It’s kind of a milestone; my physiotherapy appointment yesterday was my 100th medical cancer related appointment since my first mammogram on the 06th April last year.
It’s *a lot*: that’s basically an appointment every 3 – 4 days.
I started counting when I started feeling overwhelmed by all the appointments and it became a way for me to reassure myself that the reason I seemed to constantly have appointments is because, well, I did / do constantly have appointments.
Going through the diagnostic process, preparing for surgery, living the whole cancer experience – it does take up a lot of your time, energy, and thought processes.
The experience varies depending upon how sick you are, what demands your employment and / or home life place upon you, what pre-existing conditions you might have – so many variables.
One of the most unhelpful things I have heard was this idea that I couldn’t let cancer take over my life.
My focus has been 100% on living through the experience and acknowledging it, owning it, warts and all.
So whilst cancer wasn’t ‘taking over my life’, it absolutely commanded and demanded my attention.
I also decided, early on, that I wasn’t going to hide my lived experience – and I will be coming back to that a lot in upcoming blog posts as I work my way through my anniversaries.
I personally found that it has taken all my focus and things like the milestone yesterday of 100 appointments is a really quantifiable measure of how much time is required to manage the experience of being unwell.
My goal is that I invest the time and energy now and in five years, it will be a distant memory!
This time last year, I still hadn’t heard back regarding the outcome of the mammogram, but I was so sick – I was exposed to a cold and it literally put me in bed for about 7 days. In hindsight, of course, my health was so essily compromised because of the growing tumours.
100 Medical appointments in 371 days.
Huge shout out to what I call my Wellness Team; my GP, my psychologist, my physiotherapist, my cancer surgeon, my plastic surgeon, my oncologist and their team, my colorectal specialist, the BreastScreen folx, my incredible support network, my best friend / housemate who has essentially been my carer, well as all the doctors, nurses, specialist medical professionals who have helped me throughout those 100 appointments.