I woke up feeling like a million bucks! It was my first day without my drainage tubes and I felt liberated. I got up put my face on, my hair was flawless, my outfit was cute, I smelled like a fairy, and the cotton balls were in place. I WAS FIERCE!! It had been so long that I felt this good and it had spread from the inside out.
You're probably wondering why I was getting all dressed up when I'm supposed to be home resting. It was for me. Besides, I had two doctor appointments and was ready to start feeling like my old self again. My first appointment was with the lymphedema doctor to make sure I wasn't experiencing excess swelling as a sign of fluid backing up in the area of my surgery. This appointment was informational but pretty uneventful.....until she scheduled me for three appointments a week for the next three weeks during which she would wrap then unwrap my arm and provide physical therapy to increase my range of motion. Yes, that equals nine appointments. UGH!
But that wasn't the end. I had a second appointment with the oncologist that would be handling my chemotherapy. I could feel the dread begin to creep up on me as I sat for an hour waiting to be seen. I swear I hate these doctor appointments. There are so many and I always experience a feeling of hopelessness. The doctor was a pretty straightforward and didn't show much compassion. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't mean or rude, just direct.
After all the pushing, poking, prodding, and pressure he sat right down and gave it to me point blank. He said the type of cancer I had was pretty aggressive and without anymore treatment I had a 50-60% chance of the cancer returning. Chemotherapy will reduce those chances another 10 to 15% and radiation would begin after four and a half months of chemo. Since my cancer cells also tested positive for the HER2 gene I would also have to take Herceptin treatments intraveniously for a year and tamoxifen for five years to reduce those chances even more. I was numb. I felt all of the air escape my body and I couldn't breathe. I couldn't even cry. I just stared at him blankly. I don't even remember what else he said after that. I remember thinking What if I'm going to die?
By the time I left his office I had an additional six appointments added to my calendar and my mortality to think about. I don't have many regrets in life and have been blessed to truly be happy deep in my soul and it's a peaceful feeling. Those tears that wouldn't come earlier have now appeared so through blurry eyes this is what I advise you all to do.
- Laugh often
- Follow your dreams
- Don't settle. You only live this life once and you deserve the best.
- Love HARD and don't hold back-even if it hurts. Pure love is amazing!!!
- Don't wait for others to believe in you - BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
- And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.....I HOPE YOU DANCE!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV-Z1YwaOiw