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

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Dose of Just What I Needed

I have been so busy all summer living life and being at home with my son, I have not had as much time to dwell on breast cancer and all that comes with it.  Now that my son is back to school, I am trying to get back into a routine.  This morning started like any other morning.  I was up early, got dressed, got my son up and dressed.  We had breakfast and then I got him off to school.  I sat here at home getting ready to hit the gym and then it hit me......it was just a "normal morning" the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It started like any other day, but it was NOT like any other day.  I guess my anxiety was getting the best of me today since I had my three month medical oncology appointment today.

My mind kept racing with crazy thoughts.  What if my blood work reveals something bad?  What if the doctor notices something bad?  What if today is another day that is NOT like any other day?  All of my fears of breast cancer and what I have been through came rushing back all at once.  I was left feeling emotional and stressed out.  I went to the gym.  I did not feel like running today, but I did anyway.  I guess the stress really pushed me.  It was the first time I have run 6 miles in less than 60 minutes!  I didn't even have a cramp in my side.  I guess I was really wound up from all the breast cancer thoughts.

When I left the gym, I sent a text to my dear friend Shannon (one of my Bosom Buddies - we went through this crap together).  I asked her to call me as I was having a rough day.  Within minutes, the phone rang.  We talked about all of this.  She put me at ease and helped me talk about my fears.  She "got it" as she has the same fears most of the time.  I chatted with her until I walked into the medical oncology office.  (Gosh am I grateful for Bosom Buddies!!!)

My doctor appointment went well.  He said my blood was "pristine."  That was a great way to start off the appointment.  At one point I said I wanted to review some current clinical trials for treatments that may help improve my odds.  He seemed a bit taken back by my questions.  He kept reinforcing I had great odds already.  I said, "well since breast cancer is not curable I will continue to search for new or additional ways I can help myself be here to watch my son grow up."  He said "who told you breast cancer was not curable?"  I said "none of my doctors have EVER used the word curable....only treatable with good outcomes.  Many of the studies talk about survival rates for the next 10 years after diagnosis - I never hear of them referring to the rest of your life."  He replied with "CURABLE, CURABLE, CURABLE!!!!  I will say it as many times as you need to hear it.  I believe you are cured...I can't prove it, but I believe it!"  I guess he gave me a dose of just what I needed today.  I felt better after I left his office.

While I try so hard every day to live like I don't have breast cancer, it's hard to make it completely go away.  I don't think it ever will.  It has forever changed me in many ways.  I hope to continue being optimistic and hopeful for the future.  I want to be here to be a grandma one day and to retire and grow old with my husband.  Some days it is easier than others.  I guess if I was having a rough day, I could not ask for more support than my dear friend Shannon and my medical oncologist giving me a dose of just what I needed.