a fresh start in May

April 28, 2011

I’m cleared to gradually return to work.

For those who don’t know, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer last summer and went through daily radiation and weekly chemo from mid-November to the end of the year. I didn’t want to talk about it so much when I wasn’t sure how things were going to go. But as of now it looks like the treatment has done the job – I feel basically fine (better than I ever expected I would) and have had good follow-up scans. The Canadian health system is fantastic and I have highest praise for every one of the many many healthcare professionals I encountered.

It’s a bit crazy that it wasn’t detected sooner when treatment would have been much simpler. But I’m just one of those ones who must have been getting false negatives on PAP tests so the tumour got to be 5cm before it was noticed. They tell me it was in a hard to detect spot. That’s a very rare way for it to happen, so be sure to tell all women you know to get their checkups because usually an early diagnosis leads to fairly minor and very effective treatment.

And although my treatment was not minor and I was initially quite horrified at the description of what was involved, I would go through it all over again if I had to, knowing what I know now. It *is* possible to get past the low points and I am extremely grateful to be one of the lucky ones. I’m fully aware that there is a five-year window, but I’m feeling fantastically optimistic.

Technology, especially my son’s iPod, helped me from time to time and in various ways (I spent more than a few hours playing iPod ‘Boggle’ and ‘Plants versus Zombies’, watching TED talks and listening to music). Also, there are wonderful support groups online with tons of information.

Finally, and most wonderful of all… my family, friends and colleagues deserve a ton of recognition for their awesomeness! Thanks everyone — Love you lots! rainbow Eliz