For a few months, I've known about signs that the breast cancer is back. In fact, for almost a year*, my body hasn't been quite right. I've lain awake in bed thinking about the what ifs. Paul and I have talked about being on the wrong side of the odds and we've met others who are parents with cancer. So we're prepared. You're not.
Last Wednesday, my oncologist told us with relative certainty that the four lesions we're seeing on a pelvic MRI are metastatic breast cancer. My first response was, "Thank you." Why? Because it's been months of uncertainty and questions. Finally, we had a truthful answer. "Thank you for your honesty," I repeated.
So, while you're reading this and maybe tearing up or feeling sad for us, know that you are worse off than we are right now. The girls know and they're outside playing with their friends. I'll be going on a field trip with the first graders tomorrow and driving to lacrosse and gymnastics later this week. We're okay.
|This picture of me was taken two days after finding out about my bone mets. I'm okay.|
Here's what we're doing about my bone mets right now. We're assuming that these are the same type of cancer cells that I had back in 2012, meaning they grow on estrogen. So we will continue to suppress my ovaries with injections of a drug called Lupron. Then I will continue to take a drug called Femara which bonds to any leftover estrogen before it can find the cancer cells. The new treatment I will get is an infusion called Zometa. This doesn't actually fight the cancer in my bones, but it strengthens my bones so that as cancer cells try to grow, the bone cells are stronger and don't let them take over.
My first Zometa infusion is on Wednesday. This is not a lose-my-hair-and-puke kind of drug. I guess I might feel like I have the flu for a few days afterwards. Then back to normal life. A one-degree-of-separation friend had been on Zometa for 7 years and just recently had the cancer spread to her lungs, so hopefully taking Zometa will give Joe Biden time to cure cancer before I get any more mets.
I'll also be visiting Dana Farber in Boston for a second opinion, so we're covering all bases. Then I'll continue to be Mommy and go on family trips and be Mott Road's HSA (PTA) president. So don't be sad for us. Maybe just go outside and play.
*Long story of what's been going on for the past year to come soon.