Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Pink Ribbons Post - Scared
Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Wed. I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries. I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer. At the end of the post, you will find the links of the previous posts from the most recent first and going back. This is not current events. This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.
It is very comforting that I have all my friends praying for me.
I'm trying to think of things I can do now to prepare for this. Anyone know what I should be doing?
I do think I need to find sports bras. I had one good one. Shaking around my brain is some memory that you need to wear tight bras. I'm going to hate the period of time between mastectomy and reconstruction. Assuming the insurance company lets me do that. **Update: by law, insurance companies must assist in reconstruction if you desire it. Apparently having breasts is a right. :/
I have told my youngest sister. She just had a lumpectomy in May and is under treatment for ca. prevention. Hers was a benign cyst. I thought she needed to know first so she could tell her doctor that her risk just went up. They may decide to be more aggressive. I chickened out. I told her by text. She's a crier. I'm a companion crier. If I see you cry, I lose it. I knew we'd never get past "I have cancer" if I actually spoke to her. :/ There is a lot of resources online on how to tell your family, spouse and children. KJ was with me so he figured it out before I said a word.
My younger sister knows that I plan to tell mom after I see the surgeon. She offered to tell mom if I can't get there before I have surgery. I so don't want to tell her. Mom had breast cancer twice. The first time, she had radiation. The second time was not long after my "big fall". I wasn't up and about yet. She had a double mastectomy that time. She is dying of liver failure. Her liver doctor believes that Tamoxifen destroyed her liver. There was never any blood work drawn (by her oncologist) to see how well her liver was doing. Her cancer doctor waved off the discussion telling mom it had nothing to do with anything at all. The liver specialist is adamant that this is what caused mom's NASH syndrome. (Non Alcoholic Scoliosing Hepatitis.) Mom is in the end stages of liver failure now, dying because of her cancer TREATMENT.
I'm having a pelvic ultrasound at 3 pm. I really need my aches and pains to be related to ovulation and menstruation. I don't know I can handle hearing again "there's something we need to take a closer look on".
That's the irony. I'd asked to have a pelvic ultrasound every other year. This summer I started having pelvic aches on one side or the other. It usually showed up at ovulation or a couple days before AF. But it was time to get this checked. The breast exam was a second thought...well while you are scheduling the pelvic, let’s do the mammy. I'm very nervous. The pelvic discomfort is why I started all this. I guess I should be grateful. I just cannot muster up any gratitude right now. I'm mad at God and don't want to speak to Him right now.
Called my doctor yesterday and asked for a script for Atavan while I go through these things. I'm very anxious. So I will be taking one beforehand. I took one before bed last night. It's the lowest dose. I couldn't tell it did anything. But we will see. I need them to let KJ into the exam with me. I will cry and plead for compassion if they say no. Not to be manipulative but because I'm holding it together, but only just.
James is off today. So Kel feels after this appointment we need to swing by there and tell him. Pray for him....and me to get through this.
Those of you who have ordered pink bracelets, I'm honored you'd wear the bracelet for me. I will look for one too so it will encourage me to speak up and encourage women to schedule their mammy regularly. I used to do it every April. Then it got to just "sometime this year. So in '08 I goofed around and got it done in Nov/ Dec '08. Then last Dec, the wheels came off KJs job and we were stressed and I kept saying this winter. I'll do it this winter. That was this last winter. So here its 7 months later than it should have been.
I just found a metric ruler and I find a cm is not as small as I thought. It's darn near a half inch! I kick myself and think it’s my own fault that it's spread to the lymphs. I let it grow. In my defense, I did do self-exams and always thought you would be able to feel any tumor. Apparently if it's at the back of the breast tissue you won't feel it until its way bigger. She did tell me I wouldn't have detected it for 2 more years’ cuz of where it's at. I learned later that one of the stages of coping with a cancer diagnosis is fear and then guilt. I guess I can check those off my list.
So everyone over 40...promise me you will get your mammy done.
Have I mentioned how scared I am? Kelly doesn't want me to talk about my fears. I think it freaks him out to consider the worst case scenario.
Fighting Cancer is harder when