That dreaded 50%

Fifty percent was a number thrown out there, related to recurrence after a regional recurrence. This was the first time someone threw a number out there and it had me unsettled. When I meet with my oncologist next week, I will talk to him more about prognosis. I’ve done some research, and 50% is on the better end of the numbers that I’ve seen. I’ve two things going for me – the length of time between my initial diagnosis and recurrence, and my age – both are indicators for better overall survival outcomes.

The last few nights I’ve been really thinking about what this means. It isn’t that I’d die tomorrow if the cancer came back. Even with terminal breast cancer I’d likely be looking at several years – but they would be years with treatments – I’d be in forever treatment. My health would deteriorate and it will get more and more difficult to do the things I enjoy doing.

When I was initially diagnosed in 2014, I couldn’t see past a three month horizon. It was over a year after treatment ended before I could start seeing more than three months ahead. That hasn’t been such an issue this time – at least until recently.

The thing that I’m thinking of most now, is that I might only have one good summer left – or at least I can anticipate that this will be a good summer for me – for hiking and camping. I cannot guarantee that I will have more good summers – if the cancer comes back, then my health will likely deteriorate. It might sound pessimistic, but it is also realistic. The one thing that I can count on is that this should be a good summer for me health wise.

And so, we will plan to have a good summer. We will also have a good spring – starting with the eclipse – we will get our van ready and make plans to go someplace – ideally someplace in nature for the eclipse. We saw a full solar eclipse a couple years ago that was so amazing. One of the things I enjoyed was being in nature and listening to how all the animals responded to the change in the sun. I would love to do that again in April.

I might plan a trip to California in May. I had to cancel the trip I had planned in October due to treatment – so I have the credit on Air Canada for the plane ticket. I just need to decide when I want to go and book something. I’m waiting to see how radiation treatment goes before I make any firm plans.

Then in June we are going to Iceland for almost two weeks. Iceland Air starts direct flights May 31. We will fly on a Monday and return a week and a half later on the Friday. We have booked a rental RV for the trip, so we can explore the country and camp. Although the latest eruption means we likely won’t be able to visit the Blue Lagoon, there are many other similar hot springs to visit. I’m looking forward to that being the real start of summer. Nova Scotia summers don’t really start until July.

I hope to spend much of July, August, and maybe September camping around Nova Scotia. We were thinking maybe we would try to visit every Provincial Park. We have been living here for four years now, and have not spent much time seeing the province, and this summer was all about getting Treehouse built. Now that we live at Treehouse, we are hoping for a little more time to enjoy just being here. I’m looking forward to converting our van backing into the camping van – rather than a van for transporting various construction supplies or moving boxes. I miss sleeping in the van with my hubby and my puppy.

And so, that 50% makes me want to seize the day. Carpe Diem.

  • Becky

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