Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Nov 11, 2008

Thinking about Veterans Day today. Today I am grateful for learning in the army how to push emotions aside and get the job done, then feel the emotions later. The times when I'm in a doctor's office, or having a medical procedure, I feel the intense need to have my wits about me. There was such confusion yesterday, and I was able to persist until it was cleared up. But, after I get through these situations, the strain of holding the emotions in overtakes me. Last night was really, really awful. Kaycee had a huge blow up with my friend who was trying to help while I rested. Then I had a huge blow up, then Karina did. It actually ended ok, with all of us talking and Kaycee being able to share some hard feelings and ask some hard questions. It came out that she has been afraid that I'm going to die. I think when she sees me in pain and in bed when I'm usually up and full of energy and in control, she becomes very scared. My friend and I were able to talk to both girls more about breast cancer. I am so very, very grateful for all of the survivors we know who I can talk about to the girls. I actually don't know anyone who has died from breast cancer.

Update- Friday at 12:30 I'm going in for the MRI biopsy on the left side. My surgery has been changed to Tuesday- check in at 8:30, then nuclear medicine (I need to find my notes because all I remember about this is something to do with some die being injected into me and something to do with nodes and maybe information about whether or not the cancer has spread?), then surgery at 1:00. I'm hoping to meet with my doctor on Monday to get all the biopsy information and learn what exactly he will be doing surgery on.

Took another vicadin, so don't know how long I'll be able to type. Last night was weird- it never took the pain away and I'm not sure if I slept or not. I must have because of the weird dreams, or maybe they were hallucinations? My cancer has become a black jellyfish named Cretcher the Cancer Creature. The radiologist who did the biopsy yesterday was a scuba diver shooting a harpoon at the Creature. Very weird- it must have been the vicadin- I hope I'm not weird enough to have thought that up.

The radiologist yesterday was phenomenal. She came into the room and I could feel her calming, confident energy and an amazing warrior strength in her. She was incredibly kind and competent and smart. I ended up feeling pain again, but not the throbbing kind. She used a lot of numbing stuff, and even gave me extra so I would be ok picking up the girls. But, it began wearing off as I was driving away. I got home and it just got worse and still hurts today. I am hoping that women reading this realize that this is probably very unusual and that most people would probably not feel anything like I did. As my doctor says, even though other people may have the same thing going on, everyone experiences things uniquely and differently.

Part of what was so hard yesterday was frantically trying to find someone to be there with me to hold my hand. It happened so fast (again) that the friends I called couldn't get the time off work. I was thinking I was going to have to go in alone when I got ahold of my boyfriend (my very new boyfriend) and he said he'd come. This amazing doctor allowed him in and treated him like a part of the team (the last time I had to ask several times before the doctor allowed my friend in). When I started to feel pain and cry, he held my head in his hands and I could feel his warm, strong hands catching my tears. It was such a safe, calming feeling during such a scary time.

This same woman is going to do the MRI biopsy and I know I'm in good hands with her. She described it a little, but I still can't picture it. Somehow she will be to the side of the machine and somehow she will be looking at a picture as she shoots the needle(s) in. She tells me that its very complicated and that she has about 5 minutes to complete it from when she sees the picture. I think the spots move about a bit, I'm not sure. My boyfriend watched the ultrasound during the biopsy and he said it looked like the spots were moving around in liquid and that the needles looked like harpoons stabbing them. The needles sounded like harpoons too- they make a loud shooting sound as they go in. I read a description of it and a metal tube is inserted, then the needles are shot into the metal tube, hitting the spot and sucking out a bit of tissue, then retracting. Gross, gross, gross, gross. I can't even describe the insult and violation I feel. The worst part of it is that this is in a milk duct. I don't get how for 4 1/2 years (with a break in between) my milk ducts flowed with the most nutritious food in the world and grew my babies, and now one has been invaded. What kind of bullshit is that?

And then I go to my gratitude list. Its the only thing that saves me from spiraling downward. I went into work today and didn't feel so funny and self-conscious this time. Well, I did still feel that, but not so much. Mostly I felt reminded of what a bunch of amazing people I work with and am surrounded by in all aspects of my life.

I also took my girls into Dr. Trezona's center today. I had to get some paperwork signed, and I wanted them to see the place. The staff there was incredibly kind to both the girls and I. They gave us a tour of the place and the girls got candy. I think it will help them to have a picture of me being in a safe, kind, nurturing place. I also talked briefly to the billing manager and she mentioned that she loves working with my insurance company because they are so great. I also heard from someone at work with huge medical bills that our insurance is great. What a huge relief. I realize how fortunate I am on many, many different levels.

Ok, time to try sleep.

1 comment:

Geek Knitter said...

It's amazing how far cancer treatment has come. My mother has survived both breast and cervical-uterine cancer, she's one tough lady.

Thinking of you, every day.