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Monday, September 20, 2010

Part 5 Getting The Next News Cancer 101

And yet another surgeon I have never met before enters the room. Dr. F will deliver the news which is all good because I don't know him. It will be easier to hold a firm dislike and grudge against the person that can so easily kick the wind out of your sails. The lump was removed with a clear margin, but only a 500 macron margin on one side, which is not the best. Also, a tiny bit of cancer was found in one of the 7 lymph nodes removed. He also mentioned the "C" word (Chemo) which Barry said, "he means future drugs." Barry was thinking Tomoxifin. Dr. F was thinking Chemo. Okay, so at this point I am unsure of what this all means. So I spend the next few hours making up cute scenarios. Just a wee bit of cancer probably means radiation of that node area. Right? Maybe they'll take more out, right? Or maybe , probably I can skip more surgery because it's such a wee bit, a small tumor and I'm so lucky. You said that, or someone said that, who said that? Someone said that. I'm lucky. None of this should be happening anyway.
Then I meet with my friend Dr. V. It was right to the point. Possible full mastectomy. The surgeon will probably recommend going for that clear margin. And Chemo. Once in the lymph nodes, you go for Chemo.
I started to cry at this, but kept on talking as I pulled Kleenex from the box. "But it was only a bit..." and the usual arguments only I could come up with. Arguing with cancer specialists. Does that make sense to anyone else? Is this how I was supposed to learn this lesson in life, the hard way again? Make it so that my arguments would eventually sound ridiculous, even to me?
I left smiling and telling my friend I would see her on the weekend for a jog. I had to hold the breast firmly with my arm or hand as I ran, but I could still run.
It wasn't until I got to the vehicle that the reality hit home and thankfully I have a BF up the road from the clinic. I fell apart in her driveway, great racking sobs mostly from the fear of it all. I had skipped over every Chemo section in all the literature. That wouldn't apply to me. I just had a BIT of cancer. It was just the positively worst news. Or so I thought at the time.
The hardest part through most of this has been the waiting in between. Now we had to wait for an Oncologist to tell us the next plan of action. We picked having a Kelowna oncologist, which means doing Radiation out of that centre.
That plan came through the first of September. More surgery. Dr. E phoned and wanted me back to Terrace for more breast tissue and more lymph nodes. This time I would have a drain attached to my side for 2 weeks to remove the fluid from my lymphatic system. The good news? The breast could still be saved.
Forgive me if I no longer jump for joy at anything a Dr. tells me anymore. To tell the truth I was all psyched to head straight to Chemo and blast any cancer cells still in my body the heck out of there. In fact, take both breasts off and reconstruct a higher, firmer set, then send me to Chemo where I will find the most amazing, life-altering wig and become the most exquisite cancer-free creature, indeed. What do you mean more surgery? I am finally healing. I am just starting back to jogging twice a week, and I did laps this week at the pool. How can I possibly go backwards again? Especially when it is all too fresh in my head. It hurt. Remember??

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