Lesson Learned… Again

My long term treatment plan has been up in the air. There are constantly new studies released and every nuance makes a difference for what determines each person’s set plan. Literally for the last five months the plan that they said was the absolute best a year ago, was now up in the air and open for interpretation and discussion, oh so much discussion!

A year ago, prior to being diagnosed with cancer, when I was just a typical high risk pregnancy, I would have let this get me all wound up. I would have been frustrated and demanding answers and wanting to know now. Right Now! But, nope, the “new me” in my “new normal” got a little wound up in the beginning when the oncologist came in and said “Change in plans. No more ovaries for you. They are coming out ASAP. Hormones=bad. Menopause=good. Bad bones, cholesterol, hot flashes, depression all served up right here on this silver platter. Here you go, thanks, drive thru.” Please keep in mind that is not at all how it was presented, but let’s be serious. This is huge stuff for me. Huge unexpected think you are going in for a la-di-da blah-blah-blah typical check and make sure you are breathing appointment and then this comes out of nowhere.

The look on my face must have given away my complete shock and stress over the conversation. This is one instance where my doctor really questioned how to handle what he sees as my unique approach to being involved in my care. In telling me about a new study that had been released and why this was coming up, he said he could make me a copy so that I didn’t have to just come home and Google it. As he handed me a copy, he did one of those things where you hand something to someone, but you don’t really let go cuz you really just aren’t sure if you should hand it over. He just kept telling me not to freak out and to read it and stay calm. You know, this was the same day I told him I have a hard time reading things sometimes because it applies to me and my treatment and my mood and emotions sometime just can’t handle it if it involves percentages because anything less than 100% is just not good enough. I want guarantees. And don’t get me started on the fact that a bus could hit any one of us. Pfft, may be true but not an okay way to try to relax someone that there is not a cure for cancer.

Anyway, he handed it over. Next time we saw him was a long six weeks later. So long. I was freaking the freak out. He walked in and said, “Oh just kidding. Not a good plan now that more information has come out and I talked to colleagues.” Let me remind you again, so not what he actually said. But he said he was sending me to another well-known oncologist for another opinion. Since that doctor is kind of awesome it turns out, there was a two month wait period for the appointment. By this point, we were doing all the “old” protocol things until I could get that next opinion so I was handling it all pretty well until the appointment approached. Even then, the doctor’s fellow, or sidekick as I graciously called him when telling my story to the oncologist here, seemed to be leaning to not doing the new protocol. Then the doctor came in and FLIP, with absolute certainty said I was ideal. Then we waited another month until I could see my oncologist, which brings us to right now more or less.

So I walked into my appointment, ready to discuss the plan. We both felt it was kind of a done deal to go with the second opinion to do the new treatment. It is reversible. It is fine. So he said they would schedule me as I checked out after the appointment. I was fine with all that. If it sucks, we stop. No harm, no foul. Ok, so it turns out when he said schedule me, what he really meant was proceed right downstairs and get the shot. No Big Deal.

And you know what? I was a bit freaked out. That Guy had to leave between the appointment and my date downstairs so my mom was my buddy along with That Baby. By the time the nurse (who was awesome by the way) did the shot, I was not so much freaked out that we were moving forward immediately with seeming urgency and oh yeah change all your prescriptions and run don’t walk speed, but more so because I looked at the needle and the goop was pretty thick as was the actual size of the needle.

So just when I think I know what to expect and can plan everything and get comfortable in the routine, it all changes again. Each time, I handle it a little bit better. I have learned I can not plan everything and obviously I can not control it all. In the end, you just do what you have to do at that moment and figure it out. Pushes me a little out of my comfort zone, as I already need to look at my planner to see how the injections fall with plans six months from now and that need to know has been gnawing at me all day long, but I still haven’t looked. See: Progress! I really think this has been a huge personal development that cancer has made me learn. Again. And. Again. And. Again.

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