Free From

“Free from disease.”  No matter how many times I hear it, it will always be music to my ears.

During the year, I will have a series of appointments with a slew of doctors. Today was my annual appointment with my surgeon, just one of many physicians on my “team”, as he called it. The core team? Surgeon, oncologist, radiation oncologist, urologist, and gynecologist. (I don’t include my primary doctor here since he doesn’t really do anything for me!) The way it works out, every month or so, I am seeing one of those five special people in my life.

Dr. Surgeon did a physical exam, declared me “free from disease” (I totally understand that he meant there was no evidence of disease… it could certainly “be” there, but not visible) and made my day. He explained that, while (almost) 3 years out from my surgery may not seem like a major milestone, it actually is.  He indicated that within the first 2 years is your greatest chance for a local recurrence, so he seemed pretty pleased that we made it (almost) 3 years. And if he’s happy, I’m happy.

He asked me about reconstruction, which he promised he would ask me every year. “Have you thought about doing reconstruction?”  “Nope.”  I explained my rationale as part of our now-annual ritual — why put myself through an unnecessary surgery for no good medical reason? If I did it, it would solely be for the purpose of fitting some societal expectation. Fake breasts certainly aren’t medically necessary, and I don’t feel I need them to feel “whole”. I do not derive my self-worth from my breasts (or lack thereof).

He smiled and nodded… “The safest surgery is the one you didn’t have.”  He was in total agreement with my decision. And yet, he promised to ask me again next year — and for all eternity.  Sounds like he plans to see me beyond the usual 5 years. He explained that he will “gently encourage” annual visits for a longer time period because I am not able to have mammograms, and so physical exam is the best way to monitor. And I’m kinda ok with that.

I ended my day with a DEXA scan that my oncologist ordered back in January. They just scheduled it about a month ago. I had actually forgotten all about it until I got a letter in the mail. I was thinking I didn’t really need it, since I believe it’s for women who are taking those God-forsaken drugs that destroy all your hormones, thus putting you at higher risk for osteoporosis. But I didn’t put up a fight on this one and figured it wouldn’t hurt to have it checked. Dr. Surgeon said he thought it was a good idea because I am post-menopausal and that put me at risk.  I think I’ll be just fine, since I get loads of calcium in my plant-based diet!  🙂

*****

I tried udon noodles for the first time tonight.  Ingredients? Organic Wheat Flour and Sea Salt!  Last time I tried a different kind of noodle, it got all mushy.  These came out pretty good.  I made an Asian soup to pour over the top: Lemon Miso Soup with Udon Noodles.  I’ve been checking out more of the recipes on Klunker’s Kitchen, where this recipe is from.  The boys enjoyed it and it was easy to make.  I did, of course, eliminate the tofu.

IMDb: Free From (2014)

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