Hi Socks, long time no read!
What next? Well, the rest of your life, for one thing!
I know what you mean though, about it being an anticlimax. I think everyone should have a final onc appointment - a couple of weeks after the end of active treatment so you’ve had a bit of time to get over the last of the major side-effects like rads cooking. AT this appointment the onc could sum up what’s happened to you, and what you’ve been through, give the formal “No Evidence of Disease” statement, and wish the patient well, with a reminder of survival statistics (if that’s what you need) and reassurance that you can call your BCN any time you’re worried about things, and finally an opportunity to ask any questions. Yeah, I know, cloud cuckoo land, but it would be good, wouldn’t it…
It’s a bit like when someone dies, there’s a funeral to mark their passing. When our treatment ends, we need something to mark the end. I know of one person who arranged a night out with her friends to celebrate the end of treatment, and she had an absolute ball.
I meet up with a group of women locally, some from BCC forums but most not, and we have a great time. We talk about cancer and stuff a bit, but it’s more about developing friendships, having a social life, LOTS of eating, doing things we might not have done on our own. We’re all going to a spa day next Saturday because we feel we’ve earnt it, and it’ll be a total blast I’m sure. If there isn’t a group like that near to you, perhaps you could speak to your breast unit or cancer support centre and see if you can get one started.
And of course there’s always here, and it’ll be much better come the Spring when the forum’s working properly again.
The experience of going through a cancer diagnosis and the grunt of treatment is now just another part of me rather than the “add-on” that it felt like when going through it. It’s like having had my kids, university, marriage, divorce, pets, partners - it’s another piece of the complicated jigsaw that is me. And I’m working on making it no more important than those other life-changing experiences, and on having newer ones. I’ll be climbing up Mount Snowdon next year and I’ve hardly climbed anything higher than a ladder, so THAT’s certainly going to be another one of those experiences!
Good luck, socks, and I do think of you every time I put on my comfy warm welly socks.