Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"you took my joy, i want it back! you took my joy, i want it back." by lucinda williams

that is pretty much the way that i am feeling right now. and have felt, really, since i lost my butterfly. and of course, since i lost my breasts. i took this picture for " the Truth about thyroid cancer". as i recall, those of us who have had  thyroid cancer have about a 30% chance of having another primary cancer. the percentage may be more or less than 30%- i have seen it all over the place, but 30% seems about right to me. i had a skin cancer removed from my leg ( squamous cell) about a year after having thyroid cancer. i did not make a big deal about my skin cancer - all i had to have done was just the surgical removal of the cancerous growth. no chemotherapy this time, but i did have to change my dermatology appointments from once yearly to twice a year. hind sight is always 20/20 as they say, but that should have gotten my attention. would i have done anything differently? perhaps. i was on a very low dose estrogen/progesterone regiment for menopausal symptoms. while i do not believe, after a lot of research on my part, that the hormonal therapy alone caused  my breast cancer, i think that the tendency to have another primary cancer, and the fact that hormonal therapy has been proven to speed things along if you have a predisposition to breast cancer, would most likely have caused me to stop the hormones.

at the end of next month, it will be a year since my last round of chemotherapy. honestly,  it has been a hard couple of years for me. going through the chemotherapy, mastectomy surgery, reconstruction surgery and having to take  the anti-estrogen drug that i will be on for the next  ten years have taken quite a bit out of me. i often wonder how much harder this has been since i also had the  thyroid cancer. some of the symptoms that i have had from the chemotherapy are symptoms that a patient with thyroid cancer has. you could say that it has been a double whammy for me!

after my treatment for breast cancer stopped, except for taking  the anti-estrogen drug of course, i was at a loss of what to do. holistic care was not offered in my small town. deciding that i needed some physical therapy for the lymphedema in my left arm, and getting one of my doctors to write an order for this, was one of the best decisions concerning my health care  that i have made. i have received valuable advice from my physical therapist. not only has she helped me with the lymphedema, but she has been working on my neck issues that most likely occurred after  my thyroid cancer surgery. we tend to forget that our body parts work together. losing the eleven lymph nodes in my neck certainly added on to the problems of losing the three in my left arm area. ( i will not bore you with the" highway analogy" again- although it is a very good one!)

an acquaintance  of mine recently passed away from cancer .when this happens, it  always makes me pause and take note of my life. am i doing all that i can to get healthy? do i have a good quality of life? am i doing what i want to be doing with what is left of my life? in other words, am i getting my joy back? so far the reviews are mixed. i am trying hard to get healthy, but more needs to be done. i am not sure how to get all of my joy back, but i am working on that,too. i am so fortunate to have wonderful family and friends who offer support, care and unconditional love.

the take away from this blog, i hope, is that others reading this will seriously consider what they need to do to be healthier and happier. do not wait for others to do it for you. do not expect your doctors to have all of the answers. get advice from all kinds of health care providers- doctors, physical therapists, even pharmacists, and make your best decisions on what is best for your good health care. i wish you luck, i wish you good health,  but most of all, i wish you JOY.  by the way, it is so nice to have hair again! ;)

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