Is the cancer gone?
Well, actually, the cancer was gone when I had my surgery last January. I'm one year cancer free on January 31st. If you've been following my blog for a while, you may remember my Zipadeedoodah post way back when, when I found out my body scans were clear from any cancer in the rest of my body. That, my friends, was a good day!
Why then did you have to have chemo?
The chemo really was an insurance measure. In my case, there was not question about whether all the cancer was gone, but would it show up somewhere else? Because I had it in one lymph node, those microscopic Big C cells may have been lurking somewhere else. Having chemo (and radiation) cut my numbers in half.
What do you do now? How are you monitored?
I will continue to have a mammogram and MRI one time per year on my remaining breast. Each test will be 6 months apart. For right now, I am also seeing a doctor every 3 months for monitoring. It is not recommended that I have full body scans, as there has been no evidence that this could help with the treatment of cancer reoccurrence. The radiation could actually cause more harm than good.
I will end this by saying that my calculated estimate (when all the stats are put into the computer) for NEVER getting the Big C again is 85%. This is how I have to look at the number, because really, they're only numbers and thinking about them won't make one bit of difference.