I’ve read the last CT report myself now. It's not good. The original nodules “decreased in size and/or conspicuity compared to the last CT”. I take that to mean they might have decreased in size, or they may just be inconspicuous at the moment – like they could still be there exactly the same and are just not obvious this time around. But either way, the next part is what’s more important: “Bilateral pulmonary nodules, the majority of which were not present on the prior examination of 5/19/10, suspicious for (parenchymal) metastases.”
That word is on a report with my name on it -- metastases.
These new nodules came up quick…in less than 5 weeks. They have all appeared shortly after chemo, so despite all that poison pumped into my body they managed to develop.
I think I’m screwed.
From the day I first found the lumps there was a little part of me that thought I wasn’t going to live to be that ripe old age I once believed was a given. Yeah sure, everyone talks about how breast cancer is so treatable, that’s it’s practically a chronic disease. But that’s just media hype…it’s what people want to believe. And the idea certainly was that chemo would hopefully take care of any possibility for distant spread. Of course the truth they don’t want you to understand is that chemo only helps in about 30% of cases.
I guess it looks like I’m probably in that other 70%.
Once you have cancer you don’t take too much about life for granted. But still, I thought I’d have more disease-free time, you know? My fondest, most deepest wish was that I’d get to be around long enough so that Megan and Daniel would be grown up and on their own. But in my own mind, based on nothing scientific, I felt like it was a reasonable expectation to have 10 years. Okay, bare minimum was to have at least 5 solid years...by then Daniel would be Megan’s age now and I think she understands what she needs to in order to get thru what comes next…as much as any child can. But this is all happening way sooner than I thought…my Danny is still a baby to me now…not even 4 yet. It’s too soon for things to start going bad. I realized yesterday that I’ve been dealing with this for half his little life, he doesn’t remember a cancer-free mom. I wanted him to have more of a life with me being well. Every time I look at him, at both of them, my heart shatters and I cry. They’ve seen too many tears. Meggie keeps saying she thinks it will be okay. That it wouldn’t be fair if it wasn’t. How do I explain to a barely 9 year old child that life isn’t always fair, in fact, it can be incredibly, cruelly unfair?
If this is a metastasis then it is also fast growing and it sure didn’t seem to be effected by chemo. All that poison and these things popped up anyway. So while there are women who still manage to live for a “decent” amount of time with metastatic breast cancer, if you ask me, these fast growing suckers don’t bode well for me being one of them.
I had the PET scan Friday. The tech was a nice woman, we chatted about this and that beforehand, we had a few things in common. After the scan I swear her demeanor changed, but like she was trying to make sure it didn’t seem that way. Just like the mammogram tech’s manner changed last year, and the subsequent ultrasound tech…and then finally the radiologist doing the biopsy. They all knew but couldn’t say. I think the woman yesterday knew too.
But then again, maybe I’m crazy. I want to be crazy.
I can’t tell you how hard this is. I keep searching for some hope, I keep trying to figure out a way that this is not happening. Maybe this is not happening. I don’t want this to be happening. I find myself begging, please, don’t let this be happening.
I would like to keep hoping but I’m afraid to set myself up for being emotionally annihilated. And in my quiet moments of pure thought, like the center of a storm, the way this looks now is if by some miracle it turns out not to be lung metastasis I will have dodged the biggest bullet of a lifetime.