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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Happy Birthday

It's my birthday today and I feel lucky. I've always loved the presents, well-wishers, and chocolate cake - but birthdays are way more important now.  No surprise, right?

A few weeks ago I had my last Zometa treatment. After 3 years of going every 6 weeks for an infusion and blood tests, I was released back into the wild. Sure, I'm still on massive doses of Tykerb and am on intimate terms with the famed Tykerb rash, but I got 2 days per month back. The day spent in the oncologist's office for my exam and infusion, and the one three days later, when I would feel like a truck ran over me. That's 2 days every six weeks that were "cancer days" instead of Andrea days.  Turns out,  those days start to matter. They matter ALOT. So I really can't be bothered fretting over the creases that are getting deeper every time I smile (can't really call them laugh lines anymore - more like laugh canyons), and the fact that no amount of watering seems to make that boob grow back. I'm going to take every good day that comes my way and milk it for all it's worth - and today is a good day!

Sure, I still feel insecure about my future. Those doctor's appointments, though draining, were also a reassurance every 6 weeks that I was ok.  That there'd been no change. No spike in tumor markers, no sign of anything new and ugly rearing its head. Those infusions, though occasionally debilitating, were also part of a treatment plan.  Many women feel a little lost when they end treatment.  It's a huge relief, but there's also that piece of you that wonders, "Now what?" Is it really safe for me to be out here on my own?

Of course I have that little voice in my head that says the farther out I get, the higher the risks. Today, though, I'm telling the voice to be quiet - that it's pretty much the way life is, right? The farther out you get - the riskier it seems.  But today's my birthday. So today, as I celebrate turning 45, I'm really celebrating. Come to think of it, I think I'll celebrate tomorrow, too.