Here is a blog post that Joy wrote after treatment finished, all about the "WHAT'S NEXT"
When people ask me how I am feeling, it is usually accompanied by a “so what’s next?”
When I was first diagnosed I had every test in the book (CT scan, MUGA scan – love that word, ultrasounds, etc.), followed by 6 months of chemo, then a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. After that was another breast surgery 6 months later, and a hysterectomy. I now have “No Evidence of Disease” or am considered “in remission” until I hit that five-year mark of being cancer free. So I am kind of in limbo. I am still very much in my cancer world, while still being able to move on with my life. So what’s next?
I currently see my oncologist every 3-4 months. This to a certain extent terrifies me. I am happy that I do not need to see him every 2-3 weeks because that means that I’m healthy (or so my mother in law tells me when I tell her I don’t need to see him for 3 months and it makes me nervous), but it terrifies me. The oncology department gives me a sense of calm. I see my plastic surgeon every six months for now, but after my next appointment in a few weeks I suspect that I won’t need to again so soon, unless we decide to do one more tweak. I see my oncological surgeon once a year (since my boobs are all silicone anyways, it’s close to impossible to get another lump in my breast). Finally, I see my gynecologist as needed (isn’t menopause great?). I am still doing tests every few months to make sure everything is staying as it should.
This month I have had the privilege of being invited to two Breast Cancer events. I took part recently in a fashion show for an amazing organization that raises money for breast cancer. I got to have my makeup done and wear a stunning gown. I felt like a princess. I also was asked to do a modelling shoot for an incredible clothing company. They pampered me and prepared a whole story board for my shoot. Is this what fancy celebrities feel like? I did a video for them last year while I was still in chemo, and this year they celebrated me as a survivor.
So what’s next? Well, I get to live my life. I am back at work full time and am enjoying every second. I am back in dance mom mode, as my daughter is not only competing with her team this year, but will be competing as a solo as well. As my hair is growing, I am discovering new hairstyles that I can do. And lastly, I am preparing for a very exciting event in January – my mastectomy tattoo that an incredibly generous and talented tattoo artist has gifted me with. So I am still in my cancer world, while also being in my “normal world”. I am enjoying life, but also enjoying the comfort of seeing my brilliant oncologist. I am learning how to be “me” again.