Towards the Horizon

February 26, 2017

A weekend of rain one day and cold, brilliant sun the next; of snow washing away one day and glistening the next. Heralding the (soon to be) end of winter. [1] Symbolic of our good, forward-looking week.

On Thursday, I saw my radio-oncologist for my post-radiation check-in. My radiation field is well-healed; everything is looking good. I’ve made an appointment to see her this time next year. I’m already back in the pool! [2] I see my oncologist to follow-up on the Letrozole at the end of March, then I'm onto the regular check-up schedule - seeing one of my specialists every four months.

 

On Friday, Angie saw her (very tall) surgeon for her - already - one-year post-surgery appointment. He was delighted to see how well she is able to move her shoulder, the concrete result of her sustained rehabilitation efforts. He called her his best patient. In turn, she thanked him for being an excellent surgeon and gave him an appropriately-named bottle of Ontario methode champenoise: JOY! It was a very emotional moment for her after a long year of recovery amidst my own.

 

 As you know I’ve been writing throughout the year. These email letters. But also, thoughts on treatment, self care, and being sustained by our community. I’ve been encouraged by comments that this writing has been engaging and useful. I’ve taken the plunge then, and created a ‘retrospective blog’ which is now online at:  www.abreastcanceryear.com. I’ve called it Two A Breast: Writing a Breast Cancer Year, to reflect the dual challenges of the year and our journey together. Take a peek and please share it with anyone who might find it relevant and helpful. (And thanks to early readers for suggestions).

 

This weekend also marks a full year since we gathered friends, neighbours, colleagues and family to join us on our journey with my cancer treatment. Unbeknownst to any of us then, was that it would soon encompass Angie’s recovery as well. You may recall an early poem we shared, on getting there: “keep on going, just keep on with it.” We’re gratefully now headed toward the horizon. While there will be a return to work for me in due course, we’ve realized this next part of the journey is more about a return to health and a return to life. We look forward to building on the goodness and insight from this year - and to seeing, talking to, and keeping up with you as life continues to unfold.

 

With much love and thanks

Brettel

 

P.S. Here’s the poem again:

 

How to Get There

Michael Leunig

 

Go to the end of the path until you get to the gate.

Go through the gate and head straight out towards the horizon.

Keep going towards the horizon.

Sit down and have a rest every now and again,

But keep on going, just keep on with it.

Keep on going as far as you can.

That’s how you get there.

 

 

[1] Demonstrating the common Canadian weather delusion. Warmth has since been succeeded by freezing cold one weekend and snow the next. Still… Spring is still closer than it was!

 

[2] Sadly, a little too soon. I have developed a bit of swelling again from this burst of enthusiasm. I’m seeing the lymphedema therapist soon to help me sort this out.

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About Us

On January 22, 2016 I went for a mammogram, to confirm that a lump in my right breast was a cyst. It was. And it saved my life. Because I was overdue for my breast screening, imaging was also done on my left breast  The mammogram and ultrasound came back “highly suspicious” for breast cancer...

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