Saturday, March 3, 2007

Count Down....

The past few weeks have been a seemingly never ending whirl of doctors, technicians, magnetic resonance imaging, PET, CT, and Bone scans. Among other things, they test ones ability to survive these tests.

In one day I was injected with three different radioactive isotopes, all to test a different body part. I wonder just how healthy is that? But we are past worrying about my "getting cancer" now.

I discovered two things:

The first was that my cancer has not spread any where. I have a funky thyroid that "needs looking at" but that can wait at the end of the line. My bones are clear, my organs are all in one piece and not harboring any terrorist cells and I have just been informed I have an "unremarkable brain." Funny he should think so, because I am coming up with some rather remarkable remarks to that declaration, but I am being good. You see, I have to be. I have cancer, for the second time. Being snippy doesn't help in the kharma department. So on top of everything else I have to be nice to people.

I have met with my new breast surgeon and new plastic surgeon and all systems are go and as of Tuesday evening I will no longer have the breasts I hoped would grow when I was a girl. I even did the Judi Blume exercises religiously---"we must we must we must increase our bust" whilst flapping my elbows like a deranged chicken. And then they DID grow, and made me so self conscious that my best friend and I walked with our arms tightly crossed around our chest so that no one would notice just how effective the chicken dance improves a girl's silhouette. This was my best friend all through my school girl days. She is gone now. The Beast took her about five years ago.

When we were girls, pouring over our Seventeen magazines in her hot attic, never did we imagine that the long haired, carefree lives those grown up girls were living would escape us entirely. Our futures were never to hold the promise of a baby or a husband - we got cancer instead.

My cancer is different this time. My first was ER/PR negative. Also known as "the bad one" because there is nothing to treat it with after chemo and it is extremely aggressive. No, this time it is ER/PR Positive. Which means I have a plethora of medications to choose from that can help me live longer.... everyone tells me I should be happy. All I feel is tired. I feel like FDR must have when he thought that he was gaining headway in the European theater only to be attacked by Japan. Now he has to always keep an eye on the continent, and also make up as he goes along this unknown enemy from the east.

I will write more about my upcoming surgery. I will detail it out. But now, I want to watch an old movie and pretend it is just like any other cozy night at home and not t-minus three days to bilateral mastectomy.....

Please know this: you don't ever have to tell a cancer patient how brave they are, and how strong they are. They are doing the best that they can. They can't change anything- and they must beat on. Are they any more special than people cancer free? Yes. Because their diagnosis has brought them to a place that has always been there but they never knew it. Everyone has greatness inside them, everyone is a super hero, they just don't realize it until they are forced to find that strength within them that has always been there.

Have faith and don't be afraid. The warrior in you is there- always- and that warrior will be called to service from time to time and you will see for yourself, your real strength and it will sustain you. No matter how bad it gets. In the immortal words of Stevie Wonder, "Ya Gots to do what you gots to do!"


Anonymous said...

I want to say something witty and supportive...I can't seem to come up with the words. I've recently been diagnosed with BC, triple neg, and in chemo now (new adjuvant). I'm reading your blog and have one of my own if you're interested... Please feel free to stop by for a visit, we're all in this same crappy situation, not quite together, but beside each other and the support of others who walk the same road is so helpful and reassuring. Keep up the fight...I'm with you.

danahollis said...

OH MY GOSH... you made a BLOG! Yay!!!! :) :) :) :)

Ok... I need to go get a Sunkist Lemonade and come back and read your posts.

G... you're such an inspiration to me. Your words give me so much courage. I'm thrilled you started this blog.

Sometimes, it's really hard for me to go to because I'm so deeply invested in this whole rotten deal... that I read way too much and then have to dig and scrape and crawl my way back to emotional happiness. Ya know?

Anyway... I'll be here sending you the best, most supportive and healing cyber wishes I can muster. :)

Dana (Junie 05)

Gina Maisano said...

Hi TB, what you said was supportive! We are all in this together and that is how we will get through it. Good luck with your chemo. I know, it seems like it will never end, but it will!
Remember, chemo works better on triple negs! It worked for mine. I am five years out of my trip neg diagnosis and this is a totally new cancer- a "new primary" - which is ER POSITIVE.

I want to check out your site. Thanks for stopping by mine.

We will fight this together...and win!


Hi there Dana!
So glad you found me! Full disclosure: I am still not sure how to run this thing- but I am working on it!

What did I tell you about reading scary posts??? No matter how far out you are they are still scary!

Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by!

Tina said...

Hey NS,

What a blogger you are!

What an inspiration you are, I know I don't post much anymore, trying so hard to move on but certain folks stick with you and you are one of those folks!
I am proud of you G, proud to call you a friend and a sister!

Give em hell!
Love you lots