Monday, June 25, 2012

Step Into Our World


Life is changing. It hit me emotionally today even more so then it has before. I have breast cancer and I'm in a system that is doing some rough things to my being to supposedly heal it. With a good friend, Tami, accompanying me, I went at 9:00 am this morning to get results and have the catheter inserted. For the third time in a month my breast was pricked, cut on and had medical assault in order to have medical healing. Dr. E. was warm, but efficient. My problem was when she used the other c word...chemotherapy...

I have stage 2a cancer. This is based on this size of the tumor taken out. My lymph nodes were negative, but they remain concerned about the tumor because it appears aggressive. They want me to see a medical oncologists to discuss hormone therapy and the other c word. She was kind enough to point out the oncologists who were available. The one I wanted who might be open to an integrated approach is not on my insurance plan.  She stated the others are by the book. I have agreed to pretty much all they have wanted, but here is where I will dig my heels in. I will consider hormone therapy, and I will listen to the reasons for chemo, but right now my gut is saying no way in hell!

Lying on the table during the catheter insertion, I began to feel very vulnerable. I could feel fluid leaking out of my breast. Three medical people were gathered around me while it was put in. I joked as much as I could, but I felt as if they were focused on the procedure and somehow who I was was disconnected, i.e. not many direct questions to me. They talked over me even when I tried to connect on some level.

Tami and I then drove to the radiation center. I now know what my Jeep feels like. I was brought into a room to have a series of CAT scans done and to set the plan/schedule for the next 5 days. They introduced themselves, put me into position and spoke medical jargon. Not one person asked how I was doing, if I needed anything...My right arm was raised above my head and they ran me through the CAT scan for several minutes. During that time my arm suddenly went into a painful spasm. I had to signal them for a couple of minutes before some noticed. It was the head of the imaging and he more or less chastized me for interupting their progress. He let me put my arm down for 30 seconds then put it back up and put me back in telling it would just be a minute. It was a bit longer and I returned to spasm. It was so painful, I had tears running down my face. Mr. Wonderful came out to tell me they were done. He could see it had been painful, but didn't comment, just told me they were done and walked away. A tech then came up and I will give him credit, found a pillow and put it under my shoulder and I thanked him. Then another one came and started connected the five leads, didn't introduce himself, just went connecting one, two, three....etc. Like I said I felt like my Jeep. As I laid there I could see my face reflected in the shiny metal rimming of the machine and my face was shell-shocked and I came as close as I've come in this whole process to getting up, telling them to take out the catheter and I would take my chances. All of the techs murmurmed amongst themselves that I was done and ready to be bandaged by Mary. Again not one of them asked me how I was or told me good bye as they left the room. I think if it hadn't been for the humanity of Mary, I probably would have walked out. She helped clean my breast area, told me how to care for it and joked with me about the bra that they put me in that I will have to wear for the next week.

We came home, Tami knew I needed sleep and left me to it. She was my life savior last night and today and she gets my gratitude. I also let work know that I would be out. Still waiting for the paperwork and hope it will be ready by tomorrow....

I feel very vulnerable today....and I feel alone. Logically I know I'm not having had people with me every day. I'm really trying to find humor somewhere...I just feel frozen. I know it's just part of the journey. Tomorrow will probably be better.

Time for a warrior song. I need something to kick my butt so I can fight tomorrow.

Madonna, "Die Another Day":






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