The word cancer entered my life in my late teens. I really didn’t understand what it was at that time but I did understand the devastation that it can cause in people’s lives. My grandmother became very ill and later died of renal cell carcinoma. At the time, I did not really know what cancer met or was. All I knew is that I missed my grandmother who was always very active until the last days before her death. The next exposure as I remember was my aunt who passed away of cancer and then my grandfather passed away of breast cancer. Around about 4 years ago my first husband passed away from renal cell carcinoma. This list does not include my former mother in law battling cancer and my former father in law passing away of cancer. Cancer seems to be everywhere and the question that comes to mind is why? Is cancer something new or is it something that was there for centuries but just was not identified?
Around Easter of 2017, it was disclosed to me that I have breast cancer. Breast cancer is similar to melatonin type of cancer. My uncle has melatonin cancer at this time as well. He found out about his cancer around February 2017. My other uncle or my mom’s other brother has been fighting different types of cancers for the past 20 years. He was first diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma and then prostrate cancer. The prostrate cancer has been difficult for my uncle to shake. Because my type of cancer is a fast moving malignant type of cancer, it was recommended that it be removed as soon as possible. The surgery was scheduled for April 28th. However, on the day of the surgery, it was found that my mother was sick with pneumonia and was not able to be at the hospital during my surgery time. My dad was sick as well and was placed in ICU in the hospital to address his numerous illnesses such as pneumonia. So, I entered the surgery room without seeing my parents and I was not able to go see them to care for them. This is the second time that this has happened to me where two family members were in different hospitals in different states. However, I did have my husband and my son at my side before the surgery. The surgeon removed a 2.1 centimeter lump from breast and removed 6 lymph nodes under my arm. The centininal lymph node had a 1 centimeter malignant tumor in it. The other lymph nodes were negative of cancer. Because the original location of the cancer was above 2 centimeters and had moved to the centininal lymph node, the cancer is considered to be a stage 2 cancer.
Today, I met with Oncology to find out the plan of action regarding my cancer treatment. My appointment was the first appt. of the day and I realized upon leaving that this was a good thing because the waiting room was packed with people with standing room only. Wow, what I saw was a lot of hurting people waiting to receive treatment. One lady in the waiting room was skin and bones and obviously hurting physically and emotionally. She really needed a big hug and someone to carry her burdens. She was alone and I was thankful for my family that was there with me today for my appointment. Often, I thought that I don’t belong here at this place but then these thoughts changed quickly when I realized that this place will soon become like a second home for me. So here I go, starting cancer treatments of chemo and radiation. Because my cancer is an aggressive form of cancer and because of my family history of cancer, my treatments are an aggressive form of chemo and then radiation. I will have 2 types of chemotherapy which will require a port for an IV process of chemo to be injected into my body. I’m really not looking forward to the process of this treatment plan. The chemo will take 6 months to be administered and then radiation treatments. I was reading the care guide provided to me by Oncology and it is very detailed and comprehensive. I usually like this type of information but today I am not that happy about the details that I am reading. The only thing that comes to mind is that I may not have any control over the circumstances regarding this cancer but I do have control over my attitude and my thoughts and keeping these thoughts positive.
I started this blog because I recently found out that I have cancer. This is not the first time the big six letter word enter our family discussion. My current family cancer situation is that my Uncles have cancer as well. This word cancer brings so much anxiety into my family discussions. Cancer seems to be close on the mind of each person within my family. I wish I could logically think of a way to remove cancer from my body and from my family but unfortunately it has become a living situation with us. The reason behind starting this blog is that others who are in similar situation could find some hope or peace in reading this blog and future blogs. I will also be discussing my progress through my path of cancer and how I am living with it. I am also writing this blog from a perspective of an individual who has family members who have passed away because of cancer. To add to this perspective is that my first husband and the father of my children passed away of cancer. The word cancer seems to have engulfed my family and I hope I can assist other families with this blog and the writings of my perspective as a current survivor and as a counselor. Please feel free to post your questions, concerns regarding cancer and how to get through it and how to help a love one get through it. I can say that watching a person going through the process of cancer treatments is awful but somehow we must continue with life and be the person that God would have us to be during this time of our life.