Friday, February 5, 2010
Countdown to going back to work (< 4 weeks)
A busy week... I met some friends for lunch. We're wearing our beaded bracelets made to support our friend's mom when she was diagnosed with breast cancer (and now it shows support for me as well!)
After lunch, I had my followup with the radiation oncologist, who says all looks good. He did say I need to get a compression sleeve to wear if I'm flying, since there is a life long risk of developing lymphedema in my right arm, where all the lymph nodes were removed.
I went for lunch with my support group. We meet weekly, either coffee or lunch, or sometimes at someone's house. This will be hard to fit in once I'm back to work, but will definitely be a priority.
I went for a walk with Nancy, who is my running partner and is training for a half marathon here this month (in the snow). We ran it together a few years ago. I miss running, but I'm just not ready yet. I've tried a couple of times, but am sticking to walking for now.
I talked to Jan, my friend in Vancouver who calls every week or two to see how I'm doing. In addition to her regular job, she has a dog walking business, so she is usually walking through some forest or along a beach when she calls. She always asks me to come out to visit, hopefully I'll get out there in the summer with the kids (we missed our planned BC trip last year which was to include biking down the mountains at Whistler - them, not me).
I watched a webinar on 'Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Breast Cancer Survivors'. The main message is to eat low fat, maintain a healthy body weight, and exercise. Unfortunately, all the studies were on postmenopausal women. There were also discussions on alcohol, soy, and flax, which can affect estrogen sensitive cancers (mine is not). Vitamin D was the last thing discussed, the recommended range to take is 200 to 1000 IU. It's disappointing not to hear that there is something significant I can do to reduce the chance of recurrence. The one change I have made is drinking green tea everyday. Green tea is shown to lower the risk of cancer in general, not necessarily the recurrence of breast cancer. It is a healthy drink since it's a rich source of antioxidants.
I'm thankful again for what a strong support group I have - so many people that check in on me or I just know are there when I need them.