So I have an oncologist. He is going to be the guy that figures out how much poison to run through my veins. I have spent my entire adult life trying to keep poisons out of my body. I think about pesticides, aluminum in my deodorant, flame retardants in my kids pajamas, and hormones in my milk.
But now that I have cancer, I need chemicals. Potent, powerful chemicals that will make my hair fall out and most likely destroy my fertility. I feel grateful that Joel and I had already decided that we were done having kids. He is a pretty cool guy. (For some reason he reminds me of Jon Stewart.) Like my surgeon, he is smart and confident, and wants to help me get through this. He is my friend’s Lisa’s oncologist too. She just beat breast cancer and has been my trail blazer making my path easier.
In order to get chemo you need to get a port. A tiny tube will be implanted in my chest, close to my neck, to make hooking me up to the IVs easier. I get that fun device on Monday. On Tuesday I will have an echo & a full body cat scan. Chemo can damage your heart, so they need to get a baseline. I told my oncologist I was worried that they would find more cancer during the cat scan. He said, “we won’t.” He better be right. And then, on Wednesday I get my first round of chemo.
Most likely I will be bald by Christmas. I don’t know if I want to wear a wig. I don’t know if I want to wear scarves. I don’t know if I want to wear hats. I don’t know if I want to just be bald. I do know I wish my boys didn’t have to see me lose my hair. I think it will scare them. I like “hippie” looking things and big earrings. I am sure I will figure out some way to pull this off.
I’ve lost 12 pound since the ultrasound that identified “spots of concern”. I need to gain weight before Wednesday. This is extremely hard for me because when I am stressed- food is impossible to get down. Yesterday I had a break through and craved cheese fries (which I never eat). I downed them and then had red curry for dinner. Pray that I can pack on some pounds before the chemo steals my appetite.
Two different doctors have prescribed me anti-anxiety/depression meds. I have not picked up those prescriptions. I do feel scared, and I do feel sad. But isn’t that normal? We discussed a quote the other day with my students- it was something like- “Don’t fight the wave. Ride the wave.” I’m trying to ride this wave, and I am pretty sure that involves feelings of anxiety and sadness. But I know that if I embrace this, I will find peace.