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Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Process of Curing Cancer exhausting. I can't believe how drained I feel every day. I call it my sinking spell, each afternoon, I get physically and mentally exhausted. I want to cry, I want to put on my jammies and crawl into bed and not speak to anyone. When you get a breast cancer diagnosis, you search every blog, medical website, book, and doctor's office pamphlet. You read, learn, write questions, and read some more. It took us about 15 minutes of research to find everything that we wanted to know.  Chan and I are black and white people.  We have questions, we want answers. Cancer isn't black and white, it's grey and elusive and doesn't give straight forward answers. We were told after this first diagnosis that my lymph nodes were clear and that the biopsy showed no cancer. We were elated.  Yet, our doctors keep talking about the lymph nodes.  They don't 'look' right, they are lumpy and bumpy. Whatever that means. I hate lumpy and bumpy. Especially on my thighs, I never thought I would hate it on my lymph nodes! I went Monday to give a blood sample for the geneticist. They want to see if I carry the gene mutation.
Chan takes notes at each meeting, he
writes down everything the doctors say and
asks all the questions.

In 1994, the first gene associated with breast cancer — BRCA1 (for BReast CAncer1) was identified on chromosome 17. A year later, a second gene associated with breast cancer — BRCA2 — was discovered on chromosome 13. When individuals carry a mutated form of either BRCA1 or BRCA2, they have an increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer at some point in their lives. Children of parents with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the gene mutation. 

When I gave the blood, it was in the chemo room, nice. They messed it up, I had to go back two days later and give more blood, which blew out my veins in my arm and I have a nice purple bruise growing down my arm. 

I have a feeling that this process of needle sticks, blood samples, and Xrays is just beginning.
needle stick number three...
I wake every morning and for the briefest moment, I have forgotten what is going on and I feel light. Then, the darkness sets in, the elephant gets back on my chest, I feel fear and dread. I don't carry that with me all day, I try to forget about it, but, sometimes it creeps in. I don't really cry that often, but, when I do, it shakes my whole body and I sob and sob. I don't feel sorry for myself. I actually feel very strong. I just need to let it all out, and crying works. 

I am so tired of feeling tired.
I am so over thinking about this every day.
I am finished with cancer defining who I am. 
I hate when people cry when they see me. 

I am ready to move on.

 Break up with cancer. 

We have a break up date, Wednesday at 9 am...bye bye.

Breast cancer is not just a disease that strikes at women. It strikes at the very heart of who we are as women: how others perceive us, how we perceive ourselves, how we live, work and raise our families-or whether we do these things at all.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz 

So if there is a purpose to the suffering that is cancer, I think it must be this: it’s meant to improve us. ~ Lance Armstrong

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