I found myself referring to my cancer diagnosis the other day, and I had to think for a moment as to how long it has been since I was diagnosed. It is nearly 4 years to the day that I was told I had to have a mastectomy.
Hold on. 4 years. How? I mean, really - how?
Is it a good thing that time is passing so quickly? I really don't know whether it is or not.
The fact that I find it hard to remember the exact date I got my diagnosis is clearly a good thing - the blurring of these sorts of details is to be encouraged, but everything seems to be speeding by in a blur, which is definitely scary.
In fairness, I don't think that this phenomenon is restricted to us cancer patients - all of my friends complain of the same thing. Perhaps it is age/job/children/life related? We're all grown ups now, and there is constantly work to do of some sort or other, be it catching up on work emails, housework, homework (1 set for each of the urchins) and in my case, farm work as well.
I had my annual check up with the lovely Mr Pain at the end of July, which all went well. This included the most thorough mammogram of my life so far, which also came back clear, thank goodness.
I've also had my post op check up with the Gynae dept and they seem happy with me which is all to the good. The nurse did get a couple of sarcastic comments from me though when she asked whether I have had any menopausal symptoms - I mean, I've been on Tamoxifen and getting hot flushes for nearly 3 years, and was on Zoladex for nearly 12 months so signs of the menopause aren't exactly new for me. I don't think that things are much worse, for which I am very grateful. Admittedly I do on occasion feel like I'm about to burst into flames, but that is normal isn't it? ;-)
Anyway, what else has been happening? I had a fab couple of days down in London - a treat to myself, at the end of July which was amazing. I did something amazing as well at the same time - not sure if I am brave enough to share yet, but perhaps in time. I will have to leave you in suspense for now! Either way, it was nice to get away and have a bit of sleep!
All is fairly quiet on the cancer front really, but I say that with fingers and toes tightly crossed.
One of the downsides of time passing is the fear that the forward momentum of time brings me closer to a repeat diagnosis. I don't want to, and in fact, I don't think about it all the time, but at this time of year the memories do come flooding back, even if they are a bit blurry.
The more I read up about breast cancer, the scarier it is. Despite the fact that many people think of me as being in remission, it is more of a case of there being NED - no evidence of disease which, does rather lurk at the edges of my vision on occasion. There's also a lot of new research about now, regarding types of cancer and the probability of recurrence, and I am as always torn between reading up about it so that I am aware and on guard, and being slightly more in denial which, we all know is a much more comfortable place to be.
Silly things make me scared.
For instance, I bought my niece presents for her 18th birthday today, and Isobel - my eldest was with me. The sudden realisation that I might not be alive to do this for Isobel (let alone Jack, who is 2 yrs her junior) was utterly terrifying and I still haven't shaken it off.
I need time to slow down. There is a LOT that I want to do and I need the time to do it - decades, not just a few years.
It is just as well I have a half marathon or three (yes, three!) to train for - at least this gives me something else other than children, work, and the farm to focus on.
I'm not sure how to sign off this time - I really came here for a ramble/head emptying session which I think has worked. There's only so much I can burden my husband, wonderful though he is, with and friends assume these days that my brain is dealing with things. Not that they wouldn't talk about my fears if I wanted to, but to be honest it is easier not to talk about it to people in real life - it does change how people look at you, that's for sure.
So I think I'll sign off by saying that I hope you, whoever and wherever you are, are having a great summer. Enjoy every moment you can - I'm certainly trying to.