A few things have happened that I haven't written about so I thought I'd give you all an update.
First, somewhere just after the second chemo treatment I received the results of the MRI they did on my left breast (remember, the lump was in the right). Dr. F called and because I was in my chemo coma, he gave the results to Chris who gave them to me. They found an "anomaly." Though Dr. F told Chris who told me not to worry, of course, that sent me into a major funk - let's face it, the thought that I could get through all of this only to find out my other breast could be "infected" left me feeling rather hopeless. Chris kept telling me both my oncologist (Dr. F) and my surgeon (Dr. M) weren't worried but it didn't help, much. Chris kept telling me that even if it were cancerous, the chemo would kill it but it didn't matter. Chris kept telling me I was going to be fine, but short of God coming down and telling me, I couldn't imagine believing that. All I could think about was having to have another biopsy when this is done. Another lumpectomy? Questioning, should I have insisted on the double mastectomy? Doubt.
After I came out of the second chemo coma, another thing happened. I became overcome with fear and despair. Crying jags ensued, suddenly and often with out immediate reason. Now I've dealt with depression, and I know how it feels for me, and this felt like something completely abnormal. Like some other being was possessing me and controlling my emotions - I didn't recognize myself. Pure unadulterated fear of dying kept rearing its head at the most random moments.
Last week, before my third round of chemo, I met with Dr. F for my monthly check-up. He noted some swelling in my legs, which I think is gone now (they look pretty good to me as I type), my numbers were good, and he examined my breasts, which felt fine (still a little fluid in the right one from the surgery but he said that should get reabsorbed). Then it was time for my questions.
First off I asked about the MRI results. And in his accent, which I love by the way, he said, "That's nothing. I talked to Dr. M and she too said, 'that's bullshit.'" I love how he speaks, and when he says bullshit it makes me smile. Basically, they both think it really is nothing, a blip, but it's good that we know it's there because we can keep an eye on it. He said it would have been worse if we didn't know it was there and then saw it again after the treatment. And it's tiny (after all it didn't show on the mammo). I breathed easier - okay, maybe I didn't need God coming down telling me not to worry, having two good doctors emphatically telling me would suffice.
Then I asked about the depression - was it normal to feel this way? Could it be the drugs? The anti-nausea meds? He said it's everything. The illness, the chemicals, the anti-nausea meds could all be contributing to it. He gave me the name of a counselor but also supported my decision to cut back on the Atavin during my chemo coma. While it helps fight the nausea it's also an anti-anxiety and I just didn't like how it was making me feel.
We covered some other things but, basically, after talking to him, I felt better.
Then of course, I had chemo, and the world quickly became days of sleep, fog, dizziness, and nausea again. I took the compazine, I had the Emend, but I didn't take the Atavin.
After 3.5 solid days in bed, I came out of the coma Friday morning, and managed to sit on the couch all day, watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy in our bi-annual "Slugfest."
Saturday, I felt better, but still, tired and on the couch.
Sunday, I actually went to the gym with Lisa. Walked on the treadmill, barely going 2 mph but I was there. Rest of the day? Back to the couch.
And then yesterday came. And the strangest thing happened. I woke and felt ... hopeful. Really, hopeful. I could finally see the light at the end of the chemo tunnel (it's March 9 by the way). I'm not halfway through but for some reason, I just got the strongest sense that once I pass this glitch, everything will be fine. The little bugaboos in my brain like to whisper, "You'll feel foolish if it turns out you're not fine." But I finally feel strong enough to tell them to shove it.
I went for my blood test yesterday and my white blood cells are below normal (which is normal - gotta love the double speak) but the other numbers indicating production show they should be back up soon. My platelets are down too (they help clot my blood) but not at a dangerous level.
So where am I this morning? Still feeling hopeful but also a bit more accepting of the fact that this stuff is weakening my body and that while I need to live my life, I also need to give my body a break, give it the rest it needs to stay strong. Me and the couch have become good friends. But I'm hopeful it won't last and that a year from now, it won't miss me too much.