Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chemo Eve

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. I spent the weekend thinking about recurrences and couldn't stop thinking about it. I also felt a bit isolated. Not because I don't have people who care about me, but because as much support as I have, I am still the one that actually has cancer. The consequences are much different. If all that I am going through doesn't work, I lose my life. The sun doesn't come up the next day for me like it would for everyone else.

On the other hand, my emotions can turn on a dime. I had several good things happen yesterday and today that made my attitude complete turn around. My friend Michelle came by with some more donations to the wig fund. It isn't the money that turned my attitude around, it is the very real evidence that people I care about really are with me in a tangible way. They have some skin in the game now-just like I do.

I also had the chance to meet with someone who works at WaMu who is fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3 day in a big way. Her team has a fundraising goal of 500,000 dollars. She has never had cancer so this isn't something she does for her personal gain. She does it because she wants breast cancer to go away. Not only is she willing to support me in a personal way, she is making a difference. It was very uplifting to realize that not only are breast cancer patients and survivors involved in the fight against breast cancer but many people who realize that someday they may be affected, or someone they love will be. They want it gone as much as I do.

The other thing that happened is I started taking steroids in preparation for chemo. I thought this would be a negative thing for me to do, but actually it was positive. I am taking action. I am doing my part to fight this cancer and not just waiting around for something to happen.

Larry and I had a long, long discussion with the girls tonight about chemo and what that means. They were very positive and understanding and said the right things. Then they went to bed. Somehow once they were in a safe place, the tears came for both of them. They are scared. They can't even articulate really why they are scared. The best they could come up with is what if the chemo doesn't work? What if I don't make it?

So I had to tell them all the reasons why I believe it will work. Because breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, the most researched and well funded. Because the survival rate for breast cancer is higher than almost any other cancer. Because I am going to one of the best hospitals in the country. Because I have early stage cancer that is by far the most common type of breast cancer. Because I am doing whatever I possibly can to fight this cancer no matter how unpleasant. Because I plan to see my children's grandchildren. Because I plan to fight like hell to make sure that I don't give my body the chance to have a recurrence. Because I refuse to let cancer be the thing that takes me down.

I realized that I wasn't telling my kids these things because it would make them feel better. I told them because I believe it. Bring on the chemo-I can do it.

1 comment:

Kris R said...

Trace,
I'm thinking of you. None of us want to do the hard things. But it is important to prepare when there is a battle to be fought. Your words to your girls was your battle cry. You are so strong and brave. Remember, it isn't lack of fear that makes us brave. It's continuing on and moving forward in spite of the fear. I am sending you and Larry and the girls a big hug. Love, Kris