I got a bit lazy keeping the blog up to date before my surgery ... here's a quick recap of the rest of the year
Chemotherapy February - August, 2014 See the 2014 blog for details from diagnosis through completing 6 months of chemo. We also got married twice in 2014; Feb in Minneapolis, MN & August in Monroe, WA. Plenty of pictures on the blog =)
Surgery September, 2014 Surgery was pretty uneventful. Dr. Tjoe was able to get clear margins on the tumor. Adios Vlad!
Radiation November & December, 2014 After surgery I went through 7 weeks of Radiation. A new routine. New Aurora family taking great care of me. 5 days a week I was at the hospital getting radiation treatment. It became my new daily routine. I experienced normal side effects from the radiation; burning of skin, fatigue, etc. I also experienced some abnormal pain in my back and neck, which can only be explained as aggravating old sports injuries. I ended the year sleep deprived in muscle relaxers and pain killers. Then as oddly as the pain came, it left just after New Years. I was so happy to get off the pain meds.
Tamoxifen Christmas Day 2014 I started a daily hormone therapy, Tamoxifen. For woman like me, it's meant to block estrogen that fuels my cancer.
New Normal Something I never seem to have the proper words to describe is how weird it is to find your new normal after treatment is done. For me, I spent 11 months at the hospital focused on my treatment. I was with my clinical team weekly, if not daily. The hospital staff became our newly adopted family ... valets, registration clerks, nurses and doctors imaging, breast surgery, oncology, radiation, etc. As you complete treatment, you celebrate the completion of your treatment (in my case the triathlon of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation). As you settle back into life having 'beat cancer' you finally have the ability to step back and see what you've been through ... how your perspective on life and your place in it has changed. You also experience this very weird loss that you aren't at the hospital all the time. I ended 2014 celebrating being "cancer free" and being thankful for making it through a very challenging 2014. I also welcomed 2015 with open arms and was excited to see what my 'New Normal' would be ...