Wow, what a difference a week makes. I feel like I have traveled a thousand miles in the dark and my mind is reeling.
Let me back up to where we last left off ...
I got to spend time with my oncologist, my nurse practitioner and several of my favorite nurses. It was a very busy day for them (Dr. T had two new patients) but I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love they gave me.
I was able to express my gratitude to my medical team with the amazing cards you saw in the video. Dr. T liked hers so much she said she is going to frame it! The cards are made by a woman named Jessica. She starting making the cards after her husband Tommy was diagnosed with cancer just 53 days after they married. I have found Jessica to be a true inspiration. If you are looking for funny and/or encouraging cards, please take a look at her shop: https://betterandcompany.com/order
I felt so much love not only from my medical team, but also from my family and friends. I received a ton of sweet, funny and encouraging texts (in a matter of minutes I had 43 texts from my cousins -- talk about feeling loved!).
That night, several of my family members stopped by my parent's house to celebrate with me. My sister Jessica bought that bottle of champagne (in the video) shortly after I was diagnosed and said we would drink it when I was finished with chemo. It was very special.
Things should have continued on this positive trajectory but they took an unexpected turn the next Monday.
As I mentioned previously, I had to have a breast MRI Friday to confirm that the tumor was gone and that the cancer was not showing up in new areas. I had some 'scanxiety' but I felt fairly sure all would be well.
Monday afternoon my surgeon, Dr. P, called me. She started by telling me that yes, the chemotherapy had worked and my tumor was gone! But there was a spot on the MRI they needed to check. I was scheduled for a mammogram and ultrasound the following day.
I don't want to go into details about what happened -- long story short it was a horrible day for me but it ended with good news: it was a noncancerous growth.
The experience left me more shaken and upset than I have been through this whole journey. But Wednesday morning I had my consultation with a radiation oncologist scheduled, so I had to keep moving forward.
That consultation turned out to be exactly what I needed to feel confident again in my plan of treatment. The RO, Dr. S, was incredible. He spent an hour with us going over my history, discussing my options, addressing our concerns ... It was a great appointment. I left feeling so much better than I had felt the past two days.
So that brings us up to speed and to the title of this post. Having finished chemo and having a few weeks off before my surgery, you would think I'd feel elated. But it has been a confusing rush of emotions. One of my cousins sent me this on my last day of chemo.
If you have seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I think you will understand the significance of what Frodo is feeling at that moment. It has been a journey that changed his life in every way possible and now he doesn't know how he can return to his "normal" life at the Shire. That's how I feel. I don't know how to transition from this mode of being solely focused on one task to everyday life. And on top of that, I know that my cancer journey is only 1/3 of the way done; I still have surgery and radiation.
So where am I? What do I do with this time? I am still dealing with chemo side effects and I want to stay healthy so my surgery can take place as planned. But at the same time, I want to move forward. I want to lose the ten pounds I've gained while on chemo, I want to clean my house, I want to see people, I want to go to Marshalls.
I'm between seasons. The comfort of the familiar (winter) holds me but the longing for joy and new life (spring) is constantly present.
It's a strange place to be ... but I will stand on the promise of Philippians 1:6.
Updates & Prayer Requests:
Pray for my neuropathy and restless leg, especially at night when I am trying to sleep!
Pray for my energy to start to return and for me to know when it is okay to push forward and when I need to rest.
Important upcoming dates: March 12th, 2pm -- injection for surgery, March 13th -- lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy.
All my love,