Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Cancer Coaster

I wanted to go all this week without posting about cancer. I really didn't want to think about cancer at all, except that's hard because certain parts of my boob remind me several times per day that it exists. Since I'm writing about this journey for more than just myself, I think its important to acknowledge this aspect of cancer.

Cancer causes crazy.

Cray cray.

Crazy pants.

Crazy Crackers.

Yes, cancer causes people to become all of those things. There is no telling when I could go from a sane, rational mother of 5 to Crazy Crackers mom who can't remember what she did eight seconds ago. (and, I'm sorry Noah, I have no clue what I did with your birth certificate that I just saw two days ago. The air ate it. I will get you a new copy.)

Then there are the strange, "out of body" type fits of irritation that are not like me. I go online and find that other women have described the same things, and I feel slightly better that maybe I'm NOT crazy. Perhaps, just maybe, I'm a little stressed? Its possible.

 Last week while I was still waking up from anesthesia, I found out my lymph nodes were cancer free. This is a major piece of information because it means I don't have to have chemotherapy, just radiation only. Then two days later my surgeon called me at 8:00 pm. He wanted me to have a good, worry-free weekend, so called to tell me that he did, indeed get all the mass out of my breast. (It has clear margins, for those who know the lingo.) I was thrilled. No chemo for me, for sure! YAYAYAY

Tomorrow morning I meet with my surgeon for a one-week follow up, and to go over the final pathology results. I was just getting ready for bed, looking forward to this early appointment because it won't mess up my whole day. And then suddenly I remembered something! Just before surgery when my surgeon came to talk to me, he listed what all they'd be doing in surgery, including that they would be doing an Oncotype DX test that would give them more information about my cancer. I had heard of this test in the breast cancer forums, but didn't really pay a whole lot of attention to it.

Then I had a brilliant idea:

"I should look up this test and see what kind of information it will give me!"

Why why why why why why why do I do this stuff to myself????? Especially when Dean is already in bed for the night so I can't tell him about it. (instead my poor sister gets the late-night messages.)

The Oncotype DX test looks at the cancer cells from the tumor, watches their activity, does some math then determines the likelihood the cancer will return. You can follow the link for all the details if you want, but if you're already bored with my cancer talk, and how I am/am not dealing with things, just know that I need a number below 18.

A number below 18 means I do NOT need chemo. Nope, not at all.

A number above 31 means the benefit of chemo outweigh the risks of the drugs. It will give me extra assurance that my invasive cancer will not return.

But a number between 18-31??? That means indecision. It means I will have to think, and weigh the risk vs benefit factors involved, and decide whether or not I should have chemo. Me. Stand on a teeter totter and decide which end to walk off of.

I hate this roller coaster. Hate. Hate is a strong word, but so is Cancer. I hate cancer. I hate the crazy. I want it to be July and all of this behind me. My birthday is the last week of June. It'll be an awesome birthday!

Stupid Cancer!

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