Why?

Why do some people get cancer? Why do some people have gene mutations that cause cancer? Why do some cancer treatments work on some, but not others? When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, I never questioned why breast cancer chose me. In 2013 when it returned, and metastisized, I certainly questioned why.

I got over questioning how I got cancer in the first place because I will never have a definite answer. It could be because I have the brca2 mutation and I was also DES exposed in utero. DES was a drug given to pregnant woman in the 60’s to prevent miscarriage. It could be a combination of both..I’ll never know.

Unfortunately, I’m entering a sobering phase of my breast cancer. Since March of this year, I have not been feeling well and had to cancel a summer vacation to Italy. I started to lose my appetite, and have lost quite a bit of weight.  I feel weak and tired quite often. I haven’t driven my car since April, but she is being taking care of by Michaela, who drives it to her internship. The poor intern driving a Mercedes. I digress. I have a host of other symptoms, primarily liver and shoulder pain due to increasing lesions, and a cough due to the increasing size of lymph nodes between the lungs.

At my visit last Thursday with my oncologist, I was told that I was running out of viable treatment options. Any cancer patient knows that when you hear this, death is getting closer. I am not giving up hope yet, but I am realistic. I began a new chemotherapy that we hope will be the miracle to stabilize the cancer. There might be one more viable option after this chemo and there may be other options, but we may be just grasping at that point.

So what do I do now? I prepare my legacy. I have been very tired so it is taking a while, but I will get it done. I want my children to know all about me, and to have something from me when I’m gone. 

I’m not sure how much time I have, but it makes me angry that I might not see Max graduate high school next year and go off to college. It makes me angry that I might not see Michaela graduate college next year. It makes me angry that I will not become a grandmother. How sweet it would be to snuggle with my itty bitty baby grandchild and spoil it rotten. It makes me angry having to leave the love of my life, Mark. Our 26th wedding anniversary is next week. We were suppose to grow old together. Cancer, you are taking me away from my family and friends (and dog Wally) who I love. I hate you!

I pray this new chemo will help me feel better, and of course stabilize the cancer. I will be honest with all of you, when you have days in which you feel crappy from the chemo and/or cancer, and need help doing everything, you just don’t want to go on. I have had days like this, but a talk with Mark (or my dog Wally who is a great comfort and listener) makes everything better.

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14 thoughts on “Why?

  1. There’s not a day that I don’t think about you, my friend. We may not have been close in our youth, but you have my utmost respect as we grow older!! May this latest treatment gain you strength and more memories to cherish….. Hugs, alisa

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  2. Susan, We are sorry to hear that you are not feeling well, and that your options are diminishing, but, as long as you are with us, we’ll always continue to hope. Mark said he’d be in touch soon about our coming to visit. Your children make the whole family proud, and are a testament to the way you have always lived life to the fullest. We look forward to seeing all of you, when you’re up to it. Love, Susan

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  3. So poignant and beautifully written Susan. Thank you for your honesty and candor through this all. Every time you share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you are paying it forward without even realizing it. We are all taking something from you that we can use in our own lives. Prayers of peace and healing are coming your way.

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  4. Your beautiful soul shines through in every word you write. Though we have never met your story is carved into my heart along with the universal love, hopes and dreams we mothers all carry for our children and for ourselves. From a kindred mermaid spirit…love & hope.

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  5. I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well and hope a treatment will ease your pain and discomfort. The grace and strength you and your family have shown during this is truly inspirational. I have a feeling you will be present when Max graduates high school , Michaela graduates college and all that happens in your family’s life. Your love, strength, courage and memory will be with all that have known you.
    Wishing you peace and strength.

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  6. To my best friend…I love you, but you know that. You have been so brave and incredible throughout and I can’t thank you enough for your honesty. My wish is that others will read all you have written and learn from it. I am angry too, angry that this happened, angry it happened again, angry at the thought of you being in pain, angry for all you have to go through, angry for all your family has to cope with. But at the end of the day I am the luckiest person in the world for having gotten to know you. I still remember the first day I met you and from then on it was instant friendship. The countless hours on the phone, our kids playing together and making chalk cities on your driveway, parties…and it may have taken 13 years, but Vinnie and I FINALLY won one of your contests!! Life is unpredictable and unknown. We all have no idea what is in store for us. The one thing I know for sure is that I am the luckiest person in the world to have met you and I love you. Thank you for being my best friend and my inspiration.

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  7. I finally read this…part of me was afraid to because I wasn’t sure what you were going to tell all of us. I wish we had stayed in touch after all those years at Joan Louise School of Dance! You were definitely one of my most favorite Southbridge friends and I suspect if we had been at the same high school we would have remained super tight. I am also angry and very sad that you have struggled with this sucky disease. I can’t say enough though about how you’ve dealt with every moment (that I’m aware of) with grace and humor and while still caring fiercely for your family (including Wally). I will continue to keep you in my prayers and hope that you are comfortable and get some energy back to spend quality time with your loved ones. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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