Seven years ago for my 50th birthday, I was prepping for a second breast cancer surgery, an axcillary dissection.
Today, for my 57th I am sharing this news widely so that I feel comfortable getting back to my writing and blog.
I am one of the about 30% who experience a return of breast cancer. It’s been quite a long road of discovery, and I am experiencing metastatic breast cancer, it is “diffuse and widespread” in my bones.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are a lot of effective treatment options, so don’t kill me off quite yet. Many live for many years, as is my intent.
It’s important to me to note some specifics around language, this may be new to you, I ask for your respect. I see this as a challenge and an opportunity. What I hate is not cancer it is the way we talk about it and our bodies. My goal is to expand the love for my body and embrace its vast strength and health. No to “battles.” This is my living experience, do not call me a “survivor” – what does that say about all of our beloveds who have died? There’s more about this on this blog.
So, here I am on my birthday, planning to bake a gluten free knock off of Main and Market’s strawberry shortcake and getting ready to take Sarah to the dentist.
All is well at work, what amazing people Alchemy’s therapists are! I’m seeing a limited number of clients and all continues to move smoothly there. Thank goodness!
I will write more about the diagnosis/discovery process. Short story, this presented really strangely and was intertwined with gall bladder, a tooth extraction, random pain, and a strange numbness that nobody could figure out. By the time I had a real diagnosis I was pretty miserable, and in a lot of pain. We then had to wait for additional pathology lab results to start treatment.
I’m feeling better about six weeks into treatment. Less pain, mostly manageable with ibuprofen, and a host of drug side effects. The treatment is a Aromatase Inhibitor that knocks down the estrogen in my system (yay- Menopause3) along with a newer drug that prevents the cancer cells from finding a back door to nutrients when the estrogen is cut off. This drug is chemo-like in that it tanks my immune system and creates those side effects.
So far it is manageable and things are improving. There is a large selection of options my oncologist (who I love!!!) has for treatment and my NP, acupuncturist and other therapists are supporting the health of my whole body. The reality is that this is stage 4 cancer and care is all essentially palliative, however there is a lot of life in me, so here we go – I will celebrate birthdays.
My blog is linked and I have so much more to talk about as spirit moves me. If you are interested, please read along.
What else can you offer? Love and support, prayers and good energy. Lunch perhaps if you’re local. Let Sarah have her privacy, she is doing great and is handling it well. If you are an Alchemy client, this is not a topic for conversation at the office or in session. Period. Big boundary.
From here, notice how much money goes to “pink” and “awareness.” A tiny fraction goes into research for metastatic breast cancer to find treatments and cures. When October shows up, ask where the pink money is going. Send your funds to research that are actually working towards life not fear.
Soapbox Two: Please don’t send me links about the latest hokey diet cure, herb, oil, or articles about “what the doctors aren’t telling me.” Actually, my docs are on it. I trust them.
Even more, I trust my body, spirit, and my path in this life. I will focus on my health, my beloved and amazing daughter, family and friends, Alchemy, and living my highest and best.