I just woke up again. Lots of sleeping the past few days – but overall week 6 has not been as bad as week 4. Just further evidence that I never have any idea what is coming my way. Not that I’m complaining, I’d rather it not be as bad as I’m braced for of course. I’ve been having lots of headaches (or maybe it’s one continuous headache? I’m not really sure, but at least the ibuprofen is still helping.
I am halfway through the first round of chemo. This round will definitely be easier than the second round meds and the first half is supposed to be a lot easier than the second half since the side effects are cumulative. I can’t help but mentally brace for the next 3 months,but overall so far it’s better than anticipated. As the nurse told me last week, so far I’ve dodged some big bullets. So fingers crossed that keeps going.
I’ve been thinking more and more about surgery. Every week it’s closer so of course it’s crossing my mind. I have thought a lot about what surgery I want. When I was first diagnosed, my gut said bilateral mastectomy and since I’ve got this time I want to make sure I’m thinking about all of my options. After much thought, I still feel that is the best route. If I do less, I really feel that I am not protecting myself and my family. I feel like I was given a gift by finding this cancer as early as we did. It is so aggressive – what if it came back and we didn’t find it this fast? I don’t think I would ever forgive myself if I had a recurrence because I didn’t do everything I could to prevent it. The feeling of not knowing how bad it is, the stress of not knowing if you’re going to live or die, of not having any control over that – it’s unlike any other feeling I’ve ever had. And I don’t want it again. I really feel like I cashed in all my good karma on this and I don’t want to tempt fate. And then there’s the whole angle of me fitting the profile for the unidentified genes – they can’t tell me for sure if I have one, but I fit that profile and I know this would be the recommendation if I did test positive. That scares me too.
Saying all of that, the surgery itself scares me. The only surgery I’ve ever had are my c-sections. At least I know from them that surgery hurts, but once you heal you are “normal” again – or what will be the new normal anyway. That pain doesn’t last forever. This will be a much bigger surgery. So I’m trying not to think about that part too much. Cancer scares me a lot more than this I guess. I know I have to go under regardless.
I’ve made appointments to see the top two plastic surgeons that my surgeon recommends. My main surgeon is a breast cancer specialist and has amazing bedside manner. She is fabulous. She basically does the deconstruction – takes out the tumor, makes sure there are clear margins, etc. Then the plastic surgeon comes in to do the reconstruction. They work together so I want to get in early to get on their schedules. The study has strict windows for treatments and my surgery. My window is January 30-February 25.
During all of this time, I have had a little secret good news that has kept my spirits up. It wasn’t my news to share but I’m excited to finally be able to talk about it. I am going to be an aunt! I am so excited and my sister is due in early March. So at least when things suck I get to look at sweet little ultrasounds and remember what it was like to be pregnant for the first time. She has her big ultrasound next week so I’m super excited to find out if it’s a boy or girl. I would LOVE to be there when the baby is born and am trying to have the surgery scheduled as early as possible so that hopefully I can be healed enough for the trip. Again, it’s really nice to have a good, happy distraction and not much does that like a baby.