March 25, 2014

Ode to an onc

Holy macaroni. I am freaking out over something that might seem a little strange.

But once you have been diagnosed with a horrible disease your doctor is your best friend. If you do not totally trust this person than go find another one.

My oncologist takes his time. Which means you usually have to wait 30-45 minutes in the waiting room. No matter how sick, anxious or horrible I felt, he was there... making sense of everything. He carefully explained every question I googled. He took the time when I had long lists with crazy questions. He emailed me back when I forwarded him research material I found on silly websites. He called me back, even if it was around dinner time. Sometimes he even made me laugh!  

When I first came to see him with a bald head he told me I looked good and he meant it, because that's the type of guy he is. We talked about other things as well such as his family, my photography and art. I even showed him some of my photography and he loved it and thought I was well.. special. 

Yesterday I found out he's leaving for another job. An important job... But he won't be my onc anymore. I wanted to cry and hug him, but I didn't.

He gave me a compliment, because things weren't easy for me during such a long period of treatment. But he told me I am definitely a fighter. He also said it was a bit strange to say because he is a doctor and I am his patient, but he was proud of me. He told me he was happy that I am taking the Tamoxifen and the Zoladex. The last step of our treatment plan and that I should now mentally work things out. That I should focus on that.

He also said it was hard for him turning over his patients to another doctor. He already found his replacement and he said it was a long process of finding the right type of person. But he thought that I would get along with the newbie. Hopefully my next appointment won't be for a while though.

So we shook hands and I thanked him for everything and he knew I meant it.

March 22, 2014


I had a tough week. I realized I really am my own worst enemy. I am being so hard on myself. I need to let go of a lot of things. But I'm having a hard accepting my current life. Which is crazy. But let's talk about that another time.

Because I finished my chemo in April 2013 and started to document my hair growth on a monthly basis. So 12 months have passed... and I'm not really all that happy with the way my hair looks right now (it's the out of bed look, but worse... like an explosion). At the same time I treasure every hair on my head and I'm so happy to see that it looks like my natural curly/wavy is coming back. I just WISH it would grow faster. I think I'll be more happy with it in a few months.

I got rid of the hats somewhere between month 4 and 5. Picture 5 also shows the first time I dyed it again. Grey hairs gone. 

So here you have it 12 months of hair growth.

March 12, 2014

Who is in control

My psych told me to keep writing so here I am. Behind the keyboard.

It's been two weeks since I started my Tamoxifen/Zoladex trial. So far I have only experienced mood swings. Although I have to admit I've had those before I started this trial. So... I am not really sure where this is going. I tried to ignore all of this stuff and not think about it. But then I read a piece on fbook (darn internet) and I got all upset afterwards. Because most reactions weren't positive. All messages from women with horrible side effects. Even one that wrote her side effects started after three months. So now I'm not sure what to think of this anymore. My psych told me to integrate it with my life. Make it a part of my new life. I guess I just keep on going and when I reach a moment the side effects kick in and I can not handle it anymore; I know in the back of my mind I can always quit. But now that I have started... I feel like I have to do this. I want this. I want to be that positive voice that will be able to say okay Herceptin and chemo were hell on earth... but Tamoxifen/Zoladex... not so bad. I want to be that person. Please let me be that person.

I also had an appointment at work about me applying for official sick leave at the UWV. Which was tough. My brain can not cope with so much information at the same time. This guy kept going and going.. and all I could think about was how painful this is. I kept wondering if he understood that. So we have to collect all these different papers and fill them out next time. It's crazy. But I guess I have to be thankful my country has a safety net like that. I had a good talk afterwards with my boss though. I really explained some of the things I am going through right now.

One of my favorite authors came to my town and I got a signed copy of one of his books. At first I didn't want to go because I was afraid I couldn't stand in line for that long. Things like that make me really nervous. Places with lots of people. It's so totally out of my comfort zone right now. But I went anyway and it was good.

The weather has been spring like lately and I have been taking walks and feeding the ducks and swans. 

I have been drawing a lot in my art journal. A great outlet. Gives me more joy than photography right now.

Today I went shopping for new jeans (yes still weight loss) and ended up buying some cute spring clothes. Which I haven't done in ages. I was totally exhausted when I came home.

So these are good things. But I hate how the bad things always have the upper hand. How extremely tired I am. Fuck that shit. I am a 32 year old woman and I am so jealous when I see a person jogging with their iPhone. When I freak out over the smallest things. How I always have appointments scheduled at the hospital. A new mammogram is already scheduled for June. Then I read about a young girl's cancer returning. And it just breaks my heart. This horrible fucking disease I hate so much. It is always present and that makes me so sad.