This week involved a trip back to my oncologist. I adore her, but I don’t love going in for an appointment.
For the last five weeks I have been coughing. Five weeks, people… Going on six. And with every coughing bout, there’s been a little worry in the back of our minds.
Jason and I don’t live in a world where cancer is something that happens to someone else anymore. Where I’m still “too young” or “too healthy” to get cancer. Words I heard way too often before the big C. We live in a world where it is such a reality that when I get a lingering cough, it means a trip to my oncologist to have it checked out.
Because breast cancer can come back and metastasize somewhere else in your body, including your lungs. And even though I knew that so many other people in our town (sans-cancer) had this lingering cough, I didn’t realize how much worry was filling space in my head until I made the appointment.
Fortunately all was well! A chest x-ray showed perfectly healthy lungs. My onc even drew a smiley face on the report! And she totally checked me out, listening intensely to my lungs. Nothing abnormal, thank God. Just a chest cold and not bronchitis. And it could last a few more weeks. Awesome.
But you know what? It’s only a cold and for that, I am unbelievably thankful. About an hour after my appointment Jason and I both were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. So while I’m working on not worrying about the future, I’m also realistic. And these are the real things that survivors deal with. Aches and pains and concerns. Sometimes those ailments take us back to our oncologist. To make sure. To help us find peace of mind. Because of all the numbers and all the statistics, we are individual people and we don’t know what our body is going to do from day to day or year to year.
So now we’ll breathe a sigh of relief, turn on my humidifier and sleep with some peace that it was just a cold.