December 11, 2013 – It was my first check-up since finishing chemotherapy this morning. Poor Dr. Mendonca was not feeling well. I, on the other hand, am back to normal! All my blood number have returned to the pre-chemo ranges. Friday, I get my 3-D nipple tattoos and this journey will come to an end, for now. You are never really “cancer-free.” Like I mentioned once before, there is only “no evidence of disease”…..at this point in time. The chemo nurses gave me big hugs and congratulations on how good I look. They all loved how much hair I have and were genuinely happy to see me. My chemo kits have all been given out, both good and bad news at the same time. I told them I would bring in more. Laura and Lily both told me the patients receiving the kits were so thankful and even Dr. Mendonca asked me to keep them coming. That makes me happier than everything else.
I started this process a month into spring and we are now a week away from winter. It is hard to believe it has been so long, it all seems like it happened yesterday. If I had before and after pictures of myself, it would be as if I were two different people. In some ways, I am glad for that. It is still a little disconcerting, though, to adjust to the new physical me. So many changes upset my OCD apple cart. I am not sad any longer, just adjusting. In fact, I have pretty much decided not to grow my hair back. Tom really likes it this way and it definitely has its advantages. The main problem is that it makes me look way older than I am. Hopefully, once my natural color comes back that won’t be the case. I am still loving my new body. The freedom to go bra-less in highly underrated! Wearing cute little camisoles under my button-up the front shirts and winter sweaters is the silver lining to a somewhat dark cloud over my year.
2013 is ending with a bang. The All-Presents Christmas is coming along full-steam. Our tree is beautiful and we got a new kitchen table that adds some class to our recently revamped family room. The story of my time with cancer is going to be left in the history books. I am happy to go forth as woman who had breast cancer and survived the treatment necessary to give her a normal life once again.