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Monday, October 25, 2010

Chemo Me Tickled

October 22: I had some pretty impressive support. My husband Barry, my regular Dr. V as well as Dr. B from the Smithers Cancer Unit sat with me in front of a television set listening to what the Kelowna Oncologist had to say. She began by recounting the events up to date before asking me multiple health history questions, including cancer in the family, childbirth info and how much DID I smoke way back when? She then said because breast cancer does not run in my family, because it was a micro metastasis as in below the standard size to be listed as an N2 (a cancerous lymph node and an automatic sentence to chemo) that it would be up to me to choose whether or not to go forward with the chemo, or head straight to Kelowna for the radiation therapy.
It was "the Pass" I had prayed for. The sliver of hope of not having to subject my body to such vile toxins- of getting sick almost to death, possibly destroying bone marrow, of losing my hair (ALL my body hair...OMG!), getting infections.
So...why wasn't I dancing the touchdown Rhomba? It's because even after I said, no, I don't want to hear them, my team asked to hear the numbers. The percentages we were dealing with. And the Chemo upped my survival rate and my chance of avoiding a recurrence. It would also give me more piece of mind knowing I had done everything possible to stomp out any lingering wisp of cancer cells even toying with the idea of starting any more trouble.
When I still hesitated, Dr. B asked Barry. Was I the type to to live easily with taking chances or would I forever worry I had made the right choice to skip out of the harder path. He didn't even pause. Worry wart! Yes, I had to agree for a change. I would be an absolute rubber room candidate if I didn't allow my brain to talk me into doing this to myself.
Before the conference ended, I made the decision. A winter without hair it would be. All I want now for Christmas are some bangs. And a Porsche. And a grandchild ( a quiet one-ha!). (Might as well have a few pipe dreams if you're going to bother with any!)

My next appointment is Wednesday for blood work and an eye-opening discussion with the Oncology nurse of exactly what will be happening, right down to what to and not to eat on the Day of a treatment. That's four treatments spread three weeks apart. Twelve weeks, three months. I can do this! Easy. I've gone without chocolate that long. Probably tougher, but I did it.

I have the name of a Naturalist in Victoria who will advise me on the right vitamins and concoctions to fortify my body with. The armour to protect my good things while aiding the chemicals to stomp out and destroy the bad things. The helmet and army boots to kick some serious cancer butt! It's going to be a massacre, but I'm going to come out of this on top. Of that, I am pretty certain. Mostly.Some.

Let's DO IT!

I do know it's important to be mentally prepared as well. I need to convince myself to overcome the fear of all the horrible things I have seen in movies and read in books about what chemo used to be like. Today, I remind myself, there are amazing anti-nauseants and things to control other things like diarrhea and mouth sores. I have to be okay with whatever comes my way, to welcome them because they are necessary for the outcome to be what we want. So I have been working on a new mantra.

I asked for these drugs because I believe in them.

Okay, so I am not quite there yet. Repeating this still makes my eyes get all blurry. Maybe if I eat chocolate while I say it. Now we're talking. This is going to a piece of cake, chocolate cake to be precise!