April 25, 2022

I did it - technically I am cancer free! 

Right now, I am very happy. My CT and bone scan results were exactly as I had hoped, and I have achieved no evidence of active disease in my body. That’s a reason to celebrate.

This is exactly where I hoped to be but the results both excite and terrify me in equal quantities. This may actually be the most terrifying thing I have ever had to deal with.

Metastatic breast cancer is not curable and is likely to return at some point. I have no idea whether that will be in 10 years time or in a few months. That’s the terrifying part. Although I do know that there are some good treatments available to me when that time does come.

For now I will be taking supplements, eating a whole-food, plant-based diet where possible, exercising, meditating and keeping a good frame of mind. Exercise is said to be one of the most important things you can do to prevent cancer from thriving. Walking, some work with weights and yoga really helps. In fact, word is that if exercise were a vitamin pill everyone would be taking it.

No evidence of active disease means there is no active cancer currently in my body. No evidence of disease would mean all cancer has gone. But because the cancer that is already in my bones will apparently never go, the differentiation is relevant.

My biggest fear now is that it will aggressively spread to my brain as that is a reality I have seen in others once they get to the position I am now in. You see chemotherapy doesn’t cross the blood/brain barrier, so our little thinking machines are extra vulnerable to an aggressive cancer that wants to survive.

The plan now is to scan every three months and be extra diligent to any symptoms, especially headaches. At the first sign of anything odd, we will test immediately. I had a brain MRI in January which was clear and will continue these every three to six months.

I am feeling so much better now that chemotherapy has finished. My mind is clearer, and I feel more energised and less fatigued, although hills or any incline are still a bit challenging. I have been detoxing with celery juice and hopefully have removed a lot of toxins from my system.

While this is a challenging journey I feel well supported and well equipped with the assistance and tools to stay focused, balanced and content on a day-to-day basis.

The medical concerns will be an ongoing issue. Right now I am on antibiotics because I have a bit of a toothache which hopefully is just a toothache and not a jaw infection which is a side effect of a bone boosting medication I need to take. But this is just a small issue in the greater scheme of things.

For now I will be planning a trip to Northern Territory this coming winter, looking to get some more writing done and spending time with family and friends.

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Hello, I'm Bonnie Cassen

I am a mother, grandmother, editor, writer, and climate activist. I am also living with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer since July 2021. This is my blog for friends and family to keep them up to date with my treatment, and share experiences, philosophies on life, and death, and perhaps other things as well.
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