Monday, May 9, 2011

Running the Numbers

Today was a day of ups and downs, more ups BY FAR than downs so here is to celebrating good things.

This day marked the first day I felt like myself again. I cleaned up a few vases of dead flowers, I read a couple of contracts, I responded to work stuff a bit. My brain was actually processing information. I felt like I had come back from the brink of something chilly and damp and into the sunlight of what embodied life is.

I also got the last of my drains out today. I won't go into the drama of drains, but suffice it to say that your body doesn't absorb everything quickly and it needs some help. A few days into having Nick clean these things and I was about to hurl every time I looked at the receptacles. In a day or so, I'll be sleeping on my side again (huzzah! It's been ages) and won't have to sleep sitting up any more. And, the allergic reaction seems to be receding. Small things seem miraculous these days.

I also had the joy of going to a building committee meeting for David's (and soon to be Ava's) amazing, wonderful school to approve the purchase of a new school building, a dream I've been working on with a wonderful group of others for over 2 years. It's true that if you believe in something/work on something long enough, it just might happen. This is proof to me that a dream can come true. Pretty amazing stuff and something to look forward to.

Finally the best part of the day is that my genetic tests for BRCA 1 & 2 came back as "NO MUTATION". That doesn't mean that I don't have a genetic mutation, but it means that the ones they screen for (the scary ones that mean no ovaries, forced menopause, and a higher likelihood of colon and pancreatic cancer) are not mine. Ava will have to start getting mammograms at age 29 and my female relatives still need to do their cancer risk assessments, but this is good news. 

But the downside today was that we also met with medical oncology to start talking about chemo. Their opinion is that I need it. So riddle me after a double mastectomy, stage 1 diagnosis, clean margins, no lymph node involvement, *no* other evidence of cancer in the breast do I still end up with a 30% chance of having breast cancer in my body? And, even after chemo, that number drops to around 15%. There's no way to know if the little breast cancer seeds are anywhere else and the only hammer they have is a poison that might give me neuropathy in my hands and feet, possible heart failure, etc.  Nick is doing the research to make sure this is the right decision. It feels eminent, but I want to make sure I am making the right choice to take 4 months of pumping chemicals into my body. I don't want to make this an automatic "of course" decision. I also realize I am only turning 40, that I have many more years on this planet and dealing with breast cancer metastasized to my liver, bone or lungs is not something that will keep me on this Earth. It all feels like a really crappy odds game at this point, not to mention BEING BALD for my sister in law's wedding in October.

So, if we go with the chemo, it starts May 31st-ish. Still trying to work out how I am going to time it with work/other obligations that I love. But that's the next phase, so I am going to enjoy this week and next without giving it a lot of thought.

Some friends and I are cooking up a fun little guerrilla art project to make merrier the onset and duration of chemo...stay tuned (bwahahahhahahahaaaaa).

1 comment:

  1. thinking of you on's just too unreal at times to believe this is actually happening, and i'm merely a bystander, you are the lead role in this strange new mini-series you've been cast into.

    you continue to move through this with such presence, i love you, more and more every day.