Sunday, March 1, 2009

What day do you celebrate?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Current mood: Confused

OK...I'm throwing this question out to all my cancer friends. What day do you celebrate your cancercrapness freeness?

I have so many dates and I'm not sure which one to make my official celebration day.

I was diagnosed on March 8, 2007, but to me that doesn't seem like a day to celebrate.

I had my first surgery to remove the cancer on March 28, 2007, but I would find out later that the cancer had spread and that I needed a mastectomy, so I don't want to celebrate that day.

I finished my chemo on October 2, 2007, that seems like a good day to celebrate but I still needed to have my Herceptin treatment every three weeks for the next year. I would have to go back to the same place I had my chemo so I always felt like I was stepping back in time.

I had my bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction on November 22, 2007 and my Doctor gave me a clean pathology report on November 27, 2007, so do I celebrate that day?

My last Herceptin treatment was June 29, 2008, do I consider that the end?

I just went to see my oncologist last week and she wants me to have my port removed. That seems like the final step, do I consider that the end and time to celebrate?

Of course every day without cancer is a day to celebrate! I'm just not sure what to consider my cancer anniversary.

So to all my cancer friends, I ask you....what day do you celebrate?

Would love for you to leave me your comments.


Cathy Bueti said...

Hi Jill! Good question. I celebrate my day of survivorship as the day of my diagnosis...which was May 31, 2001. I had my initial biopsy on May 29 when my lump was removed and got the results on the 31st.
I think I do it that way because my cancer was removed and I considered myself a survivor from then. My oncologist at sloan counted from my mastectomy date which was August 20, 2001.
Although some might not think of the diagnosis day as one to celebrate for me it was when the cancer was discovered and I began the long road to recovery!
Hope you are doing great!! :) Miss ya!

Breast Cancer Survivor! said...

and the easy answer to your question is that you should celebrate each good news day and don't limit it to one!

Also, I had my port taken out a year ago today (well, it was Feb 29) and it was one of the best days of my life. I went with friends and it was an easy, painless thing (there is no new scar- it goes over the old one and blends in) and it was the first happy medical experience I had in a long time. Go with it and congrats on being cancer free!


Breast Cancer Survivor! said...

Ron Moller wrote at 10:04am
Read your post. Here is my opinion: Celebrate EVERY day because that's how long you have been a fighter, a fantastic person, and a great friend.

sarah said...

aww i agree with Ron...well minus fantasic person and great friend...haha just kidding peaches!!! i love u and miss u!! ill never forget when u found the lump before all of this started. u have been through hell and back, and i know that ur mom and grandma are so proud to have such a wonderful, strong, smart woman surviving such a bitch-of-a-cancer. but u know, if u want a day to celebrate..u know, feb 6th is my bday haha

Lisa Rendall said...

Hi! I just came across your blog accidentally as I was Googling Dr. Slamon :) I was diagnosed metastatic at the age of 35 when a vertebra in my neck collapsed. I'm Her2+ thank God. If we didn't have Herceptin I'm positive I would NOT be alive today....almost 9 years later. My cancer is still stable and being held under control by the Herceptin.

I consider my "anniversary" the day that I officially found out I had breast cancer. The first few years I dreaded the days leading up to July 20th. I would re-live what I had been going through at the same time years earlier. Surprisingly, the last 2-3 years I've TOTALLY forgotten about my "anniversary"!!! Even though I'm still living with incurable cancer I don't dwell on it as much as I used to.

I also have a port, and have had it for almost 9 years as well. My veins HATE needles and do not cooperate with nurses with needles, so I could not imagine being without my port. However, I still receive Herceptin every 3 weeks. I LOVE my port!!! I think it's a personal choice for you...if you are ready to get rid of it, go ahead. If not, just keep going in to get it Heparinized every month until you change your mind (which you may never do).

I'll be checking out your blog frequently now that I've discovered it :)

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA
(and just starting to blog under my page "Laughs, Loves & Losses")