The Boob Report – Three Years Cancer-Free

The first Sunday in June is National Cancer Survivor Day. I first heard about it through Facebook when Lynn Kelley posted a photo from a get-together in California. August McLaughlin “embellished” this photo when I had a double boobectomy (mastectomies) in 2013.

Breast cancer boob support friends

Lynn Kelley, me, Debra Eve, August McLaughlin, and Debra Kristi.

Four thoughts hit me in this order:
1. Hello fabulous California friends! I hope to see you soon.

This photo was taken when I met up with these amazing writers and blogger friends on a California trip back in 2012. It brought back very fond memories. They, along with many others, gave me tremendous boob support while going through my surgeries. My son, Kelly, is moving out to attend music production school, so I ‘ll be spending a lot more time in Los Angeles. Sorry Kelly, but Dad and I plan to couch surf at your place. Kidding! I’m looking forward all kinds of adventures this year.

2. I’ve been cancer-free for three years. Wow.

Every six months I check in with the nicest oncologist for blood tests. He puts me at ease, but it’s still nerve-wracking. He reads one of the results while I’m in the office. The second batch of tests take a few days. I would only be notified if those come back positive. For five days afterward, I freak out every time the phone rings. I only have four more blood draws, the next one in August. I’m counting down.

3. I don’t think about cancer very often these days. The first two years, I thought about it A LOT.

It really bothered me that I had lived a really healthy, green, organic life and still got the stinkin’ disease. That was so not fair. I was angry. But sometime during the last two years, I stopped obsessing. I let it go. Now I live my life, make plans for the future, and rarely look back.

Part of that transformation occurred because of even more healthy choices. I gave up alcohol linked to breast cancer and osteoporosis, even though I only drank a few glasses of wine per week. I try to avoid eating food that could increase estrogen since that’s what my cancer ate. It must have raised my metabolism with all that munching. I was so thin!

These lifestyle changes have given me confidence in my health, so I don’t worry about recurrence.

Instead of thinking about cancer crapola, I’m focused on writing books, screenplays and getting back into shape after knee surgery and a broken wrist. Yep. Normal stuff. I’m looking ahead, way ahead.

4. Being called a survivor is not an accurate portrayal of my cancer journey.

Sure I survived cancer, but haven’t a lot of us survived something? I never told you about the time U-Haul saved my life or when my family was stuck in snowstorm and divine intervention came knocking. I’ll have to post those stories sometime. Okay, so those stories are close calls not stories of survival. But many have survived other horrific diseases or catastrophic events.

So what makes me different than a lot of other people?

It’s not that I’m a cancer survivor,
I’m a thriver.

I will continue to step onto the ledge and jump. I plan to live large, and will enjoy my Wild Life.

What have you survived? Are you a thriver? What are you doing today?

Follow @susielindau on Twitter and Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride on Facebook.

82 thoughts on “The Boob Report – Three Years Cancer-Free

  1. Congrats on being cancer free’ and just where have you been Susie? I was thinking one of those girl mates of yours’ got you tossed in jail on a wild ride and you couldn’t post’. Glad to see you got out ok… Lol… I discovered Hornitos Silver Agave Tequila works wonders on back pain but its nort so easy on the cranium come morning. But hay’ the bright side is that at least it was my dear wife whom I awoke next to in bed.’ 🙂

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    • Thanks Brock. I hope the next two go by just as fast. Wait…. Well, you know what I mean!
      That’s a very good thing for everyone. Ha! You might try Ibuprofen and Tylenol next time… 🙂
      I’ve been in California with the fam finding an apartment for our son. I’ve also been hunkered down in the cave o’writing. Thanks so much for noticing!

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      • I smiled lovingly and told my dear wife’ I said: You’re sooo lucky that you’ve got me… She sprayed me with her earl gray tea’ then regained her air and composure… laughing… a lot… in fact’ she is still laugh… 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Darla! It really is how I experienced the photo on Facebook. I add survivor to my profiles because I’ve written a lot of posts that could help others, but don’t usually bring it up in conversation. Most the time, I don’t think about it. If I get me some nipple tats, I might forget altogether! Yep. I’m all about thriving!

