A dreadful week
It has been a very hard week. I had been feeling very stressed with ‘scanxiety’ waiting to hear what the scan showed and Dr H ran out of time to let me know the results before he went away last Friday. With a long weekend and the fact that my assigned oncology nurse specialist KS was not at work until Wednesday meant that I didn’t find out until then anything about my scan results until then.
However before that happened, Tuesday had already hit me very hard emotionally. I woke to the news that one of my blogging friends , Rachel of The Cancer Culture Chronicles had died, we had commented on each others blogs and had communicated on twitter and understood where each other were at in our journeys with metastatic breast cancer. Her death was quite sudden in the scheme of things, she had been admitted to hospital with seizures, but those of us that knew her in the blogosphere expected her to pull through as she had done with so many other hospitalizations which she had written about with her characteristic wit and humour.
While I was still absorbing that news, about 11 am on Tuesday I got a direct message on Twitter from Sunday and an email from Stella telling me that Susan (@whymommy) had died. Susan, I was even closer too than Rachel, we met through twitter, we shared the diagnosis of IBC, she had asked me to join the ‘Mothers with Cancer’ group blog and we had let each other into our real lives by becoming friends on Facebook. Although we had never met she was a very real friend because of our shared experiences. I was proud to be part of her Lego princess army and know she valued our friendship across the miles just as much as I did.
Two amazing women gone in one day…. the internet community that we were all part of , on twitter and blogs, was stunned. We grieved together, many of us in tears. I used the term heartsick to describe how I felt, the grief was making me feel literally sick. But would I trade not knowing these women if I then didn’t have to feel such heartache? No, because knowing them has made my life richer, my belief in myself stronger and given me a sense of solidarity in sisterhood.
Wednesday came – I had already booked to have counselling at the Cancer Society in the afternoon so organised with KS that I would come in and see her at the hospital to see what was happening. I joked with a couple of people that it was the first time I have probably really needed the counselling but it was true.
KS couldn’t give me all the details but the gist of things is this. The scan shows definite progression and growth – I will find out exactly what next week when I meet with the oncologist. Dr H had seen the CT scan and come up with a possible plan but just run out of time to tell me before he went away. So the oncologist that I see next week will be working off his plan. It definitely means I will be starting a new chemo and my latest blood tests which KS was able to give me the results of also backed that up. My tumor markers continue to rise and whereas in the past I could console myself that they were on the comparatively low side for aggressive metastatic cancer that is no longer the case.
OH has just started 3 weeks annual leave. We have made plans to go away with C, ‘our French daughter’, if the doctors allow me to have a couple of weeks off chemo (I didn’t have it this week as the Adriamycin is obviously not working). If we can we will leave on Wednesday directly after my oncologist appointment and be away for 4 days. If not OH and C will go without me as C needs to be back the following week for Uni preparation and OH and I will try to go away in between chemos some other time. I will try to put a quick update on twitter and on the ‘Get Out Gertrude’ Facebook page before we go but probably wont have time to write a blog post in its entirety.
In closing I just want to do a big shout out to all my friends, whether I have met you in person or not. Thank you for being there, in whatever way, shape or form that might be. I love you all.