They sure know how to wear down even the most optimistic of cancer patients. (By they, I mean the medical community, but nobody in particular.)
After a month of waiting to meet with our oncologist, who was to be the expert on how to treat and hopefully cure cancer, the day finally came. Dr. Kirshner, who we found out used to live a few houses away from our house (crazy coincidence number 3), is competent and friendly, but I had no real feeling either way about whether he's wonderful or not. But we were all ready for business...until...
One of the first questions Paul and I asked was, "How do we know if the cancer is somewhere else besides the boobs and lymph nodes?" The answer is that I'll get a CAT scan and a bone scan to see. More waiting. At least this wait isn't long. On Thursday morning, I go in for the CAT scan and bone scan at 8:30am. Then they should have the results for us within an hour or so. Once that's done, and if it's negative, they can seriously book me for my chemo and radiation. But if it's positive, the whole thing changes and we go into the realm of containing a stage 4 cancer and improving quality/length of life.
Everyone at Hematology/Oncology Associates of CNY (nurse, researcher, doctor) seemed to think that all of the cancer was just what we've already found. But that's just based on their experience. Walking down the street two months ago, based on every experience we've all had, I'd be assumed to be completely cancerless, but lo and behold, our experience was wrong.
So while I thought I could report a chemo plan to everyone today, it's just more waiting. They're wearing me down for sure. And I guess I have to do more of this "hope for the best but prepare for the worst" thinking.
My big positive today continues to be how much support I've gotten, both locally and virtually. So many moms have volunteered to take Maggie and Reese during all of these appointments. Practical strangers are cooking meals for us. Facebook friends near and far are sending their thoughts and well-wishes. And invisible friends who read my nunesmagician.com blog posts are wishing me well. It takes a village to deal with breast cancer.