Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Google

Yesterday was not a good day. I'm finding the rhythm of grief. Each time I get bad news I have two days of hell, lots of tears and such and then I bounce back. So I'm hoping today will be a better day.

I spent a lot of yesterday second guessing my choice. Should I go to a hospital that has a cancer centre (mine doesn't) Should I get a second opinion? Should I hold off on the mastectomy until I know for sure where the tumor is?  But I've come to these conclusions.

My hospital does not have a cancer centre but it does have an oncologist. It does have a surgeon who is getting opinions from Dr's in Sunnybrook...which does have a cancer centre. If I go to another hospital I'm going to be delayed because while our health care system is doing it's job for me and I am going through the system at a good pace - if I opt to go to another hospital I'm dropping down the queue and do I want to do that? No. Same with seeing another Dr or getting a second opinion. That was offered to me. I could go see the breast specialist at Sunnybrook and have her do more tests and assess but at best it will mean a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy. And frankly, I'm willing to take my chances that I have a breast (or two)  needlessly removed than I am at giving this shit further chance to grow and invade my body. My sister in law's mom is proof positive that even a few short weeks can create a very different ball game with cancer and remember, I want to be on the winning team (my SIL's mother is a breast cancer survivor and one of the people I am using as my inspiration that I can beat this shit).

My Aunt (a retired nurse) was looked at all my test results and was able to decipher them better. Everything else looks good and the only spread appears to be in the right armpit lymph nodes so I want to keep it that way.  

So I'm not seeking second opinions (my surgeon got second opinions for me), I'm not switching hospitals (though when it comes time for chemo I will see if I can do it out here just for the convenience - if it's going to affect timing though - I'll take the commute) I am going to stick with my decision, own it and hope and pray it's the right one and that when they remove my breast they find the cancer so we can nip this shit out.

Yesterday I broke my first commandment. Thou Shall Not Google. I decided to just see instances like mine in which the primary is not found through imagining. I didn't find much info on it but I did find placed me (I think - if I'm reading it right) at a stage II cancer. I googled for only 15 minutes and started to scare myself so I stopped.

I also thought - when I was struggling with infertility and loss I joined Fertility Friend. It was there that I 'met' my Pumpkin Patch sisters. Over the past 4+ years they have been there for me, not just through IF, loss, pregnancy and having a rainbow baby but for life events too. They were a shoulder to cry on when my Dad was sick and two of my PP sisters lost parents to cancer around the same time. Several had lost parents to cancer in the past. We bonded further over that. My PP sisters have become so much strength for me in all parts of life and especially now as I feel their love coming though the computer screen, phone texts and in the mail. I'd be lost without them.
So in that spirit I thought I would find an online group for those battling cancer. The PP made IF easier, maybe the same would be for cancer. I found a group for those with breast cancer and I read a few posts and joined and posted my intro but honestly, I don't think I'm going to stick with it. I'm too scared to. I don't want to become 'attached' to people who may die. It was hard enough hearing about PP friends who were losing their babies, I can't hear about people losing their lives to something I'm battling too. I think, for my personality, it will make me weaker, not stronger.

So, my strength comes from my kids, my husband, my mom, my brothers and sisters in law and their families, Sean's family, my friends, my PP sisters and most importantly the survivors I know, Janice, Rose, Debra, Aina, Denise.  If they can beat it so can I!

I will beat this. I have to. I have too much to live for.
And today is a new day.

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