So…I went to see Dr. O’Shaughnessy (oncologist) yesterday and learned all about my chemo regime. She is recommending 4 treatments, 3 weeks apart (start date TBD). And even though my head understands that this is very doable and not too intense, my heart hasn’t caught up yet. There is something very scary about the word ‘chemo’. As well there should be. I’m basically about to fill my body with poison on purpose. That just doesn’t seem right. But what’s also not right is the potential that there could still be some rogue cells running around in my body that need to be killed. I’ll take being uneasy, uncomfortable and emotional over allowing the bad guys to win.
My physician mentioned that there were a few factors that helped her decide on chemotherapy. Apparently there is a link between melanoma and breast cancer, and wouldn’t you know I had a melanoma last year on my left arm (near my shoulder). I say this not to scare those of you who have had melanoma. There are probably thousands and thousands of people with melanoma that never develop breast cancer. It’s just a piece of the puzzle that factored into her decision. In addition, my surgical oncologist (Dr. Grant) believed that my margins were clear enough to leave the ‘top girls’ intact during my mastectomy. When the path report came back, however, there were microscopic cells still in the nips (as you know if you’ve been following along). Lastly, my Oncotype score as I mentioned yesterday, was in the grey zone of whether or not to do chemo. Those three factors coupled with her ‘gut’ helped Dr. O arrive at her conclusion that chemo was the smartest treatment safeguard for me at this juncture. I will still run everything by the folks at MD Anderson on July 12th, but I do agree that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
AND that no nips is good nips.
As I mentioned before, Kim is in town from Boston and we are trying to make the most of this crazy visit. Typically when she comes to Dallas, we have lots of fun things planned with our collective 7 boys (please gasp), and we laugh the entire time. This time, however, we have absolutely nothing planned, and we have still laughed the entire time.
Except when we are crying.
Kim and I met at Texas A&M (Whoop! That’s for you, Leah) many moons ago and have basically talked on the phone every single day since. She’s my rock and I would not ever want to do life without her.
Trevor and I have also won Kim over to the dark side of not supervising your children and she’s hooked. So these guys have been banned to the outdoors for a few days while we sit in the air conditioning and analyze life.
Today, Kim and I spent the day together researching these things called “cold caps” to wear during chemo in hopes of preserving your hair. Although this process is quite tedious, I’m going to give it a try. It’s a bizarre undertaking of basically freezing a swim cap and then adding a helmet on top to secure it as closely to your scalp as possible. All of this is done only on the day you have chemo, but you wear it before, during and after the treatment (read: hours upon hours). And according to the picture on the front page of their website, you are able to run through a field of tall grass carrying an extra long scarf with your gorgeous thick hair flowing in the wind after you are finished with treatment.
I sent this pic to Ashley to tell her I was practicing for my upcoming cold cap days…
And she one upped me with this reply…
There’s a reason I can’t ever stay sad around here.
Thank you so very much for all of your care and concern along the way. My love language must be encouragement because I am FILLED UP each time I read a comment, a text or a letter from you. It’s life-giving in every sense of the word.
And thank you, mom & Casey, for getting Hudson ready to leave for 2 weeks at camp! My distracted mind almost forgot he was going, so I appreciate you gathering the essentials today. If it were left up to me, he would have missed the bus entirely or gotten on with only one pair of underwear. I can’t decide which is worse.
In closing, the Lord continues to provide me daily with peace, comfort, and an overwhelming sense of love. This does not erase the fact, however, that I don’t understand ANY PART OF THIS. Or hate it. Or have a broken heart. But I trust in him enough to know that this is part of his plan. And that above all, his plan is the very best plan. Period.
Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
PS: I’ve had several people ask me about my ‘carried’ necklace you see pictured above. My precious friend, Sheaffer, sent that to me shortly after I was diagnosed and I think I haven’t taken it off since. I received it the very day I had written in my blog about feeling ‘carried’ by all of your prayers. THE VERY DAY. Like, there’s no way she knew I was going to describe the way I felt that day. #chills So thank you guys for carrying me, and thank you, Sheaffer, for the beautiful reminder each day that I am carried. I bet my neighbor who confronted me about not using a leash wished I had ‘carried’ Dodger on my walk as well. 😉