was lots of sun and I did feel like I wanted to move back. But then the winter weather and being on Cortez at this time of years kind of put it in perspective. The low clouds for days, the damp, the wind. Of course all the extra people from the summer have gone home and there are really only the die hard Islanders there, with their quirks and strange fashion (not you Mom, you Rock). I remembered then, what it was like as a kid, spending the winters there. I had a reality check, and it was good. We got to spend an awesome day with my Dad in Campbell River visiting and then the next day we flew home.
I came home on the Saturday, and Monday I had the bone scan. I still can't get over the imagery of my skeleton on the screen when they are scanning you! (I am going to request the pictures for myself so I can use them in a project I'm thinking up) and Wednesday, I had another appointment with my Oncologist to discuss the scan and talk about how the Tamaxofen is going. I didn't have to wait long in the waiting room, and the appointment was the best one I've had since April 19th. He said, there are no signs of any cancer in my bones and that the aching is probably my muscles. Which i already knew since the day after my last appointment, I did a yoga class and all the pain went away! He said we were pretty much done, he needs to see me in 6 months to see where my ovaries are at (lol). You see Chemo stopped my periods, and kicked me into menopause, and because of my age, and the fact that I was probably already in peri menopause, it might be permanent, so we have to wait until we are sure all the chemo is gone from my system and everything has settled down a bit. If this is the case, then I will be switched to a different drug, one that, I think, has less side effects. BUT, this moment was awesome! the realization that I don't have to come back! The Oncologist and my cancer are not the orchestrators of my life any more!!!! I envisioned walking through a huge set of carved doors into the next part of my life. Full colour, full sound.
And so. Here I am. Alive. And carrying on. It's going to be ok. I am heading into 5 weeks of radiation now, but from what I hear it's a nothing on the cancer-o-meter and I'm ready. I will try and keep blogging here to let you folks know what up, but I will be starting a Patreon page soon, where I think the blogging and posting will happen. Plus, you can subscribe on my page and help support my art making! My goal is to be able to be an artist and work in/from my home. It's time to focus on the things that make me happy, and art is one of them, so here I go!! I love you all. Thank you for reading and commenting and being the awesome people that you are. I could not have done it without you.