My View From the Zoo: The next chapter in the medzone – HomeTown TV12
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My View From the Zoo: The next chapter in the medzone

My View From the Zoo: The next chapter in the medzone
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The last week or so has seemed like rather a whirlwind of medical appointments and plotting. I’d teased my teddybear that booking more than a couple of days off in a row would tempt the fates and he’d laughed. It never fails, every time we plan to do something for ourselves, something gets royally screwed up!

We’d been adamant about laying the groundwork for possible surgery “just in case,” so that I wouldn’t get caught off guard again like we did last time. I don’t want to give anyone else a chance to say, “You’re lucky to be alive — we almost lost you back there!” EVER again!!

In the midst of the back and forth, and the referral-go-around, we had occasion to meet a doctor who assumed that we were just another case of playing the blame game. We did our best to be patient as I’m sure he gets a lot of those cases, but I — we — were not one of those.

I am grateful that he settled down and started listening. As a result, we have the first ray of light in a dark dark tunnel that has spanned the last 9 years since my gastric bypass. He arranged an endoscopy that found a blockage that he was able to fix. I’ve been over the moon that there have been no issues eating since then. I am always gobsmacked at the things some have to endure that others take for granted.

In the midst of all of this active crazy, I’d found a lump. In the days that followed, I’d have a clinic appointment, a mammogram, a follow up ultrasound and then a biopsy all in the space of about a week.

To be fair, to go from sore boob to 2.5 cms of mass in the space of about 6 weeks or so is cause for alarm. I do think the meds they gave me to keep the ovarian cyst at bay might be to blame but what do I know — I’m just the guinea pig!

They’d all been in such a big hurry to move things along that I wasn’t too surprised when the dreaded news arrived. The nurse was apologetic and kept asking if I was OK. I’d said I was, thanked her and got off the phone.

The words “you have malignant breast cancer,” were still ringing in my ears when my hubby came in and I’d told him. I made a couple of critical notifications but made the decision to not post anything on social media until all 3 of our kids had been told in person. I didn’t want to take the chance that someone would open their mouths and blab. I know how innocently that can come about but the damage would have been irreparable. They deserve so much better than that, I wasn’t going to do that to them.

As of yesterday all 3 of our kids know. They are strong, they all took it better than we thought they might. I got a giggle when I told each of them that I wasn’t done my job of “pissing them off” yet, so not to worry, I wasn’t going anywhere.

Years ago I’d done chemo, this time around will be very different being radiation. I am assured that I won’t lose my hair this time. That’s a relief! I really didn’t rock that look very well last time around. This time surgery will be day surgery — that blows my mind!

HELL NO, I WON’T GO!! I have so much I’ve conquered, and so much left that I want to do, I cannot believe that this is how the story ends. I’ve worked far too hard to get to where I am today, both personally and healthwise — I refuse to accept that there’s any other option but a full recovery — particularly in light of this new surgeon telling me he’s confident he can fix the hernia and remove the ovarian cyst when this is all behind me.

I can hear a few long-time friends laughing. I’d private messaged a few family members and close friends this week, a handful of which went through this ride with me the last time around. I knew I could count on them to remind me of how awesome they are. Tom thought I should take Lisa up on the graffitti this time, and suggested red and green would be festive. (I know Vaughnette would just LOVE that!!) My Pumpkin crew were probably the quickest to answer, sending love and encouragement. I found myself remembering all the late night coffee outtings from the BC Cancer Agency during my chemo treatments. It is true what they say, all you need is a few good friends – I have been blessed with more than a few!

I had a few weird conversations with folks ordering me to rest, or nap or ordering me to stay positive. Some were mad because I wasn’t upset enough or I didn’t have all the answers to their questions. None of that sh-tuff will be known til after surgery.

The other surgeon chastised me for calling this a bump in the road, but as I told him this is just another bump in a very long and winding road of medical crap and survival. Nothing seems horrible when you compare it to the year I spent in hospital bedridden. I am not worried about surgery. I’m thinking ahead to the things I don’t know – the radiation, my restrictions, my recovery time… I hate the not knowing. Just a few more days to go. I have surgery next week.

I was cheerleading about how I will celebrate 23 years in September since my ovarian cancer diagnosis and how I want to do something special for 25. I had no plans of adding a “new friend” to the line up. I think the planning chair and I need to have a serious chat!

In any case, friends – rest assured – I may have breast cancer, but it will NEVER have me!

I may be moving and typing a little slower in the weeks to come, but this chatterbox will never be silenced. I’m not done yet! She who holds the pen, writes the story — and I’m not letting go of the damned pen!

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