Finding out any bad news can be difficult. Finding out that you have cancer just sucks! But life is funny – or so they say, so I have tried to treat each event with humor. It is unfortunate that this is my second relationship with Cancer. I was 20 when I was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease. I was a Senior at Boston University, and for whatever reason I decided to finish out my Senior year, and be treated in Boston (away from family). In those days Tufts treatment plan was Radiation (Liniac and Cobalt) and the removal of my spleen. No Biggy – and for those on diets I lost 15 pounds. I digress though. About 20 years ago I became more familiar with the side affects of Cobalt Radiation (A type that is not used anymore). Mitro Valve prolapse is one, colitis is two, under active thyroid is three, hair loss four, and…. wait for it….BREAST CANCER – I am 5 for 5. And yet still find lots of many things to laugh about…so it is not all bad. I have an absolutely fabulous husband (though I try to tell him that as little as possible — keeps him on his toes more!) and two fabulous kids that really make me laugh more than I make them laugh – though the competitive person that I am is always trying to one up them in that department!
So in October of 2010 my mom had found out that she had Mouth Cancer. It was a 4 month blur between her surgery, her therapy and taking care of her and my dad (who has advanced Parkinson’s). I know it sounds like such a sad sack life — but you misread this. Would I wish that they were not sick — of course, but it has really brought my family together. I am thrilled to have 2 brothers that really helped out. Most siblings don’t have it where everyone does their par; but I was lucky, whether it was helping out with my Dad or just being there at the hospital with me and my mom. They were great and I love them even more for it.
During her treatment I went in for my regular (though admittedly a few months late) Mammogram and Sonogram/ultra-sound. I get them at the same time (per Dr.’s since I was radiated to the chest area). My appointment was at 9 a.m. and I went on with my day. Oddly I checked my home answering machine, and heard the message from the Dr.’s office to call immediately. This was February 14th – Valentine’s day 2011. From that point my head once again began to spin Telling everyone first was more like ripping a band aid off a wound. One mass email, quick and to the point. This was the email I sent on March 14, 2011. After this email, I allowed the fun to begin.
Hi:I thought I would send out 1 email so everyone is up to date at the same time.I start chemo therapy on Wednesday, May 4 at 9 a.m. Yeah!!!!. I am going to try and go every three weeks (except when the kids are gone at camp — then to expedite the length of time, I will go every 2 weeks). If this works out I will be finished right around (or a little after) my Bday.They say the side affects are minimal. Only a little nausea and vomiting, fatigue, hot flashes, and low immunities — so anyone with even the slightest cold, please stay away.Also I am not allowed to sit in the sun, so I will remain the whitest white person all summer long — yuck!!!! Oh and another lucky thing, most people on this course of treatment gain 10 to 15 lbs — Yeah, how lucky am I. So soon I will be moonlighting as the Goodyear Blimp. I am told that working out, walking, being on the move is very important so you will all have to motivate me to keep moving…And I must, Must, MUST, drink a minimum of 2 liters of water a day — Double Yuck….The saddest part of this all is NO ALCOHOL>>>>I think this may be my hardest task….No Wine, no nothin’ oy what am I going to do….Love you all,Signing off the Large, White, Sober, Whale(formerly known as Ceeerol)
Today is my first treatment….Wish me luck!!!