Treatment is over. I had the last radiation appointment on Wednesday. Now it's just healing from the effects of radiation—pretty strong in my case—and then follow-up visits here and there.
This is "ordinary" time, but it feels anything but ordinary. It's surprisingly somewhat melancholy, I suppose because there is nothing left to do but wait and hope. It will be at least a year before I can consider reconstruction because IBC has a real bad habit of coming back, most often in the scar tissue. My prognosis is good and I am very hopeful.
I have a lopsided appearance: DD on one side, slightly concave on the other. I can't wear a prosthesis until all the effects of radiation are gone. I honestly don't care. I forget about it much of the time. I will deal with the prosthesis when the time comes.
I have finally been given permission to lose the 20 pounds I gained from steroids while on chemo. Well, the steroid weight has gone—about five pounds—and the rest is from the insatiable appetite those miserable steroids gave me. This is my new "treatment," to regain my fitness and shape.
I'm going to NYC in June, and I need to be fit enough to walk the streets of Manhattan for three days. I'm SO looking forward to that! I will also manage a too-brief meeting in Connecticut with a delightful woman who was diagnosed a month after me. She and I have talked frequently (and written real snail-mail letters during my enforced silence) and we are both excited to finally meet. I'm so grateful to her son-in-law for introducing us.
This community of "survivors" is a wonderful network of support. There are 34 women and one man at my church—where I work—who are survivors of breast cancer. We reach out to each other to ask for help and to offer it. That is a hidden blessing of this terrible disease.
So now it is time to put it behind me. Let's see how long it takes for me to truly do that. Thank you all for coming along with me and supporting me so kindly through all of this journey. I'm so lucky to have you here with me.