So, I seem to be getting more hair on my head… It’s still more fuzz-like than regular hair. And up top seems to be slow to repopulate… perhaps I will continue to look like my dad, or a monk. Meanwhile I have lost more eyebrows and eyelashes. Last time I took inventory I had one eyelash on my right upper lid. Shall I put some mascara on it? Lol! Some of you have heard me say this, but I think I look more like a cancer patient now than I did during chemo!
My appointment with my oncologist went very well last week. My labs are ALL normal. Normal red and white blood cell counts. Normal chemistries. I’m all clear for getting my port removed and for returning to work full time. My energy level feels pretty close to normal too! (Something about not being anemic and not having chemo drugs in my system probably have a lot to do with that!)
Here are a few things my oncologist told me: With this triple negative high grade cancer (like what I had) there is a 30% chance of recurrence in the first 3-5 years with just a mastectomy, but only about a 10% chance of recurrence in the first 3-5 years with chemo too (that’s why we did chemo!). Also with this type of cancer the risk of recurrence after 5 years is really small – I think she said less than 1% … but my chemo brain may have supplied that number.
I asked her what I can DO to decrease chances of recurrence, and she told me about a fairly big study that showed that women with triple negative cancer reduced recurrence risk by 42% with a combo of a low fat diet and 30+ minutes per day of exercise. (Chlebowski RT, Blackburn GL, Elashoff RE, et al. Dietary fat reduction in postmenopausal women with primary breast cancer: phase III Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS). J Clin Oncol. 2005;23(16S):10.) Wow! So I’m working on doing the low-fat thing. And I plan to go back to boot camp when summer session starts on June 17! Maybe this blog will morph into a blog about the low-fat and exercise life… or not.
Poop report: I’ve been eating a lot more fruits and veggies in the last week, so OH BOY … I’m not going to describe the pooping, but you can probably guess, LOL! (and no photos either, haha!)
I’ve been back at work full time, scanning kiddos and doing my administrative stuff. I find it energizing to be with people and to be doing the work that I love. Maybe I am a little tired at the end of the day – my first clue is that I’m not having ANY trouble falling asleep. Still, I’d rather be tired by a good hard day at work than by weird meds in me.
Oh and one more fun tidbit before I sign off… I went to the ophthalmologist earlier this week for my yearly eye exam. My eyes are great – barely any change. … AND she can see the starts of lots of tiny eyelashes! She says that in about two months I’ll be back to normal, eyelash-wise.
Now that the weather has warmed up, I’ve changed from cozy knit hats to bandanas. I found a reasonable variety at Big 5. So here I am, looking like a cancer patient, and feeling really great!