Since my last post, I was able to make my appointment to get in to see my surgeon. When I called to arrange it, they had just had a cancellation, so that worked out perfectly for me. During the appointment, he went over the MRI results with us and examined me again. That's when he told us he didn't want to make any decisions for a game plan right then. He said he wanted to present my case again at the weekly cancer conference which was luckily occurring the following day.
Jason and I showed up and waited to see whether I'd need to be seen by the other doctors or not. It turned out they still wanted to see me, but it was much less awkward/embarrassing than last time thankfully. Haha.
Before that though, while we were waiting, there was only one other patient in attendance that day that was having their case discussed as well. She turned out to be a really nice woman. I'd estimate she was in her late 40s or early 50s. She wasn't a cancer patient like myself, but she had just tested positive for carrying the BRCA 1/2 gene. Her mother is currently battling breast cancer for the second time, so she was there to discuss eliminating her risk by getting a double mastectomy now instead of waiting until she may develop it later in life.
I thought she was very brave and logical about her situation. Made me feel more reassured in my decision for what my own surgery is going to be; just hearing someone else who may soon be facing the same thing speak in agreeance. For her, she had seen her mother get a lumpectomy the first go round, and then 26 years later, the nasty C returned. Her mom wishes she had gone with the mastectomy and she didn't want the same thing to happen to her.
So as anticipated, I was given a bevy of information to digest from the cancer conference. Truthfully, I'm still digesting all of it.
My surgeon came in after they had finished discussing my case and told us their findings. After my appointment with him on Thursday, it was the decision of whether to proceed to surgery or chemo that hung in the balance. He said that that decision was reached almost immediately. There were 4 oncologists there, and they all agreed that I should continue with my chemo due to how spectacular my response has been to treatment.
Apparently there's some belief that if I were to quit chemo and take a 2-3 month break, that my treatment, although of course it would still be effective, could be slightly less effective? I know, I know. Sounds weird to me too. However, I'm not an expert. :P (I apologize. He had explained all this far more thoroughly than I have. It made much more sense. Lol.)
If I quit now, I guess it'd be a shame, and the matter of my cancer-afflicted lymph node in my chest would still need further addressing. That, of course, would mean more treatment or surgery specifically for it to be removed. As it stands now, I would have needed further chemotherapy regardless of pathology findings after surgery because of that stupid lymph node.
Even if I go for another 4 rounds of chemo and that lymph node is no longer an issue, I will still be required to do radiation. This is simply to eradicate any possibility of a single cell remaining in there among my other lymph nodes that could be cancerous.
Oh cancer. You sure know how to screw with a girl's life, don't ya? >_<
No matter what, the hubby and I knew this would be a long and treacherous journey. I will say though that I don't think either of us truly understood exactly how treacherous and long it would be.
When we departed, Dr. Kushner told me he planned to give my oncologist a call to talk this over with him and get his opinion and was then going to call me. I waited until nearly 5pm and he hadn't called yet. And after a little phone tag, I finally spoke with him.
Dr. Wagner said he understood the other oncologists' opinion but said it wasn't necessarily going to be less effective in a few months. Seeing as he's a cancer survivor, I think he sees the value of getting several months of freedom from chemo. The chemo does wear you out mentally. A lot. Like, A LOT alot. So I certainly get that.
Next step now? Going to set up an appointment with Wagner to figure out what's going to be best for me - both psychologically as well as physically.
As underwhelmed as I am about the thought of more chemo, I feel like God may be trying to corner me so I must go that way first. If that happens to be true, who am I to question His plan for me? I suppose all we can do for the time being is wait. I should have an answer after I see my oncologist, so until then, I'll just try to distract myself and keep on keepin' on. ;)
On the bright side, this all means I won't have to miss out on that awesomely sweet free spa visit I'd been given! Woot! Hehe. I need some rest and relaxation now more than ever anyway!
Another lesson I've learned from my experience thus far is that I'm way tougher than I thought I was. I've surprised myself at how much I have been able to deal with. I never thought I would face something like this in my life, and I most definitely never would have thought I'd been able to handle it this well.
But cancer is just a big ol' bully. And you know something? Anj don't care! Anj smacks the sh** out of it! >:D Lol
Frankly though, this seems to be one of my purposes here on this plane though. For years, I often prayed for God to show me how I could serve Him and do His work in life. I wanted to do something with my life that would make a difference, and I wanted to do it in His name. It occurred to me not all that long ago, that this may be one of the ways he's chosen to answer that prayer. I'm not sure as to how much of a difference I will make, but I'm hoping to make a small impact in the least.
People that think prayer is silly because they believe their prayers won't ever be answered, I will tell you this; God always hears our prayers and will answer many of them, but not all. He also answers them in His way and in His time. Only He knows what is in our hearts and what is best for us. This doesn't even necessarily mean it's what is best for us HERE. He gives us trials in life as to better us and to aide us in preparing for the next. That is what truly counts. Becoming more like Christ so that we're worthy to be with Him in our eternal life. :)
I try to think of this whenever I'm feeling weary from this journey. It puts everything into perspective reeeeaaally quickly. So instead of being rude to a customer at my job when they've been disrespectful or cranky with me, I smile sweetly and remember my mantra -- Everything happens for a reason. They might have been unkind to me so that I may practice turning the other cheek. So in turn, they may have been helping me become slightly less sinful. Haha, who knows, but whatever the reason, no single experience (whether good or bad) is all for naught.
Thus I leave you with two songs for today:
Okay guys, I've written a lengthy enough novel for today. ;3 I pray you all have a great weekend full of happy stuffs and again, I am grateful you took time out of your day to read this. God bless!
"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, And saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18