I Vow To Honour My Truth

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We made it to Connecticut! Hooray!

Miss M and I are settling into our temporary home at the hotel with hubby. It’s not so bad living in a hotel (free breakfast, swimming pool, maid service). But I’m itching to get into our actual home with our belongings organized and all my kitchen stuff at my fingertips. Looks like it’ll be a couple more weeks before that happens. So in the meantime Miss M and I are spending our days with family and friends, having fun at the beach, planning trips to Sesame Place & Provincetown, celebrating birthdays, and exploring our new neck of the woods. And I have to say our new neck of the woods is pretty fantastic – ocean beaches, seaside towns, acupuncture clinics and health-food stores. I’m loving it!

But as I start my search for a new oncologist I’m really missing my old one – Dr. K. He was such a gift – open minded, encouraging, humble, and kind. A truly great man and doctor. It’s gonna be hard to find someone as amazing as him but I will look far & wide to find the right doctor to continue this journey with me.

Because for metastatic cancer patients in particular, finding the right doctor is a serious issue. We have an ongoing, life-long connection to our doctors. They become a part of our lives. How we feel about them and how we feel when we’re with them is integral to our health on every level.

This week I had an appointment with potential oncologist #1. Unfortunately, the visit didn’t go so well (for me at least). I felt like we were coming from two opposing philosophical standpoints. The connection wasn’t there. And I didn’t feel good when I was with her. So I’m moving on. Continuing the search. Still looking for the right doctor.

I left the appointment with doubt and fear coursing through my veins, chipping away at my confidence and hope. Questioning everything. Am I naive to think I can be the 1-2% who are “cured” and show no evidence of disease for the rest of my life?? What if something does show up on one of my scans? Am I willing to do more chemo or Herceptin or drug treatment? Am I digging my head in the sand because I don’t like to dwell on the fact that most metastatic patients, like me, are in treatment for the rest of their lives?

After some tears, family hugs, and a few glasses of wine I am pushing the fear away and trying to step back into a place of hope, faith, and positivity. You know what? Fuck the haters! Fuck the doubters! Who says I can’t be the 1%??

Look, I know the stats. I know the odds aren’t in my favour. But doesn’t that give me even more reason to take a chance? To experiment? To go against the grain? What have I got to loose? Either way I could be dead in 2 years. Personally, I’d rather enjoy the time I have left, here and now, focusing on my whole self, healing my life naturally and not spend it at doctors appointments and dealing with potentially life threatening treatment side effects. I want to truly live – fully, with gusto, and my whits about me. That’s the way my mom did it. And I respect her for that – Big time!

I am realizing again and again how difficult it is to be a patient who charts their own course. Conventional doctors want to treat me with surgery and pharmaceuticals. And even though I’ve agreed to go down that road before, I’m not sure I will go down it again. I need a team that respects my decisions and recognizes that I am not choosing my path blindly.

I would also love to connect with other cancer patients out there who are choosing to chart a different path. Who question cookie-cutter treatment options and refuse to blindly trust and follow everything their doctor tells them. Right now I feel so all alone. I could really use some reassurance and understanding from someone else who has walked this road too.

Regardless, I vow to not let the haters get me down. I vow to surround myself with positive and helpful healing allies. I vow to honour my intuition and make choices based on what feels right to me. I vow to live my life to its fullest. I vow to be a force for good in this world.

And I will keep repeating my mantra with each breath I take… Healing energy in… Cancer and fear out…

Peace. -T

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10 Responses

  1. Hi Teri,
    Welcome to New England. Its been awhile since we touched base. I am keeping up with your updates and can I just say that you are a ray of sunshine!! in regards to finding an oncologist would you consider traveling to Boston. My oncologist at MGH is truly a God sent. She is my angel. Her name is Dr Beverly Moy. I would be more than happy to help you in any way. Don’t let anyone take your spark away. As for statistics the are out dated and USELESS!!…..Sending you love and light …..all my best Marie

    • Thanks so much Marie! Not sure I’m willing to make the trek up to Boston on the regular for a new oncologist. But never say never, right? Your words warmed my heart & gave me a nice boost! Hope you continue to do well in your own journey! Hugs, – T

  2. I’m so sorry you had that experience, Teri. I know exactly where you’re coming from with doctors who refuse to believe there is anything out there worth a damn unless they learned it in medical school . I’m actually dumping mine with two treatments left. I should’ve done it a long time ago. Don’t feel alone. You have been an inspiration for me, and I’m right there with you questioning conventional treatment all the way. I’m doing the chemo, but I may tell them to keep the radiation and Tamoxifen. I keep looking at pictures of myself from last year thinking how healthy I looked with the “raging untreated cancer” compared to now. I look like a hairless concentration camp survivor, but hooray, I’m being treated. Kind of fucked up!

    • LOL! Your comment about how messed up we look when we’re doing treatment is something I think of often. Thanks for reaching out. I went over to your blog and absolutely love your whitty sense of humor and approach to dealing with cancer. Am looking forward to reading more about your journey & perhaps sharing notes on future treatment decisions.
      Much love, – T

  3. Terri, love, to be completely frank, honoring your truth has kept you alive. So you’d better keep doing it!

    We’re here for you and supporting you in doing exactly that…because we want you around for way, way longer.
    xoxo

  4. A great con artist once said the easiest people to con are doctors–because they can’t conceive that they could ever be wrong about anything. Good luck in your search, hon. May you find another Dr. K soon!

  5. Good luck finding a new doc–as you say, it’s so important finding someone you click with. With the move and new house, sounds like you have a lot going on.
    Was just sharing the following with another MBC’er and thought you might find it of interest.
    Take care!

    “How Do You Live With MBC” is a question addressed in this video. Hopefully it also shows that we are not alone, too:
    http://animoto.com/play/P4OmE8j0gZyybiyFRl86Pw

    Rock on,
    KOB

    PS:

    (As you might know, I volunteer with MBCN, wanted to make sure you knew about the forthcoming conference)
    Registration Reminder Video:
    http://animoto.com/play/azjq8n0OVu2y7jbpzPHThg

    Here is a link to the agenda with specific topics and speakers: http://mbcn.org/special-events/category/agenda-2013/.

    Here are the details in a nutshell:

    The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network’s (MBCN’s) 2013 Annual Conference In Conjunction with MD Anderson.

    WHO: People living with metastatic breast cancer and their spouses, partners, friends and caregivers.

    WHEN: September 20-22, 2013.

    WHERE: Houston Marriott @ Texas Medical Center.

    MORE INFORMATION: http://www.MBCN.org.

    • Thanks Katherine! The conference in September sounds very tempting (especially since we have family in the area). And my “to do” list actually has an entry for ‘go to a breast cancer conference’ :-) I guess if I don’t make it this year, there’s always next year, right? Gonna go check out the video now… cheers. – T

  6. Thinking about you this morning after seeing the lovely pictures of Marisa and you at you grandmother’s birthday — and hoping the search for a new doctor is swift and successful. Nova Scotia has been just achingly beautiful since I got back about two weeks ago — Much love to all, — John

  7. Hi Terri,

    Just wanted you to know that I too am charting my own course for healing and have been advocating for myself during this entire journey as you are. I have fought the so called medical establishment against excessive treatments and additional pain and suffering. I want you to know that I too am following my inner voice and using a holistic approach to my healing. Please contact me whenever you want to. I too am finding it hard to find others who have the same ideas for healing as myself.

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