Kicking Breast Cancer's Butt


This Friday is the bone scan.  I’m expecting radioactive pee.

Next Monday is the PET/CT scan, for which I start an extreme version of Atkins on Saturday – low carb, high protein.  No bread, no pasta, no fruit, and no sweets.  Our weekend plans just took a hit.  I can enjoy my steak, but no garlic-mashed potatos for me, and no WINE.  WHAT??

The ultrasound technician told me to avoid wearing deordorant for a few days after my lymph node biopsy.  Well it’s been a few days, and I’m tired of smelling like BO on my right side, so I applied, carefully, deodorant to both underarms.  BIG mistake. Now my right arm pit is all itchy-stingy-burny, ow, ow, OW!

Today we told our daughter what we’ve been dealing with. She was naturally very upset, as we all were when we found out.  Once we explained things to her a bit, she was calmer, but I can still see the tears, the fear brimming on the surface. Kind of the way I feel some of the time. We’re lucky her dad is so calm.  I wimped out, and made him start the conversation with her.  I was there, of course.  I just couldn’t start talking about it. It is important that she not see me afraid or crying.  And I was sure that if I started, I’d break into tears,

Yesterday we had our first day of relative normalcy – back to a full day of work, and no doctor’s visit, yay!   Wednesday was a marathon as you know, and so was Thursday.  So a regular Friday was a welcome relief.  I had my normal coffee run with my good friend C., who is like family.  The admins who run our front desk were cheering for Boobs of Steel, and had already planned out who would cook what to bring to the house so The Husband and the Child would have hot meals while I’m in the hospital and recuperating.  I didn’t get much done, partly due to being distracted (and reading too much on the internet again), partly due to everyone stopping by to talk.  One of my colleagues was so NOT helpful in her comments. “My mother had breast cancer. I wish I had something positive to say” and looking at me as if I were on borrowed time.  My doctor’s office called right then, or I might have said to her, “Take your gloom and doom away from me.  I frankly don’t need it, and you are not being helpful with your “sympathy.”

I get it, cancer is a scary word.  It’s hard to know what to say, or to know how to act.  My advice? If you don’t have something genuinely positive to say, simply say I’m glad to see you and leave it at that.  Because I’m not your mother/friend/Great Aunt Hilda.  I’m me, and my tumor is like no one else’s, my cancer is like no one else’s.  Please don’t make deductions about my survivability based on anyone else’s experience.  And for goodness sake, do not pity me, or I will kick your ass.

Yikes, there is that word again – cancer.  I’m waiting for my first appointment at the VM Cancer Center, and I’m nervous as hell.  We check in, check out the “Café” (it’s just a coffee area), there is Wi-Fi everywhere, and it’s surprisingly bright and friendly.  More friendly than my regular doctor’s office.  Don’t get me wrong, I have an idea what goes down here.  But it’s not as hospital-y as I thought.  Not quite the spa, but it feels kind of okay here.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes after my first appointment.

Today is the big day, the day we meet with the team, and as excited as I was yesterday, today I am so nervous.

I just wanted to give a shout out to Ken’s AF Family.

Your prayers, your love, your words of encouragement, and your willingness to share your own experiences brings tears of joy to my eyes.  I can never express how much it has meant to me on this day.  It is magical, it is inspirational, and it is empowering.

I am so grateful.

I love you all.