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.