I’m better now than I was this morning. Still tired — oh, my, so tired — but sitting up and reading again.
This afternoon we go to the lactation consultant, who hopefully can help us perform miracles. Little Bear isn’t exactly a bottle dude. He’s 99.98% breastfed, with only the most limited of successes getting any bottles into him on the rare days that I’ve had to leave him with Daddy or Grandma. But now things have changed. We have to wean — now — and it’s not going to be fun. The radioactive isotopes used in the tests (Gadolinium – yum!) and the chemo are not good for little bears, so we’re starting bottles and pumped milk from the freezer, mixed with hypoallergenic nutragimen formula, this afternoon.
Tomorrow I go for a bone scan. Then a cat scan, from my neck to my pelvis. This will show if the cancer has spread. I’ll also have a breast MRI, as soon as I can, but the technologist we talked to today says I have to have weaned for 3 weeks to get accurate results. We’ll see. I’m going to sic my oncologist on him and see if there’s not something they can do to get a better reading earlier. Monday will be an echocardiogram, to see if my heart is strong enough for treatment. Then, mid-next week, the chemo.
I think the thing I’m most afraid of (besides the fact that my body is still week from the 7.5 months of bed rest, a difficult pregnancy, and not sleeping through the night while breastfeeding my baby) is of walking into the chemo room alone. I won’t be literally alone — WhyDaddy will be there, and he is my wonderful, wonderful partner — but (just between you and me) I am afraid to see the room. The chairs. The IV drips. The other patients who have been at this longer than I have, in various stages of the fight. They all know each other, and I will be the new girl.
You see, the chemo room is one large room, with 10 or so recliners, each with its own IV drip. There are curtains between the recliners, but I’m told that only the newbies use them. After the first few visits, most prefer to keep them open and chat with each other. That sounds great. But I’m worried that seeing my future — in the persons next to me and across the way — will be hard for me. Isn’t that selfish? Yes, that is totally selfish and just plain wrong of me. But honest. Let’s face it. I’m a young mom with two baby boys. I belong in playgroup. Not chemo.
I’m only just now starting to process these thoughts and feelings, and I won’t like them all. But I have to face them all, and either take them to heart or discard them, as they come. As I told NYfriend in an email yesterday, I’m not ready to talk about them. But I am ready to write about them. I have to write about them. Otherwise they will eat me alive.
Friends are already lining up to ask me what I need. All I know I need right now is company. I’ve asked playgroup friends to keep me company — not to leave us alone right now, or shy away to spare my feelings or give me time — I want and need to know that I’m not alone right now.
So, what I’m saying is, thank you. Thank you all for coming over and saying hi. For your bright words of encouragement and your examples of other women who have fought and won. I am taking them all to heart. And I will be taking you all in my heart with me to chemo next week.
Thanks for your comments! As I’m just beginning my fight against breast cancer, I am particularly sensitive right now and need positive comments and wishes of strength only right now. No pity here!