Reality is sinking in… I have Stage IV cancer.
It doesn’t matter that i’m only 37 years old. Or that I have a 2 year old daughter and husband who need me. Or that I was just reaching the prime of my life – Finally ready to pursue my career as a social worker, filling out applications to become a foster parent, and settling into a new and promising life in Ohio after two years of personal hell. No, none of that matters.
The reality is that I have metastatic breast cancer. The reality is that life is unfair.
For the first time since finding this out yesterday, my husband and I acknowledged our new reality tonight with lots of tears, hugs, and love. Laying beside each other we expressed our anger and sadness as well as our hope and belief that we can make it through this. I want to grow old with this man… Raise a household of kids with this man… Retire on a beach in Brazil with this man… It’s hard for me to even fathom that that might not be an option anymore.
My doctor in NY says I can live with this. I will never be “cured”. But it is possible to shrink down and eliminate enough cancer cells so that I can continue to live. For how long??? No one can say. I don’t get attached to the statistics. I try not to even read them. Every situation is unique. All I can do is live in the moment and hope for the best.
My new treatment plan is still undefined. I did manage to get an appointment at the Ohio State cancer center in Columbus for Friday. I have opted not to start chemo tomorrow so I can leave all my options open for possible clinical trials (some of them won’t accept you if you’ve had prior treatment). Regardless of whether I end up pursuing traditional treatment or a new clinical trial, I HAVE TO start doing something next week. I can’t give those cancer cells any more time to stake claim to my body!!
Oddly enough, somewhere deep down inside of me, a little voice keeps saying that I’m going to win this battle. Whatever “win” means is of course subject to interpretation. But I feel like my regular exercise, meditation, green juicing, organic vegetarian diet, psychotherapy sessions, tai chi, young age, and positive attitude have to count for something, right?? Not to mention the abundance of support, prayers, and positive energy that other people are sending me… Which by the way, I SWEAR i could literally feel during my meditation session today. Thanks everyone!!!
I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have this much love in their life. Or the opportunity to focus on healing the way I do. I have not forgotten my blessings.
Keep the faith, carry on, and remember there is always something to be grateful for.
xoxo – T