I saw the breast surgeon the next day, Thursday. What a wonderful man he was! He was so kind, he explained a little to me, altho he said normally I would see him after I had seen the oncologist. He was very positive, although later, when it was all over, he told me he was so scared, and that the staff was afraid for me because the grumpy, mean patients always make it and I was nice! I saw the oncologist on Friday. She is great, also. We were all impressed with her amazing ability to write perfectly upside down. But all I really remember of all the things she wrote down is when she wrote, " you are stage 4". Maggie, Scott and I just froze. Once again, time stood still. We had originally been told stage 3. But stage 4!! Thats not really good! At all. Oh wow. We all just kinda stared at her for a moment, not breathing, until I managed to collect myself and find my voice. "But I was told stage 3" I said, as if that would make it so. "Oh no, she said, you are stage 4. Early stage 4, though." Uhm yeah, there's a bright spot, I guess. Gotta look for all the positives! Thats really about all I remember of that visit. She did explain that the next week I would be busy every day getting a pet scan, MRI, brain scan (which the guy who did it was happy to report nothing was there, funny guy!), bone scan, and port placed. I don't remember that week-end at all. On Monday I had to have a couch potato day, I couldn't be active at all or I could have a false positive with the pet scan. I also got a hair cut that week because we were going to start chemo right away. I was told I would start losing my hair after the 2nd treatment. Mom and I have always jumpe in and get things done that have to be done. As far as we were concerned getting my hair cut right away got things moving forward and helped us feel like we were doing something to get this going! It was really strange to go from waist length hair to chin length hair! The first time I washed it I jerked my head back so hard, expecting the heaviness that used to be there. It was like when you go to pick up what looks like a heavy glass bowl but is really plastic and your arm goes flying through the air as if you are preforming some strange dance. I practically got whiplash! It took awhile to get used to that.
After all the scans and tests (I've always hated tests, I never did great on them!) we found out "c" was in my breast, one lymph node and multiple tumors on my liver. There was also one tiny little spot on my bone in my right arm that the doctor felt was just a freckle. It was so small they couldn't tell for sure if it was "c'. Freckles on my bone?! Crazy. Never heard of that. She said we would only know if it was a freckle for sure if it was still there when chemo was done. Unfortunately, it was gone which means it WAS "c'. Im really glad I didn't know that at the time, I think I would have had a harder time with that! There was also a little spot in my lung, but that spot turned out to be ok! Whew!!!
Every day when I went in for my tests, I would get text messages, emails, and facebook messages that encouraged me and lifted my spirits! One morning really stands out in particular. As Scott and I were leaving really early the morning I was getting my port placed, my cousin and neighbor, Sheila, opened her door and cheered me on!! That meant so much to us, and I will never forget it! She was there encouraging me in the battle! I never felt alone. I really felt all the love and support in an almost physical way. It was that that gave me strength, knowing others were fighting with me, desperately praying and sending positive thoughts my way.
The next week we started chemo. I was ready to "KICK IT"! And the cheers started from my crowd of supporters, letting me know they were there, right there with me, fighting this "c" with me. The roar of encouragement that poured out from them would make my heart race, would make the adrenalin pulse through my veins, and my face break out in a huge smile, just knowing that with this kind of support I really COULD win this battle! I was pumped up and ready to FIGHT!
Round one was finally here. Mom, Scott and I marched up to the desk to announce we were there to take on "c". Another awesome thing happened. The receptionist left, and came back with a beautiful potted flower! My wonderful co-worker, Maggie Bilows and her husband had sent it, and it was waiting for me, to encourage and cheer me on. We saw the Dr first. We were laughing and giggling when the nurse came in to access my port. She gave us a really strange look, like, uh, dont you realize whats going on here?! I got a little nervous when the dr told me all the things that could happen to me from the chemo. yikes! But I sucked it up and said "Bring it on, I can handle this!"
I got to pick out my recliner, and there were chairs there for mom and Scott. Soon they came and started the meds. Things are a little hazy now, I dont remember very much. But I will post on here what I wrote on my facebook fight team page about my first treatment. It is below.