It was a 4 hour tour. I may be dating myself, and for those of you too young to know, there was a TV show called Gilligan’s Island, a comedy, with a catchy theme song. Seven people stranded on an island. I loved watching this after school, so of course, it came to my mind while I started typing this blog. I changed a few words…
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this breast bump
Aboard this tiny tit. (not that tiny)
The mate was a mighty sailing woman,
The skipper brave and sure.
Two passengers, Annette and Mike, set sail that day
For a four hour tour, a four hour tour.
The weather started getting rough,
The tiny tit was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Nettie would be lost, the Nettie would be lost.
The tit set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
With Annette and Mikey
The Oncologists too,
A Nurse called Jenny,
A blood lab technician
The Steroids and Chemo Cocktails,
Here on Cancer’s Isle.
So as I said, it was a 4 hour tour. The Cancer Centre experience was good as they were very organized. The nurses were personable and caring and the Medical Oncologist, who’s specialty is Breast cancer, was amazingly intelligent and made Mike and I feel comfortable. How could I not like him, he loved my boobs and said they were beautiful. Like Dah?! Of course they are! Ok, what he really said, was, what amazing work the surgeon did and he quipped women surgeons always do excellent work, better than the men. Yes, because woman surgeons tend to own a set and know how breasts should present themselves once you remove a lump. I just like this oncologist..very down to earth and knowledgeable and wanted to hear my questions.
He talked about the dandelion analogy saying that the radiation oncologist is the dandelion plucker while the medical oncologist is the weed guy. You can pluck dandelions but the longer you leave it you may not win the war against them. Medical oncology treats cancer systemically while radiation oncology treats it locally.
Cancer, the zodiac symbol is a crab. The reason this disease, cancer, is associated with a crab is because it spreads like fingers and each time you cut off a claw it grows back.
What sold me, was that he said he was a minimalist and would never recommend chemo if he didn’t think it was required. He said most oncologists would slam me with approximately 16 weeks of treatments but he felt that would be overkill in my case unless I wanted the grand slam! Hell no! Chemo is the standard of care particularly because 3 of my 5 lymph nodes had cancer. He said all you need to know is that your cancer knows how to move. So, regardless of the size of the cancer and even though it was small, it moves. Yes it’s rockin it! More importantly and without hesitation he said he would recommend this same treatment to his mother if she were me.
So it’s on. I start next week and this will run about 12 weeks. Radiation happens after chemo and he sent a referral off to see a radiation oncologist. Mother plucker! He also said the radiation oncologist may suggest to remove more lymph nodes but that would be a discussion with that person. This would all be followed up with hormone therapy. Well as I am typing this, the hospital called and looks like I see the Mother Plucker next Tuesday.
He said I would most likely lose my hair and gain weight on this treatment.. The weight gain is because I will be on steroids. Kripes, if there was one good side effect I was looking forward to, it was losing weight. I swear I don’t get a break! He also said to expect to initially have tonnes of energy. He described you will feel like cleaning the blinds at 4 a.m. and doing all sorts of things til you crash. He said you will absolutely crash. Great…chemo and radiation.. Crash and Burn!
Prior to meeting this Doctor, I was debating whether I should even bother entertaining chemo. Based on this expert, his statistics and facts, it just made sense particularly because of his approach in doing what was required without overkill. I didn’t want to roll the dice as I have seen too many friends and family die from cancer. Once I complete chemo sessions, I can resume my exploration into glycobiology and drink Chaga tea to boost my immunity naturally.
Lots to do! Today, I am back to the hospital for an orientation session and I will need to arrange to pick up my meds. They suggested to check out wigs…but being Sicilian not really convinced I will lose my hair. Mind you, with my luck, I will have extra growth in places I won’t want it. I can just see it…Annette, you may want to consider shaving down to your elbows. What’s that sticking out from under your pant leg?
All in all, at least I am getting some semblance of a plan so it feels like things are coming together.