I listen to my girls do a program on the computer and it teaches them that when you get done learning something or reading a book you should be able to answer the basic questions... Who, What, When, Where, Why so I thought I would start there.
Well the obvious answer is me... as I am the one who is immediately affected... But more than that I wanted to say that we have talked to the girls about what is going on. They know that Mommy has Cancer, and that I am sick and hurting right now. They are tough girls, and they try really hard to help me and Alex with the things we need them to do. They often want to snuggle and I try to welcome it whenever it comes to them. Sometimes it isn't as easy as I want it to be, but I try to make it happen. They ask a lot of good questions and I try to be as open and honest with them with what they need to know.
Secondly, is Alex. He is really being my Rock right now. I feel a little helpless but he has picked up on all the duties that I can't manage on my own. He has become the Sole Cook in the house. He was cooking many meals since I work at night as well, but now he had added the nights I would have been off as well. I am not complaining either as he is fixing Wonderful Meals daily. With a wide variety that I never dreamed to do on my own. He is a Pro in the kitchen, so I am Loving it.
Well Here is what gets a little more tricky to answer... So I will start at the basic...
I have been diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer (unless the Biopsy comes back as something else) I don't know what Kind or any of the Receptors and such until I get the pesky Biopsy results as well.
Speaking of the Biopsy, if you have never had a Bronchoscopy... I don't recommend it... It is not fun. The actual process was fine, but the numbing was Miserable... the '80's phrase "Like, Gag me with a spoon" Came to mind often! Except it wasn't a spoon it was a metal Rod spraying nastiness into my throat. They did have a Pathology Lab next door, so as the Doc was pulling out samples he would take it to the lab and check it... then he would come back, re-numb and get more... take it to the lab... come back, re-numb and get more... I am definitely glad that they could do it that way so that I know that they got what they needed so that I don't have to do it again. The doc apologized for it taking a long time... but I am much happier having a chance for results and not coming back with Nothing. He is also ordering all of my scans to see if he can tell when it may have came in. So someday we will know what will come of that.
Anyone who has seen me recently has noticed my Round Face. This is caused by the Steroid (Dexamethasone) that I have been taking for the inflammation in my back. It has given me what is called Cushing's Syndrome. There are several things included in this syndrome that I am really looking forward to going away... "Moon Face" Hot flashes and Sweating, Dry skin, Muscle Weakness, and Acne.
So, on Tuesday the 4th I had my Final Radiation treatment on my back. It did really help out with my mid-back, but It looks like it missed my Lower back, so I may end up going back in for more radiation, but I am done for now. Then on Wednesday the 5th I started Chemo. My current Regiment is on a 21 day cycle. I go in for an infusion of Gemzar on Day 1 and Day 8 then I get a week off. And starting on Day 1 I also start taking Xeloda, a Pill chemo 2 times per day for 14 days then get 1 week off, then start over. We are planning to do 3 of these cycles and then I will get a new PET Scan to make sure that things are reacting as they should. At that point we will either keep going or make adjustments as they may be needed. Keeping in mind that if this Biopsy comes back drastically different than what is assumed at this point we will make adjustments as well...
I am tapering the steroid off starting the 5th and should be done taking it by the 19th then I will be able to detox it out of my system and hopefully start feeling/looking normal.
This could be taken a couple different ways... But I think I will use it to Show you Where my cancer is, and Where I am affected. So here are some pictures.
|There are 2 "shining" Vertebrae in the Lumbar, The L2 and the L5, these are the ones that took me to the hospital in the first place.|
|The "Glowing" spot hanging out there in the Black space is the mass in my Lung|
|This is my Port. This is what it looks like to have it "accessed" so nice not to have to worry about IV's in my arm anymore!|
|My Moon Face|
Well that is a great question... Some may ask it as Why Me? For right now I am asking it as Why not??? For those who have known me for a while know that I can't ever really seem to take the Easy Road with most things... And somehow things seem to fall into place and work out in the end... So Why Not this too? My Pregnancies were never Easy, so Why Not this too? I think that my Pregnancies may have been something used to toughen me up for what I would face in the long run.
So the second Why is Why/how do I keep positive... Why Not??? It is not going to help anything to mope around all the time, and there have been enough studies out there that show that attitude does actually play a huge part in recovery, and overall health. So if I can smile through these things then I am giving myself a better chance to fight this crap for a LONG time. Now don't get me wrong... I am not Perfect, and I will never claim to have not cried or broken down. I am not that person... But I WILL make myself smile and Laugh every day. There isn't a question in my mind. I Have to keep fighting this battle and I will as long as I possibly can. I want to see my Kiddo's get married, and the only way to do that is to just keep on going! So Why??? Because there is no other choice.