Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Very Difficult Easy Appointment

I know it's been a while (again,) but I refuse to do whiny post after whiny post.  I know that it's my "right" or "normal" to feel like this sometimes, but nobody wants to read that crap all the time, so I'm not posting often until I get out of this funk, but I'll try to update from time to time.

I had an appointment with my medical oncologist today.  (I have so many doctors these days, and will put a legend at the bottom of this to help you understand if you've never dealt with cancer care.)  It was a simple appointment where she checked on me and made sure I had no side effects from my medication and that my vitals were good and then to send me on my way to not see her for six months.

During this simple visit, she asked how everything was going.  I had to tell about it all.  About my reconstructive surgery and how it failed.  About how he tried again and it failed again. About how we're back at square one and I can't even consider another procedure for a couple of months, minimum.  I had to tell her all of this, and it made this simple appointment more difficult that I'd ever imagined.  I returned to work emotionally drained.

I hated having to tell these details.  I hated it more than you can even believe.  I cried all the way back to work.  Emotionally, I'm handling this worse than I handled the weeks after diagnosis.  From the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer, everything has been onward and upward.  "We're doing this to get cancer out of your body."  "We're doing this to keep cancer from spreading to other parts of your body."  "We're doing this to keep cancer from returning to your body."

Now that all of this is handled, it's time for the cosmetic part.  Should be no biggie.  But it keeps failing and now I have to wait and I just want to put it all behind me and MOVE ON.  Before you tell me that it could be worse, I know that.  I have a few friends with stage 4 breast cancer.  They are facing a long road of continuing treatment.  This is just aesthetics.  I'll get by, and I'll try not to whine too much about it.

I have an amazing family taking care of me, and I'm not wearing that damn sling anymore.  Those are two things to be very thankful for.  And believe me, I'm thankful for them.

Edited to add the legend and it's too late to claim chemo brain:

Breast Surgeon (BS) - Performs mastectomy or lumpectomy or whatever is deemed necessary to remove tumors from the breast.

Medical Oncologist (MO) - Administers medications to fight cancer.  Responsible for chemotherapy and any medication after the fact.

Radiology Oncologist (RO) - Administers radiation and follows up with skin issues afterward.

Plastic Surgeon (PS) - Does reconstruction after lumpectomy or mastectomy  Also does work on the unaffected side if only one breast is removed.

Physical Therapist (PT) - Tries to get our body to work like it did before all of the above doctors do their thing.

Primary Care Physician (PCP) - The guy who gets tons of reports sent over and wonders what the HECK has happened to you when you actually only see him for the occasional cough.  Poor fella.


Lois alberts said...

Wow.... You put it soooooo eloquently that I actually felt myself wincing. My heart just ached thinking of u crying on your way back to work. Because I know once you got there and started answering those phones u were 100% your usual helpful and positive self. I have not been through anything like you are going through.... Not ever, but some how I get it when I read what u say here. The only thing I can say is that I know that it is only through adversity and struggle that we grow. I think you are going to be an incredibly amazing person when all this is finally past you!

Celeste Sanders said...

I need to you post whiney stuff. Gives me an excuse to cry.

Celeste Sanders said...

Oh yea. I am so glad that you have Kevin. and your mom and dad and your great kids. Your mom said I could be a cousin...