My sanity seems to be varying day by day lately. I had a phenomenal day on Tuesday; my husband and I stole a quiet afternoon together to walk through the Rose Gardens in Portland under the warm sun. While we were there I had a moment of realization, how incredible it is that this world we live in can simultaneously inhabit something as beautiful as the Rose Gardens and as ugly as cancer.
In true form of my roller coaster life, the next day started with an hour long meeting with an Oncologist at OHSU to discuss all treatment options. She was an incredible wealth of information and told us about all the clinical trials that were being run on HER2+ cancers and all the new drugs that are in the pipeline. Random note, did you know that chemotherapy can be transferred through vaginal fluid within the three days following infusion? Who knew? Luckily her treatment protocol matched perfectly with our Oncologist here in Bend, so I now feel completely confidant with the treatment and will be able to stay home during that time.
After our meeting Wednesday morning we jumped in the car and rushed home for my port surgery. Since my surgery was at five in the evening, I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink all day. So needless to say I was a stressed, starving mess by the time we got to the hospital. The surgery went well, but the next day was awful. The port will be a great thing moving forward, but let me tell you, when someone punctures your jugular, you feel it. All the time. The day after the surgery was awful. It hurt to turn my neck, swallow, talk or cry. And did I cry. I had reached my limit. I was still in pain from the mastectomy, my neck was killing me and I felt like shit. Two months ago I was the healthiest I’ve ever been, my body worked perfectly. Now I’m going through hell so that I can survive. Most of the time I’m ok with all of it, I’ve got it and my courage outweighs the fear, but there are moments when it all becomes too much. It terrifies me that I don’t have a choice. I either do all of this, or I don’t.
I’m feeling better now and getting used to the feeling of the port. I’m scared about the chemo, and the looming five hour infusion that awaits me in a little over a week. I know I’ll make it through it, but I sometimes wish I didn’t have to. My family and I leave for a few days at the beach tomorrow, and I couldn’t be happier. The beach is my favorite place on Earth and the one place I can think clearly.
We get back on Thursday just in time for my Bone Scan, CT, Echocardiogram and another meeting with my Oncologist. I pray that we don’t find anything in the scans. My prognosis looks great if the cancer hasn’t spread. The Oncologist in Portland put it this way, “You’re going to be great, but you’re going to have to work for it.” I’m up for the challenge.