Got a Plan?
For the first time in months, I tried to make a plan.
It was a simple one, but with many parts.
So far, only the bigger pieces of the plan have
happened, due to an unexpected detour of being
sick...really sick, not "just" chemo sick.
I can't even tell you how many hours have been
lost to sleep, starting this past Saturday - almost
a week ago. The best part of that might be
a dream I had in which I had thick, curly,
beautiful hair. ( I can only hope it is a sign of
things to come.)
I also wound up at the doctor's this week. She,
thankfully, called the facility I go to, and they
advised her how to treat me.
She did, however, throw around some scary words.
One of which was Neutropenia. It wouldn't have
been the worst thing, necessarily, but certainly
not the best. She also asked if I ever had pnumonia,
and wanted me to get a chest xray, which I did not
A sister was with me, and she just shook her head
in reaction. I think both of my sisters think I should
just do what the doctors say. I have had more tests
and xrays than some people have probably had in
a lifetime at this point. I am not just gonna go do,
not if I can help it.
So I bought myself some time. I either have to be
better by tomorrow, or I should really consider
getting the xray. If it turns out to be in my lungs,
I will need a greater antibiotic dose. As I write
that, it makes me wonder if having a greater dose
to begin with would be a worthwhile trade-off of not
getting another xray.
Then she also mentions to me - because she
believes it is important - that I should consider
the BRCA test. If you don't know, it is a genetic
test that would tell me if I am genetically pre-
disposed to breast cancer. Had I gotten it
before all of this, it would likely have told me if
I was pre-disposed to ovarian cancer.
The test was something that was mentioned to
me when I was first diagnosed. I saw little
reason to do it. I already had been diagnosed.
But my one sister saw it differently. It might
be something for those in my family to know
The thing is...if I have it, it doesn't mean anyone
else does. The only way someone else is going
to know is if she (or he) gets tested. (I said he
because he's can get breast cancer, too, so if
there is a he who carries the gene, there is
something to consider, I guess).
As far as I can tell, the biggest "advantage" I
have in regard to finding out if I have this gene
is to determine whether or not I want my
breasts lopped off preventively.
My mom recently asked me what stage I was
diagnosed. It is not anything I tell anyone.
She asked why. At the moment I am unwilling
to tell anyone because I do not want anyone
to make any assessments of what the
statistics mean. I don't even know myself,
and quite frankly, I don't want to know.
Statistics could be my experience, but there
are always those things that fall outside of
the expected range. It may sound odd to say,
but I think I stand a better chance of standing
outside of the statistics if I don't know what
If someone wants to know what is going on
with me, they just need to interact with me,
and not a statistic about what is going on
with me. I really don't see how the stage
means anything, in the same way that I
don't know how a test means anything,
either. It is all anyone's guess. And even
IF it does mean anything to anyone, it
would seem that it would mean something
to me, and anyone else is just being nosy.
At least that is the way I feel at the moment.
I have been very open about a lot of things.
More so than I could ever have imagined.
I am not going to do things just because
others think I should.
I remember watching a TV show several
years ago in which a woman's mother got
breast cancer. There was talk of a test
that could tell her if she had the gene. If
I remember right, she was torn about finding
If there is a helpful reason, then it might
be worthwhile. But I am not sure what
would fall in the range of helpful for me
in that regard at the moment.
If people are concerned about how long
I will be here, they should be working on
making whatever time we do have be the
best it can be. The thing is, no one knows
how much time we have, even without
the label of an illness.
The clock can
at any time.
The "funny" thing that I have noticed about
people's awareness of my situation is that
it barely has changed a thing in some cases.
If it was distant before, it is still distant now.
In other cases, it has made distance where
there wasn't any before. So, if anything,
knowledge has seemed to do less than
empower the situation.
I started this blog out talking about making
plans, and how that doesn't always work out.
Just because we think we got a plan, or a
clue, about something doesn't mean a damn
We may try to manipulate and control things
in an effort to have things go the way we
want them to, but sadly sometimes life
has a way of presenting us things that
S-U-C-K. And it does it in such creative
ways we don't even see it coming.
If I knew I could have prevented ovarian
cancer, would I have done it? If I succeeded,
then there are things and experiences I
would have missed out on. Was I "supposed"
to have these eperiences? It certainly
has taught me much more than I ever could
have learned from the "outside." Plus, from
the outside, I was so uncomfortable that
I likely wouldn't have faced things in any
real or helpful way unless it was thrust
upon me in some way.
It is much different being on the "inside."
Everyone tells me, "It's just hair." People
who have hair. People who have never had
cancer. It used to bother me in the beginning.
So easy for them to say.
I still don't agree. But I am at a different
stage now. I now see it as a necessary
step in this experience. A necessary -
and sucky - and apparently unavoidable -
step. It is just what it is, and I deal with
it much better because I have learned
to compensate than I would have without
If only I felt that compensation wasn't
necessary. But that is likely an
exploration and/or a conversation for
As for now...I am feeling pretty sleepy...
I may need to get some more rest.