It's been a hot minute, so figured it was time for another update.
I'm doing good!
I was lucky. Yes, it probably sounds weird coming from someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer, but all things considered, I was lucky.
I got through chemo only getting really sick once (and it may not have had anything to do with the chemo), and kept almost all of the hair on my head thanks to cold capping (there was shedding, but I ultimately don't think it was very noticeable).
I got through a month of radiation with no discomfort or skin reactions (well, aside from one....aesthetic change, that may eventually fade).
I still have Herceptin infusions every three weeks until February, but so far, my heart is doing fine (that's the one major side effect of the drug - it can fuck up your heart).
This whole thing has thrown me into menopause, and that's probably the hardest thing to deal with, as I didn't have a nice gradual onset to ease into it. I literally woke up one morning after a night of hot flashes to find I also had terrible joint and muscle aches. And so far nothing has really helped with any of that; not the various drugs I've tried, or the acupuncture. Really, the only thing that would help is estrogen, and being that my type of cancer feeds on that, I'm actually taking drugs to suppress my body's production of it. (I swear, if men went through menopause, there would have been a safe cure for it decades ago and it would be called "Mensaynope.")
But really, that's the worst of it. I got through the treatment so unscathed that my oncologist actually looked me in the eye and said, "You're really good at cancer." Which is funny, but also something I hope I never have to be told ever, ever, again.
So, now that the worst of it is done, I'm getting back into my life. Covid is still a fucking thing (WTF!!!!) and I certainly don't want to get it, but I also just fought cancer, and goddammit, I have some living to do! So, I'm seeing more friends, getting out more, and even--*gasp*-- went to a MOVIE THEATER! (I saw Nope at the Alamo and it was glorious.)
My life has permanently changed. I am a very different person than I was a year ago, and if I could do it all again, I'd choose NOT TO GET CANCER. But I am at a far better place than I feared I'd be when I was first diagnosed, and for that I am very thankful.