As some of you who know me, I have been quite anxious to get to move on with the next step of this process. Treatment is something I want to get started and avoid all at the same time. I think for me its the not knowing that kills. On the other hand its the knowing that drives me crazy as well. I am pretty knowledgeable about all the ramifications of chemotherapy and therefore scared to death what they will be for me. I think my big girl pants need a belt.
I have been waiting with great anticipation for the phone call from the cancer clinic for weeks to no avail. My wish was granted this past Friday with a last minute call to come in to meet my Oncologist. Although it was exactly what I had been wanting I suddenly would of been happy had they not ever called.
You go through this period after your diagnosis and surgery where you start to feel normal again. Define normal I dare you. As we all know life will never be the same again after a cancer diagnosis, a new normal would have to happen. I had been back at work for four weeks and my arm was recovering and starting to feel much better.
I managed to find a friend to accompany me on this Friday afternoon as it was such a spontaneous appointment. I would advise anyone having there first appointment to travel with someone who can take notes. The information can be plentiful and overwhelming. You arrive full of questions only to realize your still a deer in the headlights.
We arrived and were greeted by a lovely woman who took additional information and went over some that they had already. She then took us down to the clinic area to see the doctor. My girlfriend and I chuckled and laughed so the mood stayed light and unassuming. Stress does funny things. We joked about how we could draw different eyebrows on, should mine fall out, depending on what mood I was in. The visual was funny. I think I have laughed more lately than in a long time.
We met a nurse who was very nice and helped me filled out a questionnaire. She was very pleasant and chatty with us. She left to go get the doctor.
The doctor finally arrived. She asked all kinds of questions:
Did I have a history of problems with my breast?
How have I been feeling?
What was my family history with cancer?
Do I smoke?
Did I breast feed?
She wanted to know about my other breast. I think she wanted to really know why it was still there. Now I am only assuming here but my impression is " why wasn't I counselled more on a bi-lateral mastectomy". My breasts according to her and as I already know are dense and full of cysts. A difficult boob to find any new culprits that might appear. Oh no I am having regret or that is what it feels like. " I should of have them both off"!! I push it down. I didn't do that, so no regrets. She said she would want to MRI the breast. I will deal with that when the it happens. I am saying a prayer that its clear.
She then turns to the Pathology report. I had two cancers. Two types. They call that multi-focal. They were both invasive. My margins were negative. Positive! Grade 3. Not so Positive. Technically I was node negative for my lymph nodes. Positive!!! ER positive PR positive, cancer likes my hormones. Positive!!! She then finally brings me to tears. She says that there is no need for any further staging tests at this time, therefore no spreading is the belief. Thank you Jesus!!!!!!
She says I will benefit from the drug, Tamoxifen, the 5 year drug. Can you say "menopause". Great, can't wait...As I sit here just starting my period today I realize that this might be the last one I ever have. I actually am feeling sad, like someone is taking something away from me and they didn't even say please, although I would of gladly of given it away if it saves my life.
Now here it comes, wait for it, wait for it... she says it " Chemo"! I think my big girl pants fell down.
I guess somewhere deep inside I just wanted this all to go away. I have felt at times that this has been a journey where I am just the observer. I don't believe that this is all actually happening sometimes and especially happening to me. Its like being in a lazy river, and you sit in your tube and float along all peaceful, and then all of a sudden you hit the turbulent water and your crashed around a bit and then the water smacks your face bringing you back to reality. I will finish the course but I am not getting back in after.
I don't want Chemo but I will do it. She said I got one kick at the can. Lets see how far that can travels.
So here I go....4 rounds starting very soon... hair loss, fatigue, sadness, but what I really see is a future, my life, my chance to get it right. I feel this circle of love around me, believing, feeling things I have yet to recognize my self. I don't ever feel alone on this journey and to all of you out there thank you. You believe so I believe.