If we can’t call this period of time in my life a journey, maybe it can be considered a roller coaster ride because for every happy peak there seems to be a devastating, kick-in-the-crotch-feeling valley.
Tuesday = Lymph Nodes are clear. Awesome, fabulous news, super exciting.
Thursday = Chemo is coming. Shit.
I had this (obviously) unrealistic dream that the oncologist would walk in the room, give me a high five, shoot a confetti cannon and tell me to go back to work and come back in 6 months for a scan. Not so much.
The appointment was almost 3 hours long and included a talk about my medical history (again), me sweating, the poor oncologist sticking his hands in my armpits during an exam, a super heavy conversation and more information than my brain was able to process. After examining my surgical area we went into another room (I am 100% certain that we moved rooms because of the overwhelming strength of my BO in room 1) and the hard conversation started. He drew it all out on the whiteboard…the details of my cancer, the recommendation for treatment and the numerous side effects that come as a package deal.
Essentially Dr. J got all of the visible cancer cells during surgery and now it’s over to Dr. Pansegrau to make sure that any little hiding cancer snipers living in my body are killed too. He said that breast cancer can show up years later in other parts of the body (blood, other organs etc.) because there aren’t any tests that can detect small cancer cells. So chemo will hopefully decimate any little cancer snipers that are laying low and reduce the chance of reoccurrence. Awesome right!?! Yes, but because this is a roller coaster, there has to be a down side – Side effects. Lots of them. I have received entire booklets just on the side effects of the individual drugs and the most common are: hair loss, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, metallic taste in mouth and/or mouth sores, tingling/numb fingers and toes…to highlight a few.
So it’s official. Chemo starts in May and looks a little something like this:
Drug #1 – 90 minute IV session once every 3 weeks for 4 times. And once that’s done, we start Drug #2 – IV session once every week for 12 weeks so we are looking at 6-7 months of this process. Apparently the amount of each drug is dependant on height and weight sooo…that doesn’t work in my favour. Thanks for nothing beer and food.
So over the next few weeks amidst the tests, appointments and blood work I’ll keep focusing on healing and try to enjoy feeling more and more like myself before the chemo gets underway.
It’s crazy to look back on the last 3 weeks and all of a sudden feel as though that was the easy part. Perspective is a funny thing.