I had a visit with Dr. Welk, my plastic surgeon, today. Although I have another bandage (one of those tiny round ones), I received a great award today. I do not have to see him again until February 28th! I saw Dr. Lucas, my naturopath, last Friday. I am not scheduled to see her again until February 22nd! And my next mammogram and medical oncology appointments are not until next month! I do have other healthcare appointments, not to mention the fact that I am planning to start acupuncture to address the sleep and menopause symptoms, but I have to tell you that it is a huge boost to me for these appointments to slow down some. Since my screening mammogram on May 7th of this year, I have had 70 healthcare appointments, only two of which have been unrelated to my cancer treatment. Five of those visits included time in an operating room. (I’ve had six surgeries but two of them were done on the same day. If you think I’m cheating, both surgeries hurt like Hell and also remember that I’m counting my mastectomy, which required overnight hospitalization as one healthcare visit.)

Seventy appointments is a lot for a 7 1/2 month period of time. Some people call the kind of cancer that I have, “cancer light” because I did not do chemo or radiation. And believe me, I am incredibly grateful to have skipped chemotherapy and hope to avoid it altogether in my life. I am here to tell you that there’s no such thing as “cancer light.” I’ve seen a couple of women’s blogs where they were apologizing for complaining about the inconvenience of cancer treatment because “other women have it much worse.”  This reminds me of one of the mom’s of my patients. She said, “This has been a really hard summer.” I said, “Yes, it has.” Then she apologized for complaining since I had been in cancer treatment all summer. I told her, “You don’t have to have the shittiest summer to have a shitty summer. You definitely had a shitty summer.” (I don’t normally curse but with some folks it introduces humor.)  So I may have “cancer light” but it’s still shitty.

How did I get on this tangent? Back to my story. Hooray, hooray, hooray! I have fewer doctors’ appointments for awhile! I have none at all during Christmas and New Years’ weeks!