Can’t Quit. Won’t Quit.

I’m a member of a few breast cancer support groups on FaceBook. Many women answer a question in terms of their faith supporting them, and feeling that prayers helped their healing. I understand that some people need the support of their faith. I don’t begrudge them something that doesn’t work for me. But I try to give concrete answers to questions. How do you deal with the drain tubes, or getting into/out of a bed with steps, or how to know what reconstruction will entail? Well if I’ve got the same situation, I tend to tell them exactly how I dealt with that.

And today, a woman was talking about her recent diagnosis, saying her doctor recommended a lumpectomy, hormone treatment, and radiation, unless an MRI showed differently, and asking if hormone treatment was the best option. Now I’m no doctor; I don’t even play one on TV. She received a lot of answers about a lumpectomy, and hormone treatment. I answered a question she hadn’t even asked. About what happens if that MRI shows something different.

I begged her not to blow by that part, and assume that the initial diagnosis was the final diagnosis. I explained how my current diagnosis was not  even close to what the first one was. The MRI, any biopsies, and even the surgery itself can reveal things not known prior, which will require you and your doctor to reevaluate your diagnosis and treatment plan. It’s like renovating an older house. Every time you open up something, you’re going to find something else that you have to take into consideration. Doesn’t mean the estimate was wrong, just means you have new information now.

She replied that she’s gone into each new test with positive thoughts, and was disappointed that the results had been negative each time, that that this was a ride she hadn’t asked for. Yep, welcome to the crappiest club in the world, where like Groucho Marx said, if they want me to be a member, I don’t want to be a part of it! And yet, here we are. In a club nobody wants to be a part of.

I’m not thrilled with the parts I’ve been through so far. Some of it hurt during, and some afterwards. None of it has been pleasant…except the morphine. Mmmmm…morphine. But even the pleasant part didn’t last long. I’m not at all pleased with these expanders. And the idea of another surgery, months down the road, to get rid of the expanders, is not a pleasant expectation. And chemo, and radiation, and hormone therapies are no bunch of roses either.

But I’m not gonna sit here and wail “Why me?” Why NOT me? I’m not special. Hearing that I had cancer only confirmed my suspicions, it didn’t destroy me. The only thing that would destroy me is hearing that I wouldn’t be around to even see my daughter graduate high school, let alone college, or marriage. And I’m not going to let that happen while there is an ounce of strength in me. I will fight. The doctors tell me where they *think* the final gate it, but that’s only what they think today. Tomorrow is another day.

So I’ll sleep tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll get up and find out where we think the final gate is *today*. And I’ll fight in that direction.

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