I will admit, the thrill of same day service is wonderful. Door dash, flowers or even pipes gone leaky and the plumber happens to be 5 minutes away? Score. Body going haywire, and the doctors are bouncing you from machine to tech to new machine, than to another doctor all in the same day? Not so wonderful. I guess it was the best, worst kind of efficient same day service that landed me back in cancer land.
Can anyone believe that this is happening again?!?!!! I certainly can’t. Total BS if you ask me. This isn’t how this pregnancy was suppose to go. This was our chance at total redemption to do this over again and have it done the way everyone else gets to do it. Giving the old F- you to cancer.
So how did I get here? Well, we all know how babies are made so I don’t have to explain that part. I didn’t have any of what I would consider to be typical cancer symptoms. I mean, maybe I did, but they also coincided with pregnancy. I’ve had fatigue and breast (in the feeling side) pain. Some people who are pregnant get carpal tunnel (Ya know, when you hand goes numb).
When I got pregnant, my armpit on the mastectomy side started to ache. Since I don’t have any feeling in my “foob” (aka fake boob) I figured the pain was deferring to my armpit. When I would sleep, my arm on that same side kept getting numb. Finally one night, 2 weeks ago it was so bad I couldn’t sleep. I’m talking my arm was all propped up on a pillow, it was so numb, and it hurt damnit. I called my OB to ask if I could get a lidocaine patch to help with the numbness.
She booked me to see a neurologist at 8am the next morning, and that day was full of same day service.
Wow! What service, all in a day! I just felt privileged at that point, maybe I couldn’t allow the thought of cancer to occur to me. The neurologist mentioned a reoccurrence but I was like no way. I’m pregnant. I’m fine lady. Give me a patch and send me the heck home. Oh no! Not so easy. She booked me for an MRI and and ultrasound (of my armpit) and got me an appointment for my Oncologist later the same day. I was getting a ‘little’ nervous to say the least.
The day progressed, people started acting really, really nice to me. I immediately thought, I know this! It’s a familiar manner– the same way I treat my patients when something is wrong, and they don’t quite know about, yet. Cue my anxiety at this point, like a Space X rocket.
I talk with my oncologist, who is now suggesting to biopsy these masses found on the MRI in my lymph nodes (and on the ultrasound), all same day. They told me that it ‘could’ or ‘couldn’t’ be ‘scar tissue’ or ‘cancer again’. I’m balling at this point. All she says is I’m sorry. I was waiting for her to give me a “let’s see what the biopsy says” or “we don’t know anything definitive yet, let’s not get upset”. But no, She knew and I knew … it was back. Although you never lose hope till you hear those words “it’s cancer”. But we knew. And so begins the longest two weeks of my life…. 5 grueling days later was the biopsy. 5 days trying to grapple with the thoughts this was happening again. I didn’t even want to use the “C” word in these thoughts but it kept coming up as a no brainer. We still held onto hope.
Biopsy went fine and we waited again… 6 days! 6 agonizing, looooong, days where you are your worst enemy. You see breast cancer is sneaky, cancer wants to kill you. It’s not forgiving, it doesn’t care you have a family or are pregnant or have a career. She is a ruthless bitch set out to destroy – destroy everything in her path. It’s a like a cancer volcano that was exploded 4 years ago in my breast… the hot lava from the cancer flowing out, engulfing everything in its path leaving only ashes and dust behind, nothing living. And at any given time another cancer volcano can pop up and this time usually angrier than the first and even more destructive. Meaning it comes back in your organs, bones or even brain again leaving only ashes and dust behind and lots of sad people missing their loved one.
And mine came back- the cancer was back. Biopsy was positive for malignant cells. No words.
We were scared, nope that doesn’t quite describe it…. were terrified… hmm, nope, still doesn’t touch it. There are no words to explain to you all what was running through our heads and the feelings we were having. Was I going to be ashes and dust?
Next was scans… scans to see where the cancer lava had flowed to. Scans were 3 days later and we got the results the following day. And we all know the results because I had you all praying like crazy which in eternally grateful for.
So what’s next? What’s ahead? We waste no time and I start chemo this Thursday. I get to lose my hair all over again that I just grew back. I get weeks of side effects from poison running through my body putting out the lava fires praying it is contained to its area. I get to do everything all over again, WE get to do everything all over again. And I will say this… having cancer was terrible. But the friends I made, the love I felt, the support I had was remarkable. I NEVER would have experienced such sincere love if I didn’t have cancer. My relationships grew, made amazing news friends and was blessed in ways I could have never imagined. It blew my mind how such good could come from something so bad. We wouldn’t have been able to make it through with out the help and love from my family and friends. That is all you wonderful people who are reading this. So thank you. Thank you for then and thank you for now and thanks you for what’s ahead.