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!