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Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Fresh Hell is This?!

I have wanted to use this great Dorothy Parker quote for a long time, and indeed now have the most appropriate of reasons: in July I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And so it all began- a major detour on my life's journey, to use an obvious cliche which really does fit. I consider it a detour, not the end of the journey. And from all I've read, attitude is everything.

I'll spare you all the details, trials and tribulations, but will say that this disease is unpredictable in most instances and for me, as others, provokes the big question of "Why me?".  I will never know. But I do know that had I done regular, proper self-exams I would probably have caught it much earlier than I did. Even if you get annual mammograms, a lump can show up in the twelve months between scans. It's pretty well agreed that the earlier it is found, the better the prognosis. So I hope my lady friends will take heed of this and give serious thought to those exams.

Breast cancers wear many faces, so to speak. It is a complex issue and each woman's options can be very different. My tumor was excised and the prognosis is fairly good. I chose to not have chemotherapy, but am able to make use of the multi-year anti-estrogen medications recently developed. Recovery from the surgery has been slower than expected, but has been aided considerably by the support of my husband and good friends here and abroad. I am now feeling well and have begun an exercise program, along with some dietary changes. I hope to soon make use of hypnosis and meditation to further my healing and keep any possible metastases at bay. I don't pretend to have all the answers, or even assume I've made all the right decisions, but I've dug through vast amounts of information, some good, some not so good, considered various doctors' advice and come up with what I'm comfortable with. Life is good and I intend to keep it that way!