It’s a dog’s life

Five minutes with the dog whisperer and Max was walking to heel. Whereas I used to walk with my arm outstretched and the dog in the distance, straining at the end of his leash, we now amble along side by side. Amazing! The guy really did seem to speak dog-language. He explained everything in terms of pack mentality. We hadn’t set enough boundaries so the dog was getting confused about his position in the pecking order. Now we have a new regime and Max is (mostly) a model dog.

I’ve been lapse about blogging recently. We had a few weeks off-line between internet providers and I kinda got out of the habit. Plus all my time these days seems to be spent dog-walking, boating, catching up with friends and generally living!

Back to work tomorrow after two weeks’ leave and feeling refreshed and energised. Before that I had a long period of back-to-back viruses between February and May – all part of re-building an effective immune system, I suppose.

Next month I have my final bit of treatment to complete the reconstruction – nipple tattooing; after which apart from annual check-ups that’s it for me at the hospital. Hoorah! After that I will probably wind up this blog because it will have out-grown its purpose, its focus being mainly about recovery.

Better go now, time for the next dog-walk!

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Another year clear

Two years on and no recurrence… that’s what I call a result!

Triumph over Tamoxifen

What a wonderfully adaptive thing the human body is. Mine is now coping well with the daily intake of drugs and the side-effects have all but disappeared. Energy levels are shooting back up to pre-cancer levels; I’m running, swimming and cycling again and starting to shed the extra stone I’d put on.

Switching brands of Tamoxifen could have something to do with it – a tip I learnt from another survivor. You wouldn’t think it would make much difference but apparently it does.  I now get mine from Boots, who do a repeat prescription service. I no longer have the hassle of dropping the slip off at the doctors, calling back in for the prescription then taking it to the chemists. Boots do it all for me. They even phone to tell me its ready. Marvellous!

Recovery is a rocky road

I had big plans, when I finished treatment. No longer would I take life for granted. Never again would I waste a moment. Life, I was determined, would not be the same again. It would be better. And all those things I’d wanted to do but never quite got round to, those things I’d been putting off till another day, I would get on with doing.

Some days, I’m propelled by an urgency and a sense of time running out. Do it now. Some days, I want to conquer the world.

Then I collapse in a heap, and I remember I am knackered.

There is a nice man with a Lancashire accent who talks to me through a hypnosis CD  designed to aid emotional recovery from breast cancer. He says “You will see things you want to do but you know you are not far enough along the road of emotional recovery to complete the journeys behind the doors of opportunity… Be patient. Your time will come.”

And then I realise, to feel like this is normal. Because it’s a balancing act between recovery, battling with the everyday things of life which I am resuming doing – like going to work – and cutting out the crap which no longer seems important.

The conference, the one about ‘the future’ is a case in point.  A year ago, I was taking work home and losing sleep over it. But there was no future. It wasn’t worth it. I am trying not to get mired in minutae at work. So far, I am succeeding.