Summer's Last Hurrah
It's been an interesting time since we got back from Atlantic City two weeks ago! Last week, we made an early "peace of mind" visit to my surgical oncologist so he could check on swelling beneath my arm and other things I've noticed since I finished radiation last spring. I wasn't due to see him again until October, when I'll have my first mammogram since my cancer diagnosis last fall, but I didn't want to wait that long. He was wonderful, as always, and assured me I could come see him at any time if I was worried. He gave me a thorough going-over and said that everything I've been experiencing is a normal part of the healing process. Having gone an entire summer without seeing any of the doctors I'd become so accustomed to seeing or speaking with on such a regular basis, had made me anxious without even realizing it, and he said that was actually normal, too. I'd thought that once I was finished with radiation and declared "cancer free," life would go back to the way it had been before my diagnosis. I've realized for sure now that it doesn't. Yet another lesson I've learned from this entire experience. Cancer is so humbling.
Next week, I see my medical oncologist so we can talk about how I'm doing on the Arimidex - I've been taking it for two months now. It's SO much better than the Tamoxifen was, but there are side effects I'm not liking - the weight gain, for one thing, and the stiffness in my feet and ankles, and some other things that affect me personally. I have questions about whether there are things I can do to minimize those and whether it's even that much more of a "cancer deterrent" for me to continue taking it. I see it as a "length of life" versus "quality of life" dilemma.
Professionally, I've accomplished the majority of my summer goals and am looking ahead to what I want to do this fall - MY NOVEL, for one thing! I'm disappointed that I didn't have the time I'd thought I would over the summer to have it finished (or close to) by now, but at the same time, since the bulk of my time was spent with Anything But Routine, I can't say I regret it. Hopefully you've been listening to season two! We're down to the last two weeks, and I'm already working on the lineup for season three. Producing this podcast has been an awesome creative outlet, and I've thoroughly enjoyed talking with and learning from all the people I've spotlighted throughout the process. I look forward to producing season three - the challenge is going to be balancing that with finishing my novel, along with my regular voiceover work. "Time management" is definitely on the fall goals list!
In other news, a stray cat showed up on the farm last weekend. Sadly, people seem to think that they can dump unwanted cats in the country and that the surrounding farms will be glad to have them, but that's not always the case (and even when it is, I HATE that people think pets are just throwaway objects!). We already have an outdoor cat who's been King of the Hill for the past dozen or so years, and he doesn't take kindly to newcomers. This little girl is so sweet, and so skinny, and my love is completely enamored with her and wants to keep her around, also as an outside cat. The King, however, has other thoughts on the subject and keeps chasing her around and eating her food. She's scrappy and holds her own, but I wish he'd stop bullying her! My love is talking about bringing her somewhat-inside for the weekend, either on the farmhouse's enclosed porch or out in the garage (we already have an inside cat, and I don't want to have the two meet until the new one has her shots), so she can rest and relax and actually get to eat undisturbed - he wants her to get fatter and stronger before we take her to be spayed. I hope the plan works!
I hope your summer has been fantastic and that you have fun plans to enjoy the rest of it! Here in southwestern Pennsylvania, the weather is cooling off a bit for the next week or two, and a fair number of leaves are already starting to turn. We usually get another heat blast somewhere in September and even the beginning of October, and with the fall foliage, it makes for a beautiful time of year. I've always been a summer girl, but the last couple of years, I've found myself looking forward to fall.
Have a great weekend!