Essay Non-Fiction posted June 26, 2011 Chapters:  ...4 5 -6- 

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A cancer update.

A chapter in the book Breast Cancer Journey

Cured of Cancer?

by barbara.wilkey

June 26, 2011

Many of you have asked how I'm doing, so I thought it's time to do another cancer update. After the surgeons chopped me up, two breast surgeries, and my oncologist injected me with poison, chemotherapy, for twenty weeks, and finally my radiologist set me on fire, radiation therapy, five days a week for six weeks, I looked forward to hearing the words, "You're cured." After all, I went through this so I'd be cancer free.

On June 17, I went to my radiologist for my one month check-up. She said I was doing very well. The new growth of skin looked good and the burning sensation under my right arm should stop in about a month. I should just keep doing what I'm doing. GREAT!!! I went home and marked my calendar, July 17 no more pain under right arm.

No words indicating I was cured. I decided that may not be her area of expertise. After all, she did set me on fire. I'll wait for my oncologist.

June 23, I met with my oncologist. I bared my breast for him, eager for him to tell me I was cured. He told me I was doing well, but they needed more blood work done, my vitamin D level was a little low. I'm positive this man supports a colony of vampires. I agreed to have more blood drawn.

He also mentioned studies show the reoccurrence of cancer is lower for those who exercised 150 minutes a week. I can handle two and a half hours a week. He hasn't answered my question.

"Am I cured?" I finally blurted out.

His eyes met mine as he said, "I can't answer that question. It doesn't work that way with cancer. If you die at 100 from a heart attack, you were cured of cancer. If you die at 100 from cancer, you were in remission."

Now I know why there's security posted around hospitals. After I considered doing him bodily harm, I decided to get ice cream.

This journey through cancer has not been easy. It seems to be a private journey for each person. My hair is very short, but is growing back. My fingernails are starting to resemble fingernails again. I have mentioned before that for me the fatigue was the hardest part. I'm still working on getting my energy level where it used to be. Radiation therapy was more difficult than for most people. I was told after chemo it would be a breeze. It wasn't because I had a severe reaction to it.

Now I feel cheated because after going through the treatments, I expected to be cured. I guess now I adjust to spending the rest of my life with the fear that someday cancer may rear its ugly head.

I'm positive with God's help I can manage that. During the times I fall short, he will be there to lift me up and wrap his comforting arms around me.


Thank you for your concerns and support. I appreciate all of you.
I also don't understand what my oncologist's problem is. 100 years old? I plan on living to 115.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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