For my blog entries back to 2007, click on "View my complete profile," scroll down, and click on "How did I do that?" (It's about my first bout of breast cancer.)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Half a year later, an update!

Front yard from our bedroom window. You can almost see things grow this time of year.

Now and then I check the Feedjit gadget showing how many people are still looking at this blog. It amazes me, since my last entry was half a year ago.

The least I can do is give you an update on the cancer thing.

March, April and May will remain in memory as a time that went from darkness to light.

What appeared on a CT scan in March to be a torso dotted with cancer turned out to be cracked and broken ribs -- both front and back -- all on the left side where they zapped me with radiation in 2007 and again in 2011.

During the ensuing week of clinic visits and various added scans, someone (finally) suggested I see the Wound Care Clinic about the open sore (by then 18 months old) in my scar line. This, too, remained as part of the aftermath of second-degree burns from 2011's radiation.

Seven weeks of special potions and dressing improved the open sore -- and by the time I was allowed audience with a plastic surgeon, I knew I wasn't about to let anyone cut me. Good enough is good enough. The plastics guy agreed I wasn't a candidate for a skin graft.

Before I learned about my fragile ribs, I'd been going to the Y five or six times a week. Not only was I trying to regain upper-body strength, I was trying to lose the 15 pounds still hanging around after my last treatment and hoping to improve my energy and level of happiness.

When Oncology diagnosed the fragile ribs, Dr. G. expected I'd be thrilled. Not cancer, after all. Instead, I pouted. I'd been ready to hear I was riddled with cancer, but not ready to hear I'd have to stop my upper-body workouts and attempts to lose the weight.  Dr. G. lightheartedly told me not to hug anyone, use any of the muscles attached to my left rib cage, and "certainly, don't fall or have any kind of accident."  This wasn't the first time I'd wanted to slap his smiling face.

Eventually I stopped pouting. At the Y, I concentrated only on aerobics on the elliptical trainer. I began counting calories ( really helped). I solved the energy/depression problem as best I could with more drugs. I abandoned my hope of being able to go bra-less and instead began wearing tight binding over my scars 24/7 as a means to achieve comfort around my torso from too many surgeries and not enough skin.

The darkness started to fade about a month ago when I came to a place of finally accepting what is (again).

Coincidentally (?), perennial gardening started around the same time.

I've lost about half the weight I so abhorred.

For the past few days, I haven't had to take what Greg calls my "speed" in order to get through the day.

All's well that ends well. I wish I knew for certain that this is the end of cancer treatment for me. In the meantime, most days it doesn't occur to me that there might be a third time and I find moments of bliss returning.

There's always hope.

Thanks for checking in!


  1. So good to see you write on the blog again and hear you've found some lightness! The pictures are lovely. Cyber HUGS don't hurt, Love to you! Deb

  2. You are the peachy-est peach of them all. Love you...


  3. Thanks for posts to fb became more infrequent, I have been wondering! I am thankful for you, your courage, and our connection. More CyberHus coming your way!

  4. Thinking of you, Mary! Hope is good. . . .

    I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. . .

    Dalai Lama



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