1 year

It's weird. It was only last summer that the whole cancer thing happened, but it feels like so much longer. It went from a simple strange blood test to a confirmed strange blood test to every-single-blood-test-ever to a biopsy and CT scan and full diagnosis within a few weeks last year. I have trouble remembering a time before cancer. And now, it's part of everything I do and think and feel.

"it's probably nothing, but it could be one of these…"

That's the note I was handed by my GP after the initially-confirming blood test. Quick googling suggested it could be either nothing, something really-bad, or something really-really-bad. Referral to The Big Regional Cancer Centre and introduction to my (MY!) hematologist. More blood tests, biopsies and a CT scan showed I had the really-bad option (but, thankfully, not the really-really-bad one).

Blah blah blah. I'm still here. I still haven't needed to start treatment. I have learned to moderate my energy level (the only real symptom so far is chronic anemia, which is an… adjustment). I hardly ride my bike anymore - when I do, it's for a comically-short-and-easy 10km ride around my community, followed by a full day of recovery. Ouch. I drive to work. I walk more slowly. I have occasional dizzy spells, and have "the sighs" as I occasionally gulp for air.

I'm still working - everyone I work with has been extremely supportive, which I am grateful for. I've taken a leave of absence from my PhD program (after completing coursework and beginning to prep for candidacy). And I'm learning to not be so hard on myself for any of these things. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes more good days, sometimes more bad.

One of the weird realizations is that I need to live with less data about my health. I get monthly blood tests, and of course (of course!) have been visualizing the data in charts etc. so I can see trends and extrapolate to the OMG I AM GOING TO DIE TO DEATH crossover point. My doctor politely suggested I should give my head a shake, and he'll be giving me results every 6 months. *twitch* But, letting go of the data has helped. It's more important how I feel, rather than tracking some numbers.

Anyway. 1 year. Holy crap. Here's to many more.

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