I have put off doing this because I didn’t know where to start. Here goes:
When I was re-diagnosed Stage 4 Metastatic back in April 2016, I dove in head first as the Warrior that I am and vowed that I would “deal” with this crap diagnosis and not let it break me. Well, I have done a darn good job of doing just that until a week ago.
A week ago I started crying and I mean crying hard and all day and night long and this continued for 5 1/2 days. Yep, it was my week off the Ibrance so I was already fatigued and more vulnerable. There was a trigger when a family member said something to me about her own aches and pains from an ailment that she has all the control in the world to prevent said aches.
This combined with the fact that 3 direct immediate family members have been diagnosed with cancer in the last 6 months and I have willingly been there thru every surgery, appt, follow up, etc for the first 2. My only living brother’s wife goes under the knife tomorrow morning for a breast lumpectomy that is a small tumor and all indicators suggest that with some radiation and hormone blockers and she should be good to go. Thank the Lord.
I have lost 3 members of the “Living with Cancer” support group I belong to and have lost a truly dear girlfriend that had what we all have.
I am not able to attend tomorrow mornings surgery to sit with my little brother while the love of his life is under as I had to have oral surgery myself this morning and my white count of 1.3 doesn’t allow me to sit in hospitals with open surgical wounds in my mouth. This kills me😢
Sorry I digressed:
After day 3 of my cryfest and showing up for the Wednesday support group on Tuesday, I reached out to the social worker at the oncology clinic.
I spilled my guts through the tears, via phone, to this wonderful woman for over an hour and she was so compassionate and full of great reasons for my breakdown and some ideas I will be pursuing going forward.
I then dug up the courage to call my oncologist and ask for a CT scan sooner than later as I have been ignoring the nagging discomfort in my chest where the tumor had been found two years ago. I was grossly patronized by one of his nurses (she is a survivor and “I know how hard it is Honey, we always assume the worst is wrong with us” “the insurance company dictates how often CT scans can be done and they won’t pay for you to have one just because you want one”)
Note:I have not had one since 7/17. I am not a chronic whiner that calls the doc at every sneeze.
I refrained from snapping her head off 👍🏻
She called me back later, tail between her legs and said my doc wanted to see me the following day. I am happy to report my CT scan will be done tomorrow and I will have results on a Thursday morning at yet another appt with my oncologist.
Sorry for the length of this but it feels good to share this part if even just one of you has been or is where I am.
I met with my Oncologist on Friday morning, tears and all. In 20 years this man has never seen me cry (first round of BC 1999 and re-diagnosis 2016).
He told me that what I am experiencing is completely normal and each and every person goes thru the 5 stages of Death/Loss/or Terminal Diagnosis. There is an “ideal” order of going thru these but nobody he has ever met goes thru then
1-5. He referred to a psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, that wrote a book in 1969 called On Death and Dying that covers the 5 stages:
1: Denial 2: Anger 3: Bargaining 4: Grieving or Depression 5: Acceptance
It would appear I grasped Denial, Bargaining with God and Acceptance just fine and this last week the last two hit me HARD! Friends, Anger and Grieving are not a great combo.
I will read the book with an open mind, I will be seeking out a counselor that it not a “survivor” but rather someone that has someone in there life with a stage 4 diagnosis or has perhaps lost someone to a fatal illness and I will STOP being the go to for my family and friends to get them thru their cancer journey. Apparently this is a very bad idea for ones psyche as it forces us to continually relive our own diagnosis etc.
Thank you for listening and I hope at least a couple of you can relate to my situation. We talk a lot on here about fear, medications, side effects and I think it would be helpful if we can dive a little deeper into the reasons for our feelings and how we each overcome them.
I plan on hanging around on this Earth for a very long time and am hanging to hope for a cure. As soon as I quit crying that is, of course lol