Breast cancer Round 2: More waiting

Well, the Trickster is at work, and I have another opportunity to let go of expectations.

My appointment tomorrow with my medical oncologist has been pushed back a week as we wait for the oncotype genome testing results. Today is Monday, and I was supposed to see my medical oncologist tomorrow because she expected the results to be in. But now since the results are predicted between Tuesday and Thursday of next week, the scheduler suggested we spilt that difference and make an appointment for Wednesday of next week.

I said okay. (What’s another week of waiting???)

Here is info about the testing. I have the first type, estrogen and progesterone positive, HR2 negative. Honestly, this is the first time I’ve even read at all about it because I know how easily my mind can go to worry and anxiety when I do too much reading. I’m mainly sharing this for y’all. My medical oncologist (“medical” to differentiate from “radiation” oncologist) thinks I will likely need chemo. My surgeon was much more positive and thinks not. The testing will give us the answer. Or at least it will give percentages based on research (so far).

I’d rather not have chemo— but will if I feel it’s the best course considering the testing results.

Chemo means surgery to put in a port because my veins are so hard to find, and it means four infusions two weeks apart. This one would not be the terrible chemo, the one they call the “red devil,” the one that made me very nauseated and made all of my hair fall out last time. So that’s a positive. But it’s no fun having infusions and the side effects. Or another surgery to put in the port.

I’m hoping my genomes are in the categories of what my medical oncologist said is the 70 percent who don’t need chemo. Then my path would be oral hormone-blocking pills. Which can have nasty side effects of their own. Even if I need systemic chemo, the pills will be a part of my treatment. One of the several reasons I chose bilateral mastectomy was that if I can’t tolerate the pills, my percentage chance of returning breast cancer is lower than if I didn’t have mastectomy. I know I tend to be very sensitive to medications, so mastectomy was a safer bet.

There is a chance that the results will come in sooner than predicted. If so, I’ll get an earlier appointment. My medical oncologist prefers to give the news in person, good or bad, rather than on the phone. Some docs will tell you on the phone. My surgeon did. When I had breast cancer 11 years ago, a nurse would call and tell me on the phone if it was good news and set an appointment for an in-person revelation if it was bad. That’s what I gleaned. This oncologist prefers to tell you in person so that she can answer questions. Or at least that’s what the scheduler told me.

In the midst of all of this breast cancer stuff my primary care doctor left his office to open a new one and has been out of touch for a little bit, AND the hospital where I had surgery and which is affiliated with my surgeon has been the victim of a ransomware attack. As of Friday their system has been shut down for two weeks. No access to anything! Everything is being done on paper and through phone calls. And after they get access again (assuming they DO) they’ll have to enter everything by hand. What a mess!

My sister predicted that the genome results would take longer than expected simply because things have been out of sync for a while. She and I had odd occurrences when she was here. I’ve had odd things happen this past week.

She headed back to her home in New England nine days ago. I’ve been doing great on my own, and I so very much appreciate ALL she did for me! I have no doubt she is a major player in why my mastectomy wounds have healed so well. Her support—physical, emotional, spiritual— did and do help my recovery in deeply significant ways. She is attuned to the energy of this cancer journey, which the last couple of weeks has been all wonky.

I see the Trickster at work. The Trickster appears when we need to be pushed out of our comfort zone and make us adapt (my very prescient Word for the Year 2022!)

So what is the message of the Trickster?

Once again it’s let go.

Let go of expectations.

Let go of anxiety.

Let go of what if.

Let go and be present.

October is my favorite month. It’s the month when the weather finally starts cooling off in these Northwest Georgia mountains. When the sky is vivid blue. When the leaves themselves start to let go.

What better time for waiting?

When I can let go of fear, of wanting to know RIGHT NOW, of wanting to have a PLAN—then I can appreciate October with all of its beauty.

After all, the seasons go on whether or not we choose to enjoy them.

I can be miserable and bemoan the not-knowing.

Or I can say, “Hey, it’s my favorite month! I’m going to appreciate it.”

Today I’ll choose to do chores inside and outside, grateful that I can easily do them without pain from my mastectomies. I’ll take plants (that friends gifted me during my early recovery) inside so that the earlier-than-usual freeze won’t get them. I’ll enjoy the last zinnias in their final hurrah of the year.

And I’ll appreciate the colorful autumn leaves as they drift down in the breeze.

The leaves with their message to remind me:

Let go and let the breeze take you along . . .

until you finally rest on the ground.

4 thoughts on “Breast cancer Round 2: More waiting

  1. You have the best attitude of ANYONE. What will be, will be, but it’s so often hard to hang out in that space. You do an excellent job of being! As always sending you lots of love.💜

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