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  2. Congrats, Susie! It really is a milestone. I am 2-1/2 years past my diagnosis and treatment of very early melanoma. So when I go for long walks outside, which I just got back from, I wear sunscreen and a hat but still enjoy being outside and the feel of the sun on my (well protected) face. You do what you gotta do. Crohn’s tends to cramp my style. It’s hard to have as much get up and go if you always have to go. 😉 C’est la vie. We all do what we can.

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    • Woohoo, Elyse! You are thriving too! I think if we make it to a certain age, we all get something. I didn’t expect cancer, but the bad knee was coming since the ski accident in 1980. Probably before you were born. Ha!
      Thanks so much, Elyse!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are most definitely a thriver, Susie. Thank you for sharing your difficult journey dealing with cancer. I know your words have helped many others. You’re an inspiration.

    It was August McLaughlin who embellished that photo. Pretty cool, huh? Can’t wait to read your first book when it’s published. XO

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    • Cool! I’ll make a small correction. Thanks, Lynn! I really hope that it has lightened someone else’s load. It’s a tough journey.
      I can’t wait either! Fingers and toes crossed that it’s sooner than later. Thanks again!

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  4. Hard to believe you were only one year out when Sharon and I met you and Danny. I like the term ‘thriver’ instead of ‘survivor.’ Your attitude is a big part of why you’ve done so well with this, although I suspect your husbands love and backing may have something to do with it, too.

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  5. Congratulations Susie! My mom was a healthy eater and very health conscious as well, but cancer over took her body in two forms, eventually ending her life. It just goes to show, no one is safe. I’m glad you’re a thriver. Please continue to be one. The world needs more Wild Riders.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Like

    • Woohoo! Cheering with you! Thanks, Pat. I would think most people who overcome adversity and are embracing life would rather be called thrivers. It’s a term we don’t hear enough of. Surviving isn’t enough!

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  6. Congrats to you! We haven’t chatted in a long while after a WordPress hiatus. I’m glad to see you’re doing well and yes, thriving 🙂 My Mom is thriving after 9 yrs since her breast cancer diagnosis. I’m happy to hear you’re doing well 🙂

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  7. You are such a testament to the value of positive and healthy optimism and the potential for health and healing. It’s wonderful to have reached this excellent three-year milestone. With all the plans you’re continuing to make and adventures just waiting, I’m confident you’ll continue to receive those good reports!

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    • Thanks so much, Debra! Me too. Positivity goes a long way since the opposite state of mind, stress can really drag a person down. It’s all up from here! I’ll be in your neck of the woods a few times in the next year since my son is moving to LA! Lots of adventure ahead is right!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: My Boobs AREN’T Trying to Kill Me… | Suzie Speaks

  9. That’s a sad story and I am glad that you have overcome this disease! I can not imagine what you have gone through (although I have lost some good friends to cancer), but believe, that one of the worst things is that fear which claims a great part of your live. And that you finally lost that fear is probably just as good as defeating the cancer in your body!

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    • I’m sorry to hear about your friends. I have lost some too. It wasn’t so much fear as disbelief and then anger. It was caught at stage 1, so my prognosis was great from the start. The “why” wore on me. I’ll never know, so I just live my Wild Life and keep on thriving!
      You’re right, the fear or ruminating in negativity doesn’t do a body good, so I’m done with it!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That´s a great achievement… I guess that having gone through all might have helped you become a stronger woman… we are always fighting battles, but sometimes we fight real ones, I guess… You are very brave… thanks for sharing your story!… love & best wishes. Aquileana ❤

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  11. Congratulations, you thriver! I salute your journey. I have a good friend who has been “thriving” with breast cancer for less than a year. Your story helps good friends of women with cancer understand better what it’s like. Thanks. ❤

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    • Thanks so much, Viva!
      I’m sorry to hear your friend had to go through this, but it’s great that she’s on the other side and is thriving. It just keeps getting better! Thanks for sharing my story. Someday, I’ll polish up those boob reports and publish it.

      Like

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