Can't say that today was a good day. Had my post-op visit with the surgeon today and learned from the pathology report that I have Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Just a few statistics that I was able to find online when I googled the topic. Only 10-20 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer get this type. This cancer has a higher risk of recurring outside the breast but only for the first 3 years. 75% of women diagnosed with triple negative cancer live to the 5 year mark as opposed to other breast cancers which yield a 93% survival rate. After 5 years, recurrence of cancer drastically decreases. This cancer tends to be a higher grade than other types of breast cancer. This cancer is more difficult to treat because it does not respond to hormonal therapy. Recurrence usually occurs in the lungs and the bones.
On a more positive note, only 3 of the 18 lymph nodes tested contained cancer. My blood was drawn to determine if there are cancer cells still in the blood which would be the indicator that the cancer has spread somewhere else in the body. If the results come back positive, I will have a PET scan next week. Due to the holidays, it will be next Monday before I get those results (BaHumBug). So, it is more wait and see.
Part of me is screaming to withdraw..to sleep and to avoid , to not listen to all the "look on the bright side" hope I am surrounded by. The other part of me is wanting to get back to normal, to see my clients, to do my groups, to act as though this is not happening and to find refuge from this fear in the comforting arms of denial. I have a counterful of wonderful food..brownies, angel food cake, fruit, rolls... casserole but all I want to do is sit here and cry. I hate this..I hate that every time I go to the doctor or get a test result, things look worse or I have to wait for the answers my heart pounds to hear. I hate that I am feeling that I can't trust right now, that my faith is not working...that maybe, I am just going to go through the hell of the next year and die anyway. I hate this. I hate that my sweet elderly neighbors from my old house had to come out in this blizzard to bring me the food I can't bring myself to eat. I hate that I know myself well enough to know that no matter how dark this night may feel..I will awake tomorrow with renewed hope and determination. It's just who I am and what I do. For now though..I committed to be real, to be genuine and to be honest. By what other catalyst can one help another who travels behind me?
So my check in today for this moment is this...emotionally, I am overwhemed..physically...I have cancer...spiritually...I am confused and angry. My committment is not to delete this post. My affirmation...one that I have used over the years to the extent that I am often heard to say it in my sleep during difficutl times is....
I CAN DO THIS!