I (again) apologize for a brief break in posts, but things have gotten pretty hectic for me lately and I have a lot of updating to do. Before I make a post about most of that, the most important thing for me to post about is what the title of this post is referencing to. Cancer.
Let me start out by just saying that cancer sucks. Cancer fucking sucks. It is one of the worst things in our world. So many people are battling it right now, so many have lost their fight. It isn’t fair. It also isn’t fair that once you battle the beast once and come out victorious that it can strike back again. That’s what my family is currently dealing with.
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was in undergrad. She finished her last chemo treatment 2 weeks before I graduated with my bachelors in May 2015. She was declared cancer free October 20, 2015. She almost made it 2 whole years cancer free. But when she went in for routine scans, something looked suspicious. She had to go in for a PET scan so the doctors could get a better look at what was going on. We weren’t too concerned going in to it, because her one year scan looked fairly similar, where she had enlarged lymph nodes in her chest but one year ago the doctor said they weren’t cancerous. I went in with the mindset that it was going to come back the same. When it took my mom over 2 hours to finish her doctor’s appointment and get home yesterday, I knew something more was found.
Thankfully I was with my brother at the time when we both got the text saying “Wish the news was better- I’m home now so call me and I’ll explain”. We put her on speaker so we could both hear the news. If I had to listen to this news by myself, I probably would have broken down, but my brother made optimistic points which kept me more positive and sane throughout the conversation. The results of the PET scan showed that there was cancer in my mom’s pelvic bone and she still has enlarged lymph nodes in her chest. The doctor and my mom both tried to feel the spot on her pelvic bone where the cancer was but neither of them could actually feel a lump. This made me feel a little better. My mom said when she first heard it was in her bone that she got a little concerned. That was exactly what had happened to her mother- first breast cancer, then it went to her bones. However, my mom stated that was 20 some odd years ago and times were different. She also said that she doesn’t even feel like she has cancer right now- in fact, she has been feeling the best she ever has in the past 3 years. The doctor said all of these were good signs. My brother also said that with these routine scans, they probably saw it much sooner than they would have otherwise. That being said, we don’t know what kind of cancer it is. It is possible that it is the breast cancer that has spread to the bone. They are going to biopsy that part to determine if it is the same make up as the breast cancer. This would be the absolute best case scenario. If it is in fact the breast cancer that has spread, they will still call it as breast cancer and she will not have to go through chemo or radiation. Instead, they will do 2 monthly injections and a daily pill. The doctor said that this is not a cure but it should put the cancer in remission and she has patients that have been doing this treatment for 2 years with the cancer in remission now. However, if they biopsy it and it is not the same as the breast cancer, it will officially be bone cancer. A new cancer for my mom’s body. Which would mean going through chemotherapy, losing her hair, dealing with the fatigue, sickness, and all the other side effects of the chemo all over again. We are praying so hard that this is not the case.
My mom told the doctor that she has a daughter getting married in June 2018. The doctor told her not to worry because she will be around for so many years to come. This made us all so relieved to hear. However, I know how heartbreaking it would be for my mom to find out it is a different beast and that she will have to go through chemo again, especially right before the wedding. Hearing that the cancer was back was so heartbreaking. I wanted to cry so badly. Right then my brother said” Well you’ve done it before and you sure as hell can do it again if you have to” and my mom said back, “Exactly. You aren’t getting rid of me that easily.”
It is so inspiring to see her in such a positive and strong mindset. I can’t imagine this life without her and she is such a fighter. The biopsy will be performed in the next couple weeks and then we will know what kind of beast we will be dealing with and what the course of treatment will be. Until then, we’re just hoping and praying that it is breast cancer and that it won’t be as intense of a treatment plan.