From Bad to Worse

It started out as such a good day. I received word from the oncologist that after further examination of the mammogram, ultrasound, and consultation with other oncologists, a bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction was recommended and advised. Decision made! Now let’s get it scheduled! I felt lighter as I went through the day, knowing the decision was made and supported by doctors. Things were beginning to line up and work in my favor. I was just waiting for a phone call from the plastic surgeon in regards to my ct scan. Would my vascular system support the type of reconstruction I want? The phone rings, again during my 7th hour class. I wasn’t going to answer, but it rang again and again. So, I pick up. It is not the plastic surgeon. It’s the general surgeon and he has the worst news to date. There are two spots on my liver and one on my spine that are suspicious. Could likely be metastatic disease…..not from this new breast cancer…..but from the one I had 10 years ago! This time…..going back in to finish teaching is a little harder. But I do it anyway.

After school I made a b-line for my car, then break down. This can’t be happening. It’s my greatest fear over the past decade come to life. How? After ten years? I’m in complete disbelief. I thought I had made it. I thought the 2001 cancer had been beat. They said 10 years…..I made it 10 years!  So apparently, my new breast cancer, is the least of my worries.

I know what comes next…..more tests…..more evaluations. Metastatic breast cancer can be treated, but not cured. So the question is…..how long? Most make it at least a couple of years. Some make it 5. A lucky few make it 10. Anyway I look at it, my years are now numbered. There is always hope for new drugs and treatments. But a cure is unlikely in the near future. The focus is no longer on cure, but treatment. No longer is it possible to get rid of it. Breast cancer will live with me the rest of my life. At this point, I pray for quality of life for me and my family, for as long as possible. I vow to make whatever time I have left worthwhile. I will be one of the few who actually get to “live like they are dying.”

I had hope that these entries would get lighter, more positive. But, the whole situation has gone from bad to worse. I feel completely helpless, completely out of control. I’m not sure where to go from here.

10 years ago…..I made a deal with God. Just let me live to see my son grow up, and I can peacefully accept death at any point after that. Maybe this is his “times almost up” warning. I had hoped that perhaps I would earn a few “bonus years” for good behavior…..but maybe not. The bargain still stands however, give me 3-4 more years……I’ll accept anything after that. I’m not afraid of dying, I am afraid of abandoning my son at a tender age. I desperately want to see him into adulthood. Anything after that, is truly a bonus. I will fight to stay with him and my husband for as long as possible. It’s not over yet. I’ll take whatever time is left, make the absolute most of every minute. It may sound dismal or discouraging, but it’s as positive as I can be right now.

Thanks to all who are following my blog and the many messages of love and support. I am one lucky woman to have so many selfless and giving people in my life. I am blessed!

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4 Responses to From Bad to Worse

  1. Sarah says:

    My dear sweet friend,
    This is not fair and I am mad as hell! You are a fighter and by continuing to fight and staying strong, you will see your son graduate high school. We will then focus on you seeing him graduate college and having a family, one milestone at a time.
    I am soooo here to help you in anyway I can with this battle. Please remember that and please lean on me whenever you need to.
    I love you Kay!

  2. Kyla says:

    Kay,
    You are the strongest person I know, an absolute fighter to the end. I just don’t understand it and it breaks my heart. I will pray that you will see your grandchildren (but not that Nick gets a girl pregnant any time soon!) You are loved by so many, you have already touched so many lives, now let us return the favor and be there for you!!! I will also pray that a cure will be found!

  3. David Fending says:

    Kay,
    Theodore Roosevelt once said “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”. You beat this once and if there is anyone who beat it a second time it’s you. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Mark and Nick. You’ll have a long hard road to recovery, If there is anything that I can help with I’m one call away! Teachers have the summer off, so I can be your chauffeur.
    David

  4. Heather says:

    I’m left brokenhearted over this, and yet will remain hopeful through prayer and God’s love. Daily, you’ll be in my heart.
    While I can’t imagine what it must be like to be faced with what you’re currently facing, I can relate to your thoughts about desperately wanting the opportunity to see Nick become an adult while you’re in this life. I also relate when you mentioned you’re not afraid of death, but rather “abandoning” Nick. As Moms, the thought of being permanently seperated from your child is an enormous fear and makes no sense in our hearts or minds.
    You’ve been such a wonderful Mom to Nick and you’re still here, still being a wonderful Mom to Nick. I’m hopeful that you’ll continue to see him grow up and your medical care will be effective. Taking it one day at a time must be such a challenge when there are so many uncertainties. I don’t cope well with uncertainties, so I often tell myself to, “Cast your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.”
    We care about you and your family very much. Thanks for keeping us updated with such an intimate trial you’re facing.
    Hugs,
    Heather

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