Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Checkup and TMI

Well its been a long time coming so here is the update: I Have gone through quite the year since last December when I last got off the Radiation Van and walked to my car for the last time. Its hard to believe its been a full year; it seems so long ago.
Time has gone by swiftly.

I have had several great checkups with all good news: no breast cancer signs!!

This is the news everyone wants to hear, especially those asking me "so How are you doing".

But the journey hasn't been all that smooth and I still have long strides ahead.

Let me explain:

My last chemo session was in May; just a week before my son graduated from high school. It wasn't all the chemo meds the last session; just one and it was the mild one that only gave me allergy type symptoms; headachey, sinus pressure, runny nose, bloody noses but nothing severe or nauseous making. I was so relieved to be done!!

It was joyous saying good bye to the nurses and fully embracing the finality of getting through a years worth of chemo and radiation!!! VICTORY!!

But there was so much to be done for graduation and my family all arriving to visit that I had no time to relax and rest and just absorb that I was done and I could heal.
The flurry of the May/June's activities completely wiped me out and I was whipped and sad and really really wanted to savour the summer since I really hadn't been able to enjoy anything for so long and I wanted every single last minute my son was to be home to be memorable. Basically I wanted to float through the summer and get rejuvenated.

Well that wasn't to be.

I had relatives and staying visitors all the rest of the summer right up until a few days before we had to bring my son to his dorm for his new adventure. So many people, so much to do to prepare; so much to do as hostess; so much activity.

I was really seething inside and finally exploded with anger one night. I actually felt menopausal with my instantaneous eruption. But I hadn't had any kind of a cycle since starting the chemo so that was out of the question since my oncologist told me that I probably would never cycle again and I should desperately hope not to since that would be hormonal and show that my body was developing all those female hormones that I wouldn't want since my cancer feeds on hormones. It would bode bad things. But it sure felt like that. It felt like PMS. That out of control unreasonable fury.

I continued to feel angry/bitter/overwhelmed and completely over my head with resentment while packing my son up and doing all the last minute worrying, sorting, packing and organizing. Dealing with visitors in and out. I was really out of sorts about it all.

The day we moved my son in to his college dorm room I was a mess; Oh I didn't show it on the outside that day; but inside I was a mess.

It was about 107* with a high humidity index where his school is. The emotions and heat and exhaustion was overwhelming. I thought I was just way exaggerating the moment and really thought I was going to have a panic attack. Just before we left to take him, I started a period. I hadn't had one in a year!!! I surely was experiencing PMS!!

Needless to say I was freaked out and panicked and the day was spent in this emotional haze that cant be explained. I didn't say a word.

I finally broke down and told my husband on the way home.

I called and made an appointment with my oncologist after the weekend and of course he shook his head and said this was not good. It prompted him to send me for genetic testing which is this amazing process by which they take a blood sample and send it away to this testing laboratory. they actually extract DNA and test it for all the genes and chromosomes that predisposition people to some disease; in my case only hormonal cancers.

Yes it came back positive and that news has sent me on a whirlwind of doctors visits; specialists and yadda yadda yadda.

Boil it all down to this; I tested positive for BRCA 2. Which means that I am predisposed to certainly having breast or ovarian cancer. Well I already had breast cancer so that means that within 5 years I most certainly will have it again.

I had testing and biopsies and yes, my body miraculously healed itself and fought to start producing again.

Prescription: have all areas removed that are certain to get cancer.

Yes that means ovaries, fallopian tubes and breasts.

I had the hysterectomy 3 weeks ago. It was a smooth and easy surgery; it was all done with three small insicions and I am doing great. Healing was easy. When you take the ovaries out it throws a body into instant menopause. I will be ok with that. During chemo it does too so I'm pretty well accustomed to the symptoms. It'll be ok.

Now I just need to recover and figure out which route of reconstruction I want to do for the next stage of surgery and then schedule the next one. I am so not certain how I want to proceed with reconstruction and my brain balks at even thinking about it.

But yet this is all I think about.

I wake up in the night thinking about it.

I cant stop thinking about it.

It is too huge for my brain to absorb.

I don't want to be thinking about this.

But if I do this it reduces my chances to less than 2% of getting any of these cancers and I have to do it.

So I must think about this; and I must do this!

I want to see my son grow and flourish and have children and I want to retire and go on old peoples cruises.

I want to clean dentures with those fizzy pills and pick out tennis balls for my walker.

I want to join the mall walkers senior club so that I can go have coffee and cinnabun every morning.

I want to grow old and die in my sleep naturally with my kids, grand kids and great grand kids around me.

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