My boob is gone and it’s time to meet the chemo oncologist… I don’t even know what an oncologist does anyway, I just know it sounds pretty serious.
My mister and I arrive at our first oncology appointment armed with questions, yeah you guessed it I’ve been researching again. Don’t get me wrong I’m not into Doctor Google and only scour Australian sites for information but I need to go with some idea of what we are about to discuss.
He’s really nice and I’m so grateful that he’s calm and has a cheeky smile. My doctor starts talking in terms that doctors normally talk in so I throw in a few big words of my own that I’ve learned from the Internet and he pauses, sits back on his chair and calmly states…”ahhh, you like to read?” Yup, I sure do and I play an active role in my healthcare. Ok, he nods shoots me a smile and changes tact. Now he’s talking to me, we’re having a discussion and he gets me.
Then he opens up his computer and punches in all my numbers, you know what grade my tumour is, how big it was, where it spread, my age and how many nodes involved etc. Before you know it he has a new number for me…
Can you imagine (go on try) sitting in a doctors office with the one you plan to grow old with, you’ve given the other doctors your breast and your nodes…you’re
clenching holding your husbands hand and a doctor informs you that without chemotherapy and hormone therapy you have a 36% chance of being alive in 10 years?
Can you imagine it?
I was so busy watching him tap in all my info that for a few seconds it didn’t register…36% ! hang on a minute WTF? No really…like WTF?!
I actually covered my mouth with my hand in that moment as it registered that cutting off my boob wasn’t enough. I was truly shocked.
In that moment fear flooded my body, adrenaline swirled and my legs went weak, this shit was serious, but wait! With all the chemo and hormone therapy my odds went up to 67%, what?! They couldn’t cure this cancer?!
Sure 67% is waaaay better but no cure? I’m 41 for Shiz sake, surely you guys can fix this?
We left knowing all the possible side effects of chemo, that I would have 18 rounds and then radiotherapy and hormone therapy, they might even take my ovaries too. First I need another surgery to have a port inserted into my chest for the chemo to be infused through.
Wow! How the hell did I get here? How did we end up clutching hands travelling down a lift in a hospital in silence. As the doors opened I exhaled, my mister gave me a wink and squeezed my hand and we walked outa that hospital ready to head home and tell our kids that this shit just got serious.
Til next time,