M.I.A. and getting real

Obviously, it’s been a while.  Not really sure what that’s about but I have a few guesses and I think now is as good a time as any to get real about it.

As I’ve mentioned before, cancer is a busy business.  I have been to so many appointments in the last few weeks that I’ve hardly had time to sit down and write.  Oh that’s a good story.  Of course, I have still had time to sit down and write, I have simply chosen not to.

I’m too tired at the end of the day.  Another good story.  I have been tired, but not too tired to write.

I’ve been too emotional to write.  This has some validity in that I have been emotional.  Apparently it could take a couple months for my body to get used the hormone medication I am taking.  BUT… it’s no reason not to write!

I don’t know what the most important thing to write is.  This is closer to the truth.  I have somehow allowed myself to get caught up in a very active debate in my mind about what the best blog to write is.  Ha.  That is so laughable.  I have so much to write that I write nothing.  Definitely not the first time that has shown up in my life either!

The truth is, last week I got scared.  I let doubt creep in.  

Funny too, because just a few days before that, a friend asked me if doubt ever creeps in.  I said, “never”.  I was so convinced that I was doing the right thing.  I felt it to my core.  I had done a tonne of research and spoken to many people about what I was doing and I truly knew that I was healthy.

So what happened?  While having a conversation with another friend about things, a woman I had never met piped in that I should reconsider.  She said that women under 40 die if they don’t do chemo and radiation.  She reminded me that I have four kids who need a mom.  It honestly wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before.  It’s that fear-based mentality that I have always refused to subscribe to.  For some reason though, it crept in and took up residence in my thoughts, for days.

I cried.  I slept.  I gathered more information.  Initially I was scared to speak to anyone about it for fear that they would try to convince me one way or another.  It seems everyone has a biased opinion about cancer.  I finally opened up to my husband.  I admitted to him that I wasn’t sure anymore, that doubt had crept in.  He of course, remained steadfastly supportive to whatever I chose to do.  He was open to discussing it and supports me no matter what.

I love that!  I love that he didn’t take the weakness as an opportunity to influence my decision either way.  I didn’t want anyone to give me the answer.  I simply needed guidance back to that place of knowing.

I’m there again now.  I see things clearly.  I am healthy.  I continue to make positive choices daily for my perfect health.  

So now that I’m back, I have a lot of catching up to do, beginning with an update.  Forgive the potential influx of posts over the next couple of days but I have a lot to share with you!  Thank you for continuing to follow along my journey.  Writing to you has been so therapeutic.

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You won’t believe what the oncologist said…

I started writing this in Vancouver, a couple of weeks ago, right after three days of back-to-back to appointments.

Well, it’s been a very busy week, that’s for sure.  Before I got sick, I thought people on sick leave were taking it easy, as they should.  Turns out cancer is a full-time job!  Between all the doctor’s visits, treatments, support group meetings, and paperwork (there is more than you might think), I may just be busier now than before!

Last Friday, I got a call from the surgeon’s office informing me that the referal to the oncologist had finally been received and as per his request I would require three big appointments this week.

Monday was the bone scan, entailing a radioactive injection at 10am, and then a scan later in the day.  It was nice that they let me go home in between but it still took up most of the day.

Then Tuesday, I had to be in High River for 9am to drink a massive amount of the most disgusting “water” you can imagine, s l o w l y, over an hour and a half.  I would have given nearly anything to be able to just gulp it back and get it over with…  CT scan of my abdomen and chest followed (that’s the big tubular machine you see on TV, not so scary).  The funny thing is they hooked me up to an IV for the scan and injected some kind of dye or something into me for a couple of the scans.  The nurse very kindly warned me that for about 20-30 seconds after the injection, I would feel like I was peeing my pants!

Not to worry, I did not actually wet my pants!

Finally, yesterday, I met with my oncologist (not the one I requested).  G-U-L-P.  He began the meeting by walking in smugly and stating that he had his work cut out for him to sell me on his plan.  He then went on to say all the predictable things.  I MUST have chemotherapy (6 rounds), radiation, and hormone therapy.  Then I will be referred to a geneticist for testing.

Here’s the kicker.  He then pulled out his little prefab diagram and very slowly and patronizingly explained to me the percentages he had laid out for me.  He had ten sticks drawn on the page.  To show me that there was a 70% chance of recurrence, he circled,

wait for it…

7 of the sticks.  What a revelation.  Thank you doctor for the math lesson!

He then went on to explain that by doing the recommended treatments, I will reduce the chance of recurrence.

I declined chemotherapy.  As he handed me a one-inch thick stack of reading material, he implored me to think about it for a week and get back to him.  Okay.  Will do.

Ps. the bone scan was clear.  Still waiting on CT results.

I have said it before and will say it again now.  I am not against anyone doing medical treatments.  I believe people should choose the best thing for themselves.  For me, the best thing right now is to be healthy, and I am.

Do you feel you have a choice when it comes to health care?