True Confessions – My third time with NED

After Cancer - Now What? — By on February 24, 2010 at 6:34 am

From After cancer, now what

I’ve just had my third time with NED and I couldn’t be happier. Well, mostly happier.br /
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My three year check up has come and gone and I am happy to report that following a chest x-ray, I have been declared to have No Evidence Of Disease, better know to us survivors as N.E.D.br /
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For me the days before a check up are difficult getting progressively worse as the appointment draws near. I have found that these appointments are actually harder to go to the further out I get from treatment and I think I’ve figured out why.br /
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When I first finished treatment three years ago (reluctantly mind you but that’s another post) I expected that the next time I was checked the cancer would be back. I was diagnosed with stage IIIA breast cancer at age 38 for cryin’ out loud, what did I really expect. I had made the mistake of pushing one of my doctors for a prognosis and I have never been able to get the answer out of my brain.br /
div style=”text-align: center;”span style=”font-size: large;”bnbsp;40 percent survival rate at 5 years/b/span /divbr /
Asking for a prognosis was the biggest mistake I made in my treatment and possibly the biggest I’ve made in my life. I had a huge tumor and loads of positive lymph nodes so I knew what the reality was but once I heard that number the world changed. My kids were 17 months and 5 years old and I had just been told that I had a 40 percent chance of seeing them finish elementary school, forget about graduating college. br /
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But as time passes I become a little less convinced that I am going to die of breast cancer. There’s where the problem lies. You see if I become less convinced that breast cancer is going to kill me then I have more to lose if it comes back. Emotionally that eats me up before appointments. But if I live as if this prognosis actually means something (which it doesn’t) then I may as well surrender.br /
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I have learned over time that a prognosis is one of the more useless bits of information you can receive because it is not iyour /iprognosis but simply an average. A prognosis doesn’t measure whether you are 85 with a bad heart when you start or whether you are 30 and a marathon runner. It does not take into account what kind of treatment you have or even if you refuse treatment altogether. br /
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My problem is that those words made their way into my head and I have yet to find the correct level of Xanax that allows me to drive and not have a breakdown at the oncologists office.br /
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But you know, if a breakdown every 6 months is what it takes to keep hanging out with NED I’ll take it.div class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/4713736175601908568-5925816488052335965?l=www.aftercancernowwhat.com’ alt=” //div
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