Oh my goodness. Just one more radiation treatment to go!
I am getting crispy so it is good that I am almost done.
It just looks like a bad, bad sunburn… on my chest and my ARMPIT! Yikes. Ouchie.
Yes, it’s not just breast cancer, it’s armpit cancer since it got to the nodes there. Armpit cancer. Funny no one really calls it that. Do they? Next time someone asks I’m going to tell them I have armpit cancer.
Anyhoo, I had a blood draw today and the nosey lady doing the needle sticking was asking me a bunch of questions.
“So your only Stage 1, right?” she said casually.
“No actually, I’m Stage 3………C.”
The look of horror on her face. Horror mixed with sympathy and pity.
I totally wasn’t offended because that’s how I’ve felt about it since the day I got the pathology report.
This is serious stuff.
But the look on her face was a reminder. Because I forget that I am actually ill…and that it is really serious.
Someone said that once you are diagnosed with cancer people treat you differently. Like that’s a bad thing.
I think I’ve been through so much that I deserve to be treated differently. Yep. I said it.
I do not expect to be treated like a princess but if people want to be nice to me because I was diagnosed with serious cancer, I am down with that.
And conversely when someone is mean to me, which has been rare but has happened, I’m kind of like, Dude, don’t you get it? I am really freakin’ on the edge! Check yourself. You know?
Even the other day, I was driving with my husband. We were waiting behind several other cars to turn onto our street and this woman who was in her driveway started backing out and almost hit us. I laid on the horn! I was thinking “Hell no! I did not go through seven months of treatment to get hit by some turkey in a hurry to get to Starbucks!! No way!”
These are the things that go through my mind.
When I was very little, I told my grandma that I wanted to live to be 100 and she told me that I should never want that because I would just be a burden on others..blah..blah…blah. But that has always been my hope, to make it to 100…like George Burns.
And I will be honest, I often get the things I really want, eventually anyway. I’m not talking about diamonds and a money tree in the back yard. But I AM a believer in “The Secret” because it often works for me.
While I still hold out hope of living to 100, a dream I have had since age 4, I now have to deal with the reality of being in the hopeful percentage that makes it five years past diagnosis. And that can be depressing.
But for me, it kind of isn’t. Because I’ve had seven months to think about this.
We Americans, we don’t like to talk about death. Even when I was little and asked about death, I was just told that everyone went to heaven. Hush now. I remember when a great grandmother died, I asked after the funeral how long it would take for the bugs to get to her and I was abruptly and perhaps appropriately shushed.
And since my diagnosis, there have been people who tried to shush me. “Don’t talk like that!” “You’re going to make it!” “Hush!”
But the reality is that I might not. I might not make it and the way out could be quite painful. And that is something I think about but try not to obsess over.
If anything, I am just trying to make peace with it and focus on the here and now.
And there are silver linings to this possibility of dying young…I don’t worry so much about recycling (although I still do it). I don’t worry about retirement (although we are still saving). I don’t worry about how my kids are going to turn out. No really! I mean it! I used to worry about sex and drugs and rock and roll and whatnot. I’m not so worried anymore. I just want them to grow into the beautiful adults I know they will one day be. I’m just more into letting them be who they are now instead of projecting my nonsensical worries onto them. Does that make sense?
Regardless, it’s a good thing. It makes me a better mom.
And if there is one thing I have learned in the last seven months (although really my entire marriage) is that if something ever does happen to me, my boys will be very well cared for by their father. Because he has been amazing through all of this. Amazing!
But I knew he would be. That’s why I married him (that and the fact that he’s H-O-T, HOT!).
He’s going with me tomorrow for my last treatment. And he will continue to be my rock and my strength throughout what has been a nightmare.
I don’t know what is going to happen. None of us do. But I refuse to let fear rule me. I’m just going to live.