Journal 1st October
Today is the day I fear most – the news of what treatment I need. So many questions to ask. Why me, why did I get it? Will I need chemotherapy or/and radiation? I know, so far, they say I shouldn’t have to worry. But Elizabeth Murry, the oncologist is the one who is going to decide. I DON’T WANT CHEMO OR RADIATION!!!
After E. Murry:
The news that sent me reeling was the size of the of the mass. It is not 18mm but 22,3: that means T2N0M0 – I don’t know what stage that is. Am I worse off than I thought? why didn’t I ask?
The mass had many oestrogen receptors which is a good thing because it means it’s not the aggressive type. So Tamoxifen for 5 years should be enough. Hopefully.
Now there is the expensive gene array analysis. Thank goodness Derek got us onto Gap Cover in May. All the expenses will be covered. And we wait for the decision about radiation and chemo therapy. I thought I would know today.
I am sure that every one of you has asked: ‘why me?’ about a situation you have landed in. And I truly thought I was not going to get cancer. So I also questioned, ‘Why me?’ I am not about to give you an answer. Each of us has a journey to take to find out our personal answers, but I have come to the conclusion that sometimes it is the question that matters more than the answer.
I felt that I did everything that I could to prevent breast cancer. I followed the Mediterranean diet most of my life, eating my fruit and vegetables and moderate amounts of meat and fish; didn’t drink much alcohol or sodas; and didn’t smoke. I chose to avoid contraceptives and used the Billings (natural) method of contraception because in those days people thought that contraceptives might make you vulnerable to cancer; now they think the opposite. And since my cancer was triggered by oestrogen it might have been better for me to be on the pill. Do I regret not knowing the right information? No. We do the best we can with the information we have at the time. I breast fed my two children for as long as possible as well because I heard that was a protective measure. So I thought I was safe and believed I had it covered. Since I had no family history of cancer, only heart disease, on both sides of my family it was a complete shock when I was discovered to have cancer. So I definitely asked ‘why me?’ I found it hard to believe and kept saying to Derek ‘maybe they made a mistake’.
The gene array analysis results came back having checked if I had the gene for cancer. As it turns out I don’t. This is great and my children don’t have to worry but it still shows you don’t have to have the genes for cancer to get it. In my case it is caused by oestrogen.
Remember you are not exempt. And it pays to be checked regularly.
Journal 15th October
Today I have been told the very good news: I don’t need chemotherapy or radiation. I feel like I have escaped! Total relief. I do however need to take Tamoxifen for 5 years. Not the best, but I will take that.
A weight has dropped from my shoulders.
Next time I am going to explain about my breast reconstruction.
If you want to read the sequence of events from the beginning you can find them here:
First Discovering I had cancer
second Meeting my surgeon
Forth Facing my fear of surgery
Fifth I am on fire: breast surgery recovery
Sixth Why me, Cancer, why me?
Seventh Breast reconstruction