Today I was out working a little in my garden. My neighbor popped out and asked me how I was doing. I feel like this is always a loaded question. Do I tell them that I'm hurting and I'm afraid that this is what it is going to be for the rest of my life? I just nodded and said "I'm OK."
She proceeded to tell me about her daughter-in-law, a woman who is older than I am and was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. "She's cured!" my neighbor chirped. I'm afraid at that I just mumbled something incomprehensible and walked away.
I was irritated. At present, breast cancer can't be cured. It can be beaten back. It can be managed as a chronic illness, but it can't be cured. If it could, I'd be first in line to get the magic elixir.
Tomorrow, I go to the oncologist for my monthy dose of Faslodex, a once every three month dose of Zometa, and my once every three months visit with my doc. Hopefully, my tumor markers will have fallen. They take a week to get back to me. My current doctor, James Sabiers, is a good guy, but he's not used to working with me yet. He tends not to lay everything out and I sort of have to pull it out of him.
With my oncologist in Connecticut, Dr. Samuel Bobrow at the Hospital of St. Raphael's in New Haven, I felt like we were a team. We discussed things and he told me what the plan was...sometimes it was sort of fun as I proposed things and he thought about them....sketching out treatments on the tissue covering the exam table.
With Dr. Sabiers, I'm not there yet. He did tell me that if the markers rise, then the Faslodex and Zometa aren't working and he'll put me on chemo. Tomorrow, I'll make him outline what and how long. This will be the third course of chemo I've had if I get it. I'm pretty sure that I'll have to get it as my bones tell me that things are not going too well. Last night not only did I have the pain in my pelvis (the acetabulum) but I also had extreme cramping in my feet.
This summer, I made a quilt for a lymphoma patient. On the quilt, the person who commissioned it had me write a saying by John Wayne. I really liked it and wondered that I had never heard it before: "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."