I was at DHMC from 8am-6pm today and in meetings back to back the entire time. On one hand, there is an entire team working hard to fix me, on the other hand, it’s exhausting.
Some of what’s going on I’ll share now and some I may share later or not at all. The one thing I ask is please don’t send me anything you’ve googled (other than Pirates) and please don’t send me stories of other people right now (I may be interested later, but am not ready to really reach out to the rest of the cancer community). I am extremely overwhelmed right now, but doing a good job of holding it together (I didn’t cry at all today at the doctor’s so I went out for ice cream afterwards). However, I do love all of your support.
Ok, so here’s where I’m at roughly. My goal is to not do chemo first, my original goal was not to do it at all, but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. The doctors want me to do chemo first, but that would be 6-8 months and then surgery which would make it next to impossible for me to start a life in New Orleans anytime in the near future and make me feel stuck in cancer land for a very long time. Surgery first means that I can transfer my chemo treatments down to New Orleans once I and the medical powers that be feel comfortable and then can start working towards a job, etc.
The doctors are cool with what I want on one condition, I’m having a bone scan and a CT on Tuesday and they need to come back clean, as in no cancer anywhere other than my left boob. If there is cancer other places, well holy shit that will suck, but I’ll need chemo first to try and get that under control because it will be a completely different story. So hopefully this will be the good thing that the cosmos owe me right now.
I am also getting a lymph node biopsy on Tuesday which is going to suck big hairy balls. I am seriously displeased about this. It’s going to hurt and bruise worse than the boob one and I will once again not be able to hang out in my parent’s pond or to tubing, which has been going on for a while now and will be a permanent thing through the end of summer once I go for surgery. Cut me a break here. I don’t have a lot going on for me right now.
Two of my nodes were enlarged in my MRI and I had a ultrasound today to look at them. Good news was that one of them looked fine, but the second one is still enlarged which could indicate cancer presence, which is how cancer also spreads to other places. Hella lame. However, I’ve also had a cough for five weeks, so it could be a bi-product of being sick and not have any cancer presence. So nothing concrete, but if it does have cancer then they’ll remove a ton of those (possibly all) instead of just some when I have surgery and I won’t sweat under that arm (not so bad right?). Bad side (always is one with this) is that I would need radiation and it would increase my chances of lymphodema which is pretty shitty. However, if you’re going to send positive thoughts or talk to the big man/woman, please focus on the bone scan and CT, that’s my priority to have turn out ok.
On a positive note, I really liked all of my doctors (except for one ultrasound nurse that I’ll probably never have to see again; she was reminiscing about the good old days when they just took everything out rather than doing all this imaging to be able to pinpoint what was actually needed. Seriously.) I met with a bajillion people today, so this is hats off to DHMC for hiring great people. Everyone was really focused on doing whatever they can for us, we were actually supposed to be done around 1pm, but they fit in a ton more meetings on doctor’s schedules so we accomplished a lot today.
It was also a completely surreal day. We had to decide some things that people take years to decide in 30min, because of my situation. It’s insane. It’s also really crazy just how many decisions and discussions we had today. I feel like I spent the day in some sort of twisted never never land, no connection to the real world. Luckily we’re going back tomorrow for a few hours, so that should be a good reminder that this is in fact real.
Like I said, emotionally I did way better than I thought I would, but I am exhausted now. Thank you all for your support, it really helps. Also, I had high hopes of visiting SF and getting an emotional recharge from everyone there, but that’s 99% not happening at this point due to the timing of everything I need done. I told A. that cancer is shitting all over my life today. I still feel that way pretty firmly, but I did have ice cream that was really good at the end of it, so there’s that. Also, no one appears to think I’m dying, so that’s comforting as well.