Staying Alive

Having suffered from allergic reaction to dust mites in the van we rented for our outing which resulted in me getting puffy eyes, runny nose and itchy body, I remembered my ophthalmologist’s advice to go for visual fields test or perimetry in another eye care center. The doctor’s request was dated more than a year ago. There was no sense of urgency since it was just a routine check-up, I didn’t have any symptoms. It was just that my father had glaucoma then. I thought that was it. I thought I’d know right away if I have glaucoma after I get the results. However, after getting the results I realized only an ophthalmologist can understand it, which means I have to go back to my ophthalmologist.

For me, going to the doctor is a necessary evil I have to endure in order to stay well. Who enjoy seeing the doctors, from the dentist to the oncologist?

A few weeks ago, I went back to the Oncologist to show her my bone densitometry test as I was trying to switch to another anti-cancer drug, the side effect of which is osteoporosis. However, the results showed that I have osteopenia and it is not advisable to do so unless it is highly urgent for me to stop taking Tamoxifen which has an adverse effect on my uterine lining. I’m supposed to have graduated into the bi-annual check-ups after the quarterly, but the last breast ultrasound showed a new cyst in the right breast and it has to be monitored which means I’m going back to see her in two months time bringing with me the results of blood chemistry, ultrasound, mammogram, etc!

She did try to cheer me up, saying that soon I will be declared cancer-free as in December, is the 5th year anniversary of my mastectomy. I no longer believe in the term, as I’ve met many who have had recurrence even beyond 5-10 years! And watching out for my uterus and breast cyst, how can any doctor declare I’m cancer-free? And with so many body organs which are not being monitored, how can we be sure? Take for instance, my colon. I often hear from health shows that it is advisable at my age to go for colonoscopy even without feeling any symptoms. But I can’t find the time and courage to go for it yet. And I would be bothering some people to accompany me to the hospital.

Ever since I’ve had breast cancer, going to the doctors and diagnostic centers is just like going to the grocery, just to stay alive and well!

5 thoughts on “Staying Alive

  1. I agree that the term “cancer free” should go away. It makes far more sense to me to say “no evidence of current disease”.

    I would encourage you to go for the colon test. The worst part is the preparation beforehand. It does require someone to drive you home. A minor inconvenience compared to going through chemo again.

    Liked by 1 person

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