I have to confess that I'm finding it really difficult to contemplate bringing this blog to a conclusion. It feels like an invisible friend, a place where I can offload my thoughts and feelings and try to make sense of everything that has happened over the last eighteen months. I think the other reason, if I'm honest, is that I don't think of finishing the Herceptin as an end, more of a beginning, a beginning down the road to the 'all clear' at five years post treatment. Don't get me wrong, I am really happy to have finished with needles and nurses, but it doesn't stop the nagging fear of recurrence.
So how do I bring this to a close? Well, firstly I would have to remember where this all began in October 2008 and how thankful I am for my instincts, which took me to the Doctors and subsequently to the 'One Stop Breast Screening Clinic' at York Hospital. That moment when Mr MJ and the cancer support nurse came into the room will stay with me for the rest of my life and those devastating words 'you have cancer' still make my heart beat fast. Every moment of that day is crystal clear in my memory. I think that telling our children, close family and friends was probably the worst time of the whole experience. Everything else, the surgery, the chemotherapy etc, was dreadful, but I knew I just had to get on with it.
Whenever I think back over 'my journey' I begin to see the faces of everyone who put time and effort into supporting me through the ups and downs. Hopefully all of these have at some time
been mentioned in my blog but I honestly don't have the words to adequately express my thanks for the cards, gifts, flowers, e-mails, visits and love that came my way (they still do).
Graham, ah yes, my wonderful husband. How I wish he hadn't had to go through this. I know it's been hell for him too because we are so close. I know that at times he's felt completely useless and unable to help, especially through the chemotherapy treatment when I felt so ill. However, I wouldn't have wanted anyone else and I hope we can get on with life again and look forward to growing old together.
I have been back at work now almost ten months. It hasn't been easy and I still have some very acute ups and downs. Most days however, it's the minor, but very frustrating residual problems which I still have to manage. I hate the unpredictable bowel problems, though I have to say the Merbentyl has worked wonders. I also get annoyed with my reconstruction some days, as it itches inside and the muscle down my back (or lack of muscle) makes it feel very tight and occasionally lumpy. Overall though, when I look in the mirror, I am always thrilled and grateful at the result.
So what happens now? I will still have regular check-ups and mammograms, but I suspect that any worrying changes are more likely to be picked up by self checking and trust me, I will be checking!
So goodbye to my blog and it's faithful followers. Good luck to anyone fighting this dreadful disease and fingers crossed for the coming months and years. Good luck to everyone raising money to support the various cancer support groups - where would we be without them.
The journey continues.