One year after my Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Well it is just over one year after my Breast Cancer diagnosis so I thought I’d update you with how things have been going for me.
It’s been a long year but despite the obvious hard times, it’s been the best year of my life for so many reasons.
I had my annual ultrasound and mammogram last week and the results were…all clear! No sign of breast cancer at all – hurray! I didn’t expect there to be any, I was confident that the cancer was removed during the lumpectomy and hadn’t spread.
Of course there is always a chance that it could reoccur but I’m doing everything I can to not focus on that and live my life.
Here’s a bit of an overall update on how things are, 1 year on:
Chemo finished in mid-May. I actually had my last 2 sessions cancelled altogether as the peripheral nerve damage to my hands and feet was getting to the point of worrying both me and my Oncologist. It started as pins and needles, which is very normal, but then began to affect my balance and the numbness in my fingertips was affecting my ability to type.
Being a Writer, typing is an essential part of making a living for me and we decided that having a good quality of life post-chemo was too important to risk having any more sessions. Cancelling the final two did not concern her or me. I certainly felt physically like I’d had more than enough!
So three months since I finished treatment, I still have some pins and needles every day and still wobble a bit when I stand up first thing in the morning or if I’ve sat down for a long time but it isn’t anything like it was. I expect this to last for a while, possibly forever, but if that’s the only damage I’ve come away with, I’m good with that.
Let’s talk hair!
So, mid-May, I was almost completely bald apart from a few wispy white hairs coming through – very nice!
Since then, and at a painfully slow pace, my hair has started to grow back in and I’ve actually had two mini haircuts to make it look like more of a pixie style since then. My hairdresser, Hailey, is wonderful and is going to keep cutting it in a way so that it grows into a short bob. I can’t imagine having long hair every again – I mean, I don’t want to. The thought of having hair resting on the back of my neck freaks me out. How weird is that given that I had elbow length hair for so many years!
I wish it was growing faster. Every day I race to the mirror hoping the short bob has finally appeared and every day I’m disappointed. Hey ho. Anyone have any tips to make hair grow faster?
Eyelashes and Eyebrows
Well these grew back in quite quickly! My eyelashes were particularly lovely and long. And then all the little fekkers fell out again, every last one.
My eyebrows also thinned and I had to start drawing those in again. Chemo really is the shitty gift that keeps on giving!
They’re now back though and I’m back to considering sellotaping them on – what do you think?
I did read that they might all fall out a few more times every few months so it wasn’t unexpected but when you start to look like yourself again and then they fall out and you look ‘ill’ because of it, it’s upsetting. Enough of that though, those b*tches are back and I’m happy about it!
This is a funny one really.
I feel pretty AMAZING. It definitely feels like all of the chemo has left my system now and I feel brilliant compared to how I did 6 months ago.
I still get tired sometimes and my fitness level is zero (I’ve finally started exercising though). I also keep picking up colds and bugs from the kids but on the whole, I feel like a new person.
During treatment, I was hospitalised a few times for having dangerously low neutropenic levels. Probably the scariest times of my life where each time I thought I might possibly not make it through.
My immune system took a total beating during chemo and it’s taking some time to recover but I’ve started taking Probiotics from Life-Space to rebuild it – they very kindly are giving me a 6 month supply of them after hearing about my treatment.
One thing that has become so obvious to me is that I need to look after my well-being and stay healthy not only for me but also for my family. I want to be a strong and healthy role model for my children.
So I’m looking forward to feeling the effects of the probiotics and the exercise combined with a bit more hair! I just want to feel as good on the inside and outside as I do in my mind.
Finished treatment for cancer is a huge milestone in itself. It’s a tough journey and one I hope to never travel again.
I don’t look like ‘me’ any more. Even when my hair grows back in, I’ll never be ‘me’ again. I like the new ‘me’ though.
Now I embrace life differently. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Now I love harder, laugh louder and make the most of every opportunity I get.
I will rebuild my life from the inside out in a healthy, positive and meaningful way.
Thank you so much for all of your lovely messages of support over the past year. They lift me up and keep me going.
Love from Mim x x x
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- One year after my Breast Cancer diagnosis
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