The cancer can come back.
I saw my oncologist today for my four month follow-up and was told that my blood work looks good. Dr. Stephen Abo says it's not routine to have blood work done for post-treatment follow-ups, but he choses to check my blood for signs of cancer as an added precaution. However, the beast could return and disguise itself, not showing signs in my blood. Triple negative breast cancer is the most aggressive type of breast cancer, and if it returns, he added, it invades the bones, the lungs, liver and/or kidney. For a few moments, I visited that familiar place of absolute terror; I felt the blood flow from my head and my extremities went warm. I re-focused: I am here, I am alive, I have a clean bill of health for today; there is nothing to worry about. Dr. Abo told me he orders body scans only if there are symptoms like coughing or unusual aches and pains. I've now graduated to the "other side" where survivors hyper-assess every new feeling in their body, worried that the beast has returned.