Thursday, May 5, 2011

Buh-bye Dark Cloud

Annual doctor’s appointment & blood work: Normal
Annual eye exam: Normal and now eligible for LASIK
Annual retinal scan: Normal—no signs of side effects from the Tamoxifen
6-month oncology check-up: Normal
6-month dentist appointment: Normal
3-month Pap: Normal

It’s been a LONG time since I have had normal test results. I don’t know what to do with myself. I guess I’ll finish my Masters, focus on getting stronger and healthier and plan my wedding.

It is nice not having a dark cloud following me around anymore.

This time, when I went to visit my oncologist, Dr. David Heyer, I took Matt with me. It was important to me that he meets Dr. Heyer; after all he is the man who saved my life. If Matt is going to marry me, I want him to understand that this will always be my reality. We can’t ignore it, or hide from it … we need to face it head on … together.

Dr. Heyer: “If this is completely out of line, please tell me.”
me: I smiled knowing exactly where Dr. Heyer was headed.
Dr. Heyer: “Do you two intend to have children?”
me: Without hesitation I replied, “Yes.”
Dr. Heyer: “Four years ago when all of this began I never thought it would be a possibility for you to get pregnant. I was certain that with the amount of chemo we were giving you that I would push you into menopause permanently.”
me: I interrupted, “Right, but I only missed three months and started right back again consistently every 28 days.”
Dr. Heyer: “I know, and it’s pretty remarkable, even unheard of. Now, in the past people worried that when a woman got pregnant that change in hormones could cause cancer to return. I am telling you that this assumption is NOT true. Getting pregnant will not give you cancer.”
me: “OK.”
Dr. Heyer: “Also, a woman with breast cancer WITHOUT lymph node involvement runs a risk of getting cancer later in life, so there would be a long gap between the first and second diagnosis. However, a woman with breast cancer WITH lymph node involvement, like yours, runs a risk of getting cancer within the first couple of years of remission. So, once we get you past a certain point, we shouldn’t need to worry as much. But you and I have decided it’s never coming back, right? We’re done with this.”
me: “Right.”
Dr. Heyer: “Jennifer, I see absolutely no reason why you can’t get pregnant. You have surprised me and beaten the odds on everything else. However, I want you to finish the Tamoxifen … it’s essential that you have a full 5 years.”
me: “I understand. So, how soon after I’m off the Tamoxifen can I start trying?”
Dr. Heyer: “That’s not really my area of expertise, so I’d defer to your Women’s Physician, but I’d say 3 months.”

1 comment: