Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not a mutant

So I have been playing the cancer waiting game. It is really quite fun and pushes patience to the absolute limit. I have been waiting to see if I am BRAC 1 OR BRAC 2 positive. This genetic mutation can lead to some hereditary female cancers (Breast and Ovarian), because of my triple negative disease and onset at such a young age, my doctors and I felt that I was probably going to test positive for this mutation. A positive result would have made me eligible for a clinical trial of a PARP inhibitor...this is some kind of biological drug that has significantly less side effects then chemo. I of course would become some what of a lab worries this drug is only tested on animals will be injured. After my extended chemo vacation (it has been since june 4th) I would do almost anything to not have to tap in again, unless of course that choice is die. Sadly I was hoping to be positive so that I would be eligible for this trial. Mutants only for this particular study, BRAC negatives need not apply.

Then I begin the search for the next step. There are lots of choices for the next chemo, the menu is like a really extensive wine list, I need to go over it with my doctor so I made the journey to Sedona today. Now I am all sorts of pissed off about starting chemo again. I am upset that I am driving to Sedona without my beautiful new mountain bike.  Who the hell drives to a place like that without their new 29er?  There are so many kinds of wrong with that picture.  Fortunately my friend Kate tags along for some much needed moral support. I have to say I have been on the cancer breakdown brink lately, walking that fine line of just had enough, I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!! So just as we are leaving Prescott, a little behind schedule, I am a living breathing ball of frustration, who happens to be speeding. Damn it! I get pulled over by the VA for doing 45 in a 30. The poor policeman, I essentially breakdown, I tell him I am on my way to chemotherapy and I start to sob. I pass him all my credentials and just sit and cry in my car. The injustice of my life, my day, my cancer and now a fucking speeding ticket too. Why can't it only be a speeding ticket why does my day have all these other fucked up details that I MUST deal with? Pity party of one has fully arrived in some little dirt lot on the side of the road. Then the policeman returns, tells me he is going to give me a warning, wishes me luck with my treatment and adds that I don't need other things to worry about with so much on my plate. That of course makes me sob more, the kind man felt sorry for my story, I wanted to apologize to him for the rough start to his morning, I am sure he just wanted to pull over citizen X write a citation and get on with his day. I didn't want to be a sobbing driver pulling the cancer card. Nobody wants to wake up and feel this huge weight on their heart. The last person I want to share it with is a police officer. I was so raw an vulnerable. My friends and loved ones share this with me in there own way. Usually I run cancer light, that is the less then serious disease that is my accessory on occasion. This morning my head and heart were deeply seated in cancer dark, no unsuspecting human should have to view that with out at least the slightest bit of warning. So to the kind officer who gave me a warning today, many thanks, I didn't intend to let it all hang out.

After a good cry and a warning my spirits sort of lift. The drive to Sedona is a pretty one these days. The hills are so green. We arrive about a 1/2 our late, between the ticket and construction it was not in the cards. I attempt to be prompt but truth be told I have waited many hours in a Dr.'s office and being late is no longer one of my concerns.

We get there and guess what we have to wait. The reason I am so wound up about my cancer is that in addition to some new nodes on my last pet scan, I have had considerable swelling in my neck over the course of the last month. It is uncomfortable and just the knowledge that my disease has this visible presentation just freaks me out. I feel pretty good, could my health turn quickly? I don't know, they don't know. Living in this predicament makes it hard to live in the moment. I don't want to face my cancer, I want it on a back burner, preferably not in my life. When I have to make a chemo choice, I have no other option then to take a hard look at this portion of my reality, it is not a place I want to reside, or give to much power to. Yet I have to honor the cancer in me for it too is a part of my journey. Acceptance comes to mind, and I breathe. Dr. Lindquist pops in and it is the usual routine. Exam, measure, talk, blah, blah, blah....possible drugs, possible side effects, this one is promising,so is this one....choose your cocktail and choose wisely, it is only your life. So the winner is Zalota,  an oral chemo drug that I can take from home. It can be shipped directly to me, I must be there to sign for it though, a very highly controlled substance. This drug should be more mellow then the other chemo drugs I have taken. So once the authorization comes through I will be moving forward with my treatment. While at the oncology office I need to have my port flushed and have some blood drawn. They don't like you to leave with out sticking you. Lately it has meant double pokes for me, my port hasn't drawn blood for the last 4 visits. I frankly don't even care about the extra needle poke, I am just a little numb. Chris quickly and painlessly accesses my port, the nasty flush of saline hits my mouth, and my port miraculously draws blood. I don't look because I don't want to jinx it, so I wait patiently for him to fill the 3 vials. Kate is smiling, we needed this little sign that maybe after an emotionally laden day some things were going to go our way.

So far from where I need to be..... Drink Water and Breathe

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your effort to keep us strangers out here posted. Prayers and love sent to hold you up. Gotta love cops once in awhile.