When you are a cancer patient, you are not necessarily healed yet after mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Especially if you are HER2 positive, as you go for 18 more cycles of Herceptin infusion and the accompanying routine 2D echo because it could affect the heart. Then there’s the 5 -year or is it now 10 years, of once-a-day dose of either Tamoxifen or Arrimedex or other aromatase inhibitors and their accompanying side effects. And so you are held in suspense after every major diagnostic test. And not to forget, watching out for the manifestations of lymphedema!
With all those considerations, it is hard to make long-time plans. It is really just like living one day at a time, from one diagnostic test to the other. You cannot make major purchases or decisions requiring much cash outflows as you don’t know what hospital expenses you will be subjected to again.
And those considerations are for my illness only! It is doubly trying to know that my sister who had been always at my side during my surgery and chemotherapy was herself operated on for a 7-inch cyst in the abdomen. Although her surgeon said it is most likely benign, I cannot help but feel distraught at the chances of the two of us having major illnesses, and the accompanying hardships and expenses!
Illnesseses are inevitable for people who have reached the age (50+) especially for those who didn’t have healthy lifestyles. So be prepared for them, and learn to be very patient while undergoing treatment. One day at a time, it will soon be over (my fingers are crossed).