Wednesday, July 15, 2015
What's next? What is cancer treatment really all about? When will I be done? When can we stop focusing on cancer?
These are all questions that I've been asked. The short answer to when will I be done and when can we stop focusing on cancer is NEVER. Once cancer becomes part of your life, it will FOREVER be part of your life. There will come a day when there will be less of a focus on cancer treatment, but it will FOREVER be a major part of my life.
I am not a doctor so I can only speak about my own experience and my limited knowledge of what is to come. As I learn more, I will share more, but here is what I know for now.
I consider the three phases of cancer treatment--cutting, burning, and poisoning. And while you do all of these things to the cancer cells/tumor, since it is inside your body, you are doing these things to yourself including your healthy cells. Step one for me was cutting (or surgery). I thought having a bilateral mastectomy and sentinel node dissection would be the end of this step. One major surgical event cutting the cancer out of my body and on to the next step. However, I may be facing another surgery in the near future to remove more lymph nodes. So, the cutting step may not yet be complete.
I have been told that burning is now off the table. Since I chose a bilateral mastectomy, radiation is not in my future.
Next comes poison. (That is my word for chemotherapy). Will it or won't that be a part of my treatment plan? I don't know. So, we wait. We wait until I have my appointment with my oncologist at the end of the month to get my Oncotype DX number and determine the next step.
I may not know what comes next, but I do know that I will eventually be on hormone therapy. My cancer is highly Estrogen and Progesterone receptive, so I will be taking medication to block those hormone receptors on any cancer cells running around my body for a minimum of 5 years
Please hang in there with me as I go through whatever is next for however long each step takes for the rest of my life.
Thankful thoughts for today:
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