I’ve been wondering lately if I’m considered a “breast cancer survivor” now and it appears I am. The National Cancer Institute defines a cancer survivor this way:
“An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also impacted by the survivorship experience and are therefore included.”
People often ask me if I’m in remission or cancer-free or even cured. Well there is no “cure” for breast cancer but the way it works is, right now I can say I have NED-no evidence of disease. Having said that, please know that statement doesn’t really allay any fears. When I get a headache now, thoughts creep in like brain cancer. And those thoughts lead to other thoughts like dying and my funeral (what songs do I want played and will people be crying?) and thoughts of all my stuff, and I think I should organize my stuff because someone’s going to have to go through it (do I have anything embarrassing anywhere?) And then I’m crying and feeling all dramatic. I know it’s macabre but that’s what I’m dealing with you guys.
I read that a sign of ovarian cancer can be frequent urination. Wait, am I peeing more? Should I keep track of my pee now? I went to the doctor last week because I felt like I was wheezing with a constant tickle in my throat. So for the two days I was waiting for my appointment I was thinking it could be lung cancer or thyroid cancer and then felt like a dipshit when I walked out with a prescription for Flonase. All I can hope for is that this state of constant hypochondria will ease up over time.
P.S. I came across this cool inspirational picture/sign/or whatever these things are called.