I have been having a bit of trouble getting motivated to document my journey. I still intend to get the missing pieces into place, but I want to jump to a more recent event. I will have to fill in the gaps later.
I have to admit, that this journey has certainly had its ups and downs, and I often fell like I am on an emotional rollercoaster. I am constantly second guessing myself … after all, my life is on the line here. The choices I am making are life or death decisions … we really don’t have to make many of those in our lifetimes. Thank goodness!
I Found Another Lump!
On Wednesday, December 18th, exactly one week before Christmas, I found another lump in what was left of my left breast. It was not a Christmas gift that I had expected or wanted. I was devastated. I had been going to treatments 5 days a week since the end of October … this wasn’t supposed to be happening. This wasn’t part of the plan.
This discovery was disturbing on several levels. First, when I had the mastectomy, I was under the impression that I would be totally flat chested after the surgery. I must admit, however, the doctor and I had never discussed it, but she was removing the breasts … no breasts meant flat to me. But after the surgery, I still had quite a bit of breast left. Hmmmm…. My husband was very upset …. After all, I had the surgery as part of a preventative measure, especially the right breast which was cancer-free. If breast tissue remained, what was to stop the cancer from returning? And just 14 weeks later … it appears that it had, and just a few inches from the original tumor. Had the doctor missed something?
Having natural treatments 5 days a week, and taking numerous supplements, I felt that I should be winning the battle. And the results I had seen on the microscope screen of my blood sample I had viewed 2 weeks earlier appeared to be better. But was it really?
Seconding Guessing Myself Again: Should I Do Chemo?
When the weekend arrived, I had finally gathered enough courage to broach the subject with my husband … was I pursuing the battle against cancer correctly? Was natural the way to go? Should I consider chemo? So many questions … so few answers.
As Christmas approached, and I was dealing with this latest development, knowing that the cancer I had was very aggressive and quick growing, I seriously wondered if this was to be my last Christmas. In my mind, I was preparing for it to be so, although I never told anyone.
So Criss (my husband) and I sat down and talked many times that weekend. I wanted to know how he felt about all of this, and if he felt I was making the right decision. He was hesitant to voice his opinion, because sweetheart that he is, he wants my treatment to be my decision. But he brought up some very good points that helped me to decide to continue fighting the cancer naturally.
If this lump was cancerous, then we still had not identified and dealt with the root cause and more lumps would likely continue to form. Even with all the money in the world, you just cannot keep putting your body through surgery every few months … and I still had no insurance … not to mention, no funds.
So, was chemo the answer? Again, if tumors were going to continue to form, chemotherapy might address the problem for the tumor(s) that existed, but would also totally destroy my immune system. So new tumors would be able to gain a foothold easily and grow totally out of control after the chemotherapy was completed. This was a major concern since the first tumor had doubled in size in the month between diagnosis and surgery. Without an immune system, we felt I would lose the battle totally, that I would be signing my death warrant.
Together, we decided that I were on the right path and needed to continue to fight the cancer naturally.
Emotional Roller Coaster
A little bit of hope died, and I knew that was not a good thing. I knew that to win this battle I needed to stay positive. I didn’t tell Criss how I felt and that I wondered if this was to be my last Christmas. I didn’t tell anyone.
I cried a lot when I was by myself. I have heard that many people fighting cancer do that … cry when others are not around. I’m sure we do not want to burden others. I know that is how I felt.
I did share with a couple people that I felt like the person you see in the picture trying to plug a hole in a dam with their finger. But I felt that I was holding a 1” cork and trying to cover a 2” hole … and the hole looked like it might be getting bigger. I was getting wet and the water that I was standing in was rising. It was not a pretty picture forming in my mind. And the end did not look good.
It took about a week, but after many prayers and “thinking” sessions, I was finally able to move myself into a better emotional place … a place where healing was possible. How you ask?
I changed what I saw in my mind – just slightly. I decided it was entirely possible that when I began treating the cancer that I did not have a cork at all, and that the hole in the dam had been larger … and that what I was doing was working. I decided that if I continued on the path that I was on, the hole in the dam would continue to shrink and the cork would continue to grow until the hole was plugged. At that point, the water at my feet would drain away and evaporate …. and all would be right with my world. I would obtain my healing.
I had found the positive attitude that I had momentarily misplaced, and I was ready to fight this thing once again … on my terms.