I finally called Dr. Priya’s nurse Friday and explained to her the dilemma: I need to be at work for the month of July, and if possible, through the first part of August, so can I start chemo a month later, or can Dr. Priya talk to Dr. Ching and make it okay for me to have surgery about 10 weeks after chemo, rