Today marks 17 months post treatment. As far as I know, I am cancer free today. I frequently have neck or throat pain, and I can not help but get a twinge of fear when that happens...but the pain doesn't persist beyond a day or two, and then, I breathe a sigh of relief. The dry mouth is a constant bothersome issue, but that's not too much trouble. I am now on hypothyroid meds for life, thank you radiation, but again, I am happy to have the medicine to keep my thyroid functioning within normal limits. My post treatment neuropathy is gone, my taste is about 75% restored, and my energy is enough to get me through the day.
Here is a victory I had today: I went back and read some of the Sept.-December 2009 posts and comments on the Deeper than Cancer blog. For the first time, I was able to read what I wrote without having some difficult or painful reconnections to the experience. I read with interest and a healthy detachment. I read the comments that were posted and felt gratitude. In the same way, I can re-visit some painful childhood memories today without the emotional baggage. I have moved on. I do not think I have a day where the thought of cancer doesn't cross my mind, probably because of the small lingering treatment side-effects, but at least I think I have put most of the experience to rest.
I'm glad. I spent many months talking about it. I was way too self-absorbed by my own trials. How boring I became!
I saw Ted Kooser at the poetry reading I attended last week. He is about to have his 13th anniversary of being cancer free after his throat cancer was treated... he is an amazing poet (the August 1, 2010 post on this blog has a video of his reading one of his poems). He told me he would like to have a lunch get together with a number of throat cancer survivors that he knows. I would be the newbie to the bunch. I hope he follows through.
Speaking of revisiting the past...here's Ted reciting a poem about his grandmother's kitchen...