Sunday, January 25, 2015

What a Difference a Week Makes!!

Last week I was such a basket case!  What a relief to be feeling more mentally stable and to not be crying all the time. This week has been pretty good.  My mom has come over a few times to help me on my quest to get my life in order, and together we have accomplished a lot. (Thanks Mom!)  I am de-cluttering and reorganizing so I can feel some sense of control, I think. I have had a number of offers from friends to come help me, and I am so appreciative, but that is hard for me.  I think it would totally be fun to have friends over helping me, but I wouldn't know how to put them to work.  Most of the time, I don't know what to do with all my stuff, much less how to tell other people what to do with my stuff.  I think I will have a really big garage sale this weekend to clear out all of my eBay stuff.  I don't think I will be selling for a while, and I have been tired for years of all the accumulation.  If I ever go back to selling stuff on eBay, I will just have to start over.  What a relief!  I think the clutter alone may have been what caused the cancer.  (Not really...but kinda...naw!)

Speaking of what caused the cancer...I sure hear a number of suggestions.  One I hear a lot is sugar.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love my sugar...and I love to wash it down with milk (another suggestion).  This is how I feel when someone suggests to me that I need to give up sugar if I don't want cancer:
Recently, I read an article that was titled something like..."10 things I wish I had known while going through chemotherapy."  I really like the one that what you want.  You won't feel much like eating anyway, so anything you CAN eat, you should eat.  It went on to say not to worry about getting cancer...YOU ALREADY HAVE CANCER!  That is what the chemo is killing...all the cancer, even the ones you don't know about.  Right!  Just the same I am re-thinking my diet.  There are many people who have much worse diets than I do, who haven't gotten breast cancer.  They eat sugar, meat, drink milk, smoke, lay out in the sun, breathe fumes (while in the state of California), and don't have breast cancer (yet anyway, I guess.)  I think it would be impossible to pinpoint why I was the lucky one.  I feel kind of like I am in the Hunger Games, and my name was drawn.  Fortunately that is were the comparison ends. 

OK...So all the information is in.  Last week I went in for a bilateral MRI.  That was relatively stress free.  I feel like I have better control of my emotions now, so it was fine.  With that they have you lay down on your tummy on a bed which as two appropriately placed holes.  My biggest fear at that time was that the slides on the sides of the hole would be cold... eeeck!!    Then I had to hold still in the TUBE for 30 minutes while I am face down with my face resting on a cradle which seemed comfortable at first, but wasn't really after a few minutes.  30 minutes is a long time for me (especially) to remain consciously still.  It's too noisy for sleep, so I passed the time playing World War Z in my memory.  I tried to think of all the details I could remember of the movie.  Just about the time my movie was over, so was my MRI.  (This is also a good way to fall asleep when I have trouble.)

The next evening, I got the results, which were relieving if only because news that has gotten progressively worse over the past 3 weeks...didn't.  The MRI found a 2.2 cm tumor with a tiny 3 mm nearby, no sign (yet) of anything in the lymph nodes, and everything else all clear.  The 3mm was a surprise, but it is nearby enough that I don't think it will create much of a problem.  The news made me breathe a sigh of relief.  Cancer spreading to the lymph nodes creates a number of problems and would move me to Stage 3.

After my MRI, I had a consultation with one of the ladies at the imaging place, she told me everything about my condition.  The tumor is Grade 3 and shows a number of signs of being aggressive.  Also it is Estrogen and Progesterone positive.  Did you know that most breast cancers are fed by our female hormones?  I never did.  That means that, after all the chemo is over,  I will be given medicine what will kind of throw me into instant menopause to remove the "food supply".   She talked about surgery, reconstruction, radiation, chemo, and hormone therapy which lasts about 5 years.  I left the consultation, feeling calm and accepting.  I don't want to do this, but I have to do this.  So I just move forward.

Next Friday, I will meet with the surgeon.  I moved my appointment up because I couldn't get over the thought that one day there is ZERO cancer in the lymph nodes and one day there is some and I definitely don't want to wait that one day too long.  They have tried to reassure me that it won't happen that way, but my logic says  that is exactly how it happens, and the nurse told me that I would always second guess myself if I put things off.  So if I do this as fast as possible, I will know I did what I could.  I am anxious for my appointment this week.  I am living in limbo now, because I don't know what to expect.  I have read so much, but every case is different.  Chemo first or surgery first?  Lumpectomy or Mastectomy? I don't want to take hormones...can I do something, anything else?  It will be a relief when I have a full picture of what lies ahead.  


Unknown said...

All good things Robin. Keeping you in our prayers. Thanks for keeping us abreast (chortle) of the situation. XO

Sherri Stradling said...

Robin, YOU are a fabulous thankful you have a desire to blog about your world, because I feel so far from you and want to be right there - helping you out or just hangin out - whatever you need. Asking a gazillion questions is no longer necessary. Thank you my Robin-egg for sharing! See you soon.

Mel Sco said...

I agree wholeheartedly with those who have said you are a great writer. You really are! Glad you're in a better place in your head. That will surely make the road ahead a little less bumpy. Toy! (Thinking Of You)

Unknown said...

I love the "control" in your voice in this post. You have to do what you have to do.