Friday night I attended the Birds and All That Jazz fundraiser at Tara’s Mass Audubon Sanctuary, Oak Knoll, in Attleboro. It was a relaxing evening of music and mingling (and food and wine), all in the name of charity. (What girl doesn’t love a reason to get dressed up – especially when there’s wine and chocolate involved? See pictures below. ) And luckily, it was a beautiful night, with a warm breeze and what I now know were tree frogs (not birds, as I originally thought), providing a natural soundtrack to the event. I was talking with a few people who commented how much of a better turnout the event had this year, when it occurred to me that I didn’t attend in 2012. I looked quizzically at Kevin and asked “Why wasn’t I here last year?” and he gave me one of those knowing, smiling, “Duh, Amy” looks. Oh yea. Because I got cancer. I looked at the woman next to me, shook my head and simply said “It doesn’t matter. But I certainly would’ve rather been here.”
I missed last spring. Completely. I really don’t remember it. In my mind, it jumped from cold February to warm July. My spring was finding the lump, diagnosis, breast cancer 101, Dana-Farber, surgery at Brigham and Women’s, the start of treatment and my grandfather passing away. It was a gut-wrenching, often medicated, blur.
It makes this spring that much more special. I have always loved spring – it’s the time when things come alive and can begin again. And I am so ready to begin again! I had my first official check-up at Dana-Farber with my oncologist and all seems well. It’s a little anticlimactic, as they don’t really do any tests – it’s just making sure you’re not having any symptoms, and if not, assuming all is fine. (Yes, a big leap of faith – something where you really just need to take deep breaths, remain calm and positive, and pray.)
And all is basically fine. I am having a flair-up of lymphedema, and will call to make an appointment with my physical therapist, but in the meantime have been doing the exercises and wearing the glove and sleeve (even though I can’t stand them) most of the time. Otherwise, all seems ok. The side effects of the Tamoxifin have subsided – not many hot flashes any more – and while the chemo side effects of tingling in my hands and feet continue, I’m now trying a B-complex vitamin to see if it will help. And of course I’m tired – but I can hardly blame the cancer or treatment on that, at least not completely. Nothing is limiting my work or other activities and I am very thankful for that!