Today Nene came into town to play with the girls so Evan and I could run errands. Our first stop was at LiveStrong, we met a really kind lady who gave us a packet of information, but there weren’t support groups like in the past. Next stop was trying to locate the Breast Cancer Resource Center; we finally filled out my form to have someone reach out to me. Then Evan and I went to lunch, we found Veggie Heaven downtown, it was surprisingly delicious. We got spicy edamame, miso soup, trio coconut rice and veggies and veggie proteins (tastes just like chicken) and lots of veggies with yummy sauces. We combed through a lot of the information we have been given over the last few weeks and tried to make sense of everything. Then we had our first appointment with an oncologist. I was nervous and anxious, I knew this was the moment that I would learn my treatment plan and everything would become real. The doctor was great, very knowledgeable and explained the treatment plan really well. She basically laid out that I would receive 20 weeks of chemotherapy treatment; the first 8 weeks I would be given two medicines every other week for a duration of 4 hours each time I go in. That is the shitty part of chemo…where my hair falls out and I just don’t feel good. But then I get two weeks off, and move to a different medicine that is administered every week for 12 weeks for the duration of a hour. This is the not so shitty part of chemo, my hair will start to grow back and I’ll start to feel better. This is when the doctors are starting to prime me for surgery; we are still deciding what exactly we are going to do (I need to get my genetic test back). I appreciated that doctor very much and grateful for the appointment.
The next day we met with another oncologist, just to make sure we were making the right decision . You have a team of doctors when you move through something like this and you work with them for years. This doctor was more my speed, she was more down to earth and naturally warm. She was thorough, went through the exact same plan (doctors have a protocol and guidelines to follow) and made me feel like there was no doubt that we were going to conquer this thing.
Once I made my decision on an oncologist, I went to a chemo 101 class… yuck. We passed by the labor and delivery section of the hospital and I kept thinking, “Can’t I just do this instead?” The smell just brought me back to having each of my girls, I can do that any day…this however… The nurse went through my specific medicines and how they might affect me. They don’t know exactly, just like a pregnancy, chemo affects every patient differently. But I was warned about a couple things….like the first medicine given is bright red… it goes in red and comes out red. Oh goody. The nurse told me I would have good days, which was a nice thing to hear because when you are told you have cancer, you automatically assume (yes we already talked about this… do not assume) that it will be absolute Hell. That every day I’ll feel terrible and weak, it was a nice reminder that I can still hold on to some normalcy in my life. Maybe a new normal, but I’ll have good days where my family can go to the park or do “normal” activities. I was also told that I am not expected, or I should not throw up four days in a row and think that is normal. They try to really take care of you and don’t want severe side effects to occur. That was important for me to hear, because those who know me, know I would have braved right through that vomit sesh and kept on truckin’. I ran 38 ½ miles on a trail with one contact in and kept stubbing my toes over and over and over on branches on the ground because my depth perception was off. (All my toenails fell off FYI.) But I kept going, and I refused to stop…until they told me that I had to stop because the sun was going down and it wasn’t safe to run anymore. So I needed a doctor to tell me not to be this ridiculously stubborn warrior when I didn't need to be.
Then we talked about the rest of my before chemo to do list…get all my medication ordered so it was ready to take and get my port placed. (Eeek) That day I decided it was time to chop my hair off, my hair is incredibly long, incredibly thick and incredibly tangled. So it seemed a good a time as ever to go ahead and don a new do for a little while. After the girls naps, we headed over to the Curbys house for swimming, laughter and dinner. Julie, Neicey and my mom are so sweet, they all bought all organic and gluten free foods just for me. I love being over there, they always make me feel so loved and we laugh big laughs every time. I thought what better place to be to cut my hair. I was ready to start fresh, which I think this whole journey is about. Once this cancer is rid of my system, I will have a clean slate not just in my body, but in every aspect of my life. We plan to live differently, and to make sure we 100% love everything about our life. No more settling, no more of anything that doesn’t bring us joy.