(To read my story from that point, click here).
What we breast cancer 'survivors' are terrified of is recurrence.
If breast cancer comes back, anywhere other than in the breast, it's called 'secondary breast cancer', and it's incurable. 85% of people with secondary breast cancer are dead within five years.
The most common places for it to crop up are the lungs, the liver and the bones. (And eventually all three of those).
Anyhow, the reason for the medical lesson, is that I've had pains in my left shoulder and arm for the last week or so, and I'm freaking out.
I know I'm being illogical. I know I'm overreacting. That's why I'm blogging about it, because I find that just the act of writing it all down helps me to calm my anxieties.
(Which is why I recommend blogging, or writing a journal, to everyone).
For my own personal benefit (so no need for you to read on!), here are all the reasons why I am unlikely to be dying:
1. I had a full body scan only 5 months ago which, apart from the dodgy left boob, was clear.
2. I had an ultrasound just a few weeks ago which showed nothing at all in my boobs or lymphs, and it seems unlikely that my cancer could have migrated so quickly from my breast to my bones without ever showing up in any lymph nodes.
3. My cancer was not a fast growing one. In fact, it was pretty lazy. It's improbable that it moved its arse so swiftly.
4. Since the pains are on my left side, where I had surgery, it seems far more probable that my muscles, nerves etc are all just a bit out of whack on that side.
5. Secondary cancer in the bones generally gets you in the spine or legs first.
6. I only get pain when I move in a specific way, whereas bone cancer tends to be more constant, especially at night.
7. Surely life's not that bloody unfair?
I'm seeing my oncologist next month, and he'll do blood tests for cancer markers, so I can ask him about it if it's still causing problems then, but in the meantime....
.....hurrah! I feel a great deal better. If you made it to the end of this post then thank you for your patience. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.
Love SM x