Life is never predictable. That’s a lesson I’ve learned over and over again. Things can change quickly, for better or worse. It still takes me by surprise, sneaks up on me, and leaves me in a state of shock. You would think by now, life couldn’t throw too much my way that catches me off guard. But, that is what has happened….yet again!
Last week, my cousin was diagnosed with the same condition as me. She had breast cancer two and a half years ago, and now it appears to have spread to her bones. Her mother, my aunt, passed away from breast cancer in 2009. It was a terrible blow to our entire family. My aunt was a very special woman and I still desperately miss her. Now this news, although I should have been prepared, has really hit me hard. Enough is enough already!
When I heard the news from my mom, time went backward to my diagnosis in March. All the feelings of frustration, anger, fear, and anxiety came rushing back. Feelings that I thought I had gained control over. I try hard not to spend a lot of time in “why me” land. I know it does no good and there are no answers to those questions. But, I can’t help but go there in light of this recent blow. Why does this keep happening to my family? Why can’t we have a break from cancer diagnosis? What have we done to deserve this? Like I said, completely irrational questions that obviously come from an emotional state, not an intellectual one. But, feelings are real and often hard to overcome. Sometimes the best way to deal with feelings is to allow yourself to have them, accept them, and know that you will move on.
I wish I could say that it will be nice to have someone to travel this path with me. But in reality, I just assume go it alone. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, let alone a family member. I do hope that I can be a source of information and support for her, if nothing else. She lives in Ohio, so being with her in person is difficult. However, we live in the age of technology so talking, texting, facebooking, etc. shouldn’t be all that difficult. I think of her and pray for her daily!
I continue to heal from my surgery on September 4th. Cosmetically I believe the procedure improved some things, but possibly hurt others. I think I will need some more work for sure. I was hoping this surgery would be the last, but probably not. I see Dr. K. this week for follow up.
I am just under a month away from the next oncology appointment. I look back to July and how I panicked at the thought of not seeing my oncologist for 3 months. Now, here I am, so close to the appointment wondering where the past three months have gone. It’s funny how perspective can change. I will have blood work done and receive my infusion of pamidronate. This helps to keep my bones strong in case the cancer decides to settle into other bones. Unless tumor markers are up in the blood work, I won’t be scanned again until January. Part of me just wants to get scanned as often as possible, but at $7500 per scan, it’s probably not practical. Especially since, under my new insurance, I get to pay 10% Everyone knows I’m not good at math, but I am smart enough to know that 10% of $7500 in $750. I’m blown away by medical costs!
We are rapidly approaching the annual Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure. I will walk the course again on October 7th this year in hopes of raising money to find a cure for this aggressive, relentless, cruel, and indiscriminate disease. Although there may not be a cure in my lifetime, I am hopeful that treatments will continue to advance and be able to keep me around for a long time. I hope that I can participate in a trial that may prolong and/or save someone else’s life. No one should have to lose a mother, sister, daughter to breast cancer.