"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dealing with this and hoping for more "good news".

So I got up this morning and thought about everything that happened yesterday at the cancer center.  I am counting my blessings that my cancer is Stage I, ER/PR+ and Grade I.  They tell me that is all good. I am not out of the woods yet though.  There are a few pieces of the puzzle we don't know yet that scare me horrible.  My HER2 status was equivocal so they sent it off for further testing.  If it is positive, I have a more aggressive cancer but it responds to Herceptin as a treatment.  If it is negative, I have a less aggressive cancer but it does not respond to Herceptin so it gives me one less treatment option.  So I am not sure exactly what I am hoping for on that.  I am also worried about the Oncotype DX test results which can't be done until after the tumor is removed.  This will tell me how likely my cancer is to return in the next 10 years.  As I wade through this information, the best case scenario is to be HER2 negative and have a low oncotype score I guess.  That would mean I avoid chemotherapy.  I keep saying "if there is a God in heaven, hear my prayer on this, please".  We also won't know for sure until next weeks that my nodes are really cancer free.  I feel like I am praying to God for something that may be so hard to grant.  Please God, show me a sign I will be OK and hear these prayers.....

For some reason I am more OK with having a bilateral mastectomy than going through chemotherapy. Don't get me wrong, I am not just OK with losing my breasts, but at least that is private.  Few people will ever really know that.  Once I have chemo, it's like tattooing "I have cancer" on my forehead.  I feel like that is just one more thing I don't have control of.  I don't want the whole world to know I have cancer.  Let's face it, when you have diabetes, a heart condition or AIDS you can keep it private.  No one knows any of that is going on most likely.  Once you get chemo.......everyone knows.  The thought of going through this and having the whole world know feels so violating to me.

The worst part for me is having to explain cancer to my 4 year old son.  My initial thoughts were if I could just get by for surgery as treatment I would not have to explain cancer to my son at this point.  I could just tell him what I needed to tell him that I had a boo boo and the doctors did surgery to fix it and I will be sore for a while.  Once I have chemo I have to explain so much more.  I feel like I am robbing him of his childhood and security by planting the cancer seed in his head. No four year old should ever have to learn about cancer.  It seems so unfair and cruel.   I feel guilty. I feel like a horrible mom doing this to my child.  I feel like I am ruining my son and husband's lives.  I feel like I will be a burden and bring everyone down.  I am struggling with this so much.  My guilt is overwhelming.  I just feel like they will begin to resent me and my illness after time.  My son won't understand why I can't hug him and play with him and be hurt, scared and angry. 

I don't know how I will get through this. The road ahead of me seems so long and uncertain. There is so much fear of the unknown.  I am trying to take it one day at a time, but even that is hard.

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