01 February 2010

Time to Face my Fears!

Everything has changed.

Last Monday, I met with my oncologist, Dr. Singh, per usual before my chemotherapy treatment. He asked about how my body was handling the Taxol treatments.

He became highly concerned when I told him about how difficult it had become for me to walk without assistance and was especially concerned regarding the numbness in my fingers and feet. He sat and pondered for a few minutes and then told me that while we want me to be well, he didn't want me to become handicapped in the process. The neuropathy in my hands and feet could get significantly worse with additional Taxol treaments, and it is known that sometimes the numbness is permanent.

We have known for many weeks that the treatments have been very effective in shrinking the large mass of cancer. He examined me and really felt like it had shrunk enough to make surgery possible now. He called Dr. Hamad, my surgeon, right there in the office to discuss the possibility and I had an appointment for the next day to meet with her to see if she concurred. I left without having to have any treatment last Monday.

Dr. Hamad did concur that I was in a good situation for safe and effective surgery. She told me it would be in 2 - 3 weeks. My head was spinning. This is all happening so fast.

Now, I don't get out of the last chemo treatments, as Dr. Singh said that a few months later, I would eventually have to have them, but that he would use the alternate Taxotere instead. This is pretty stinky! He says that it usually doesn't have as severe of side effects, but everything I have read about it says that the exact same side effects, plus some extra ones are possible. Additionally, my hair would have started to grow back in by a few months from now, and then I will have to lose it all over again. I am trying not to think about this until later.

I called the surgeon's office last Thursday, because I hadn't been notified of my surgical date. She said she was working on it, and that she'd know by Friday morning. Well, I never got a call on Friday.

This morning, just two hours ago, the nurse, Debra, called. She said that when she was setting up the surgery on Friday, the soonest they could do was February 23rd. That was further away than I expected. BUT, she said...just this morning there was a cancellation for Thursday. THIS COMING THURSDAY!!!!

I felt a whoosh of terror and panic come over me, and I started to cry. Could I be emotionally prepared for all of this in three short days? She said I could call her back later this morning, but that she had offered it to me first and she needed to know soon so that she could offer it to another patient.

I fell apart. I talked with Doug. I talked with Catherine and called Elizabeth. They see it as a blessing that I have less time to stress about it and, they know that I would, because I already have since last Monday's shocker. Rip the band-aid off fast!!!

Catherine's words had the most impact, "you want to get the cancer out of you as soon as possible".

So, I faced my fear and called Debra back and took the available surgery time for this Thursday, February 4th. I arrive at the hospital at 10:00 for a noon surgery.

I am trying so hard not to be scared.

But I am. I think that now I am more afraid of the emotional aspects of what they are actually doing--the removing of my breasts--than the surgery itself. Although, since I have never had general anesthetic nor any surgery before, I face that unknown with several degrees of trepidation too.

This surgery is happening TWO MONTHS earlier than anticipated. That's good, right? The road to recovery is faster, right?

I ask for your prayers on my behalf that in this abbreviated time I will feel at peace and be prepared in all ways to make it through the surgical process the same as if I had more time. I pray also that I will feel the love of God embrace me as I go through these next weeks.


Catherine said...

Mommy, this IS a good thing. We will all be there for you as much as possible. Love you so so so much!!!

Brenda said...

In my thoughts and prayers

Anonymous said...

I agree with Catherine!! Get that cancer out of your body ASAP! You know you have my constant thoughts and prayers! You have such strength and sweetness--I admire you totally.
Virginia ---the other Grandmother

WhiteStone said...

As a fellow blogger/cancer patient (mine is ovarian cancer, and yes, I had major surgery, too!) I'll be praying for your quick recovery and that further treatment works well for you.

Anonymous said...

oh Sally! I think having a surgery date so soon is a blessing! The sooner the surgery, the sooner the recovery. And I find it is easier to deal with things that are actually happening, rather than worrying about what WILL happen. You will be in our prayers! Love, Katie

Anonymous said...

I say its a great thing! I am just like you with the waiting and worrying and working myself up, so the sooner the better! We will be praying for you here and waiting to hear about the success of your surgery.

tiffinlv said...

I absolutely agree with the sooner the better! I am thrilled the date is moved up. You know we will be praying for you.

NLP said...

Sally, you have been in our prayers and will be especially on Thursday as you go into surgery. What a blessing that it can be done sooner than later. I agree....get rid of that cancer!!and enjoy a speedy recovery!!

Anonymous said...

My prayers and love are with you. May you be blessed with health and filled with peace. Know that I love you.

Marta Anderson

Rachel said...

Sally, I'm praying for you, hope all goes well tomorrow!

Jo Ann B. Pennock said...

To paraphrase Lady Macbeth, "Out, Damned Cancer." Regarding this and our conversation from a couple of hours ago--I really think this is a huge blessing for you and that by tomorrow night, you will see that, too. Lots of prayers for you tonight and tomorrow. Your anesthesiologist might not be the hottie mine was, but he will take care of you!!!

Sue said...

Sally, I think this truly is a blessing. So many people have been praying for you...maybe this opportunity has opened for you as a result of all those prayers? I know it's really scary, but you will have all of our love and prayers to help you through it. I will pray specifically that the Lord will comfort you before during and after the surgery and that the surgery will go well. Love you!

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