Well, I made it, it's finally here, my first real milestone. Today marks 12 weeks post radiation. 12 of the hardest weeks of my life. Seems like a lifetime ago that I had my first fitting for that damn mask, and now, it is three months behind me. Three months from radiation, ten months from diagnosis.
Why is twelve weeks so significant? This is the way I understand it...if the science behind this isn't correct...feel free to correct me! So after you finish radiation, you aren't really done with it. It continues to add up in your system, peaking at about two to three weeks, then gradually starts to decrease. By twelve weeks, there should only be a very minimal amount left. I have this visual image of a blobby monster (not surprisingly, sort of a mucus monster!) that was born the first day I started radiation. This radiation monster grew and grew and grew until it had completely taken over my life. It was sitting on me, taunting me, 24/7. It has slowly been shrinking, but still pops up big every once in a while, just to remind me it is still there. As if I could forget. I finally feel like this monster is, well, not gone, but definitely not in control anymore. I will never be rid of the radiation monster. There are proven radiation side effects that will continue to dog me the rest of my life. Talk about a double edged sword...on one edge, the radiation made it possible for me to survive this cancer, on the other, it could possibly bring me a whole host of other health problems in the next year, five years, even ten or more years in the future.
So today, I am celebrating. It is a quiet victory, a personal milestone marked on my calendar, a birthday of sorts. The big celebrations are coming...I am scheduled for a PET scan and a CAT scan in the next two weeks. Honestly, I'm a little nervous. My doctor can't say that he is 100% certain that there is nothing there until he sees the scans, but he is cautiously optimistic that all will be good. I am too, I really think that the scans will be clear, but there is that lingering, nagging what-if hanging around. I feel like I can't really start breathing until I get that thumbs up that I am completely cancer free. I promise, as soon as I know something, I will post it here. Good news travels fast!
Before I can share that news, I do have some other news to share. Many of you know that since I started feeling better, I have been pretty bored around the house. I have always been creative and crafty and love to have projects to work on. Taking all that into account, I decided to combine my free time with my creativity and open a shop on Etsy. It will allow me to be creative all day long, at my own pace, with the chance to rest if I need to as I continue to build my strength.
I made this decision about a week ago and started talking to Steve about it. Have I mentioned how amazing my husband is lately? He is completely supportive of this new endeavor and as he has owned his own small business, he has been an amazing resource. The week has been a blur...I made the decision, started doing research, filed all the paperwork and got all my licenses and permits (wow, so grown up that sounds!) and have been busy creating samples to put up on my storefront. My craft room looks like a glitter bomb threw up in there! The store isn't live yet, but I will be sure to let you know when it is...won't be long!
I thought long and hard about what to call my store...and finally decided that I am too emotionally attached to Sparkles and Spitballs to let it go. So, that is what it will be. This blog will continue to be a source of news updates and information, hopefully moving away from all cancer all the time and more about life post cancer, but I will also include updates from Etsy. I'm looking forward to this new adventure. I have felt better the last few days than I have in ten months. It is uplifting to have a purpose and a reason to get out of bed.
Time to finish up for now...I need to go make something sparkle! Thank you for continuing with me on this journey...it has been a long, very bumpy road, but hopefully soon it will be a smooth and comfortable ride.
Love and sparkles to you all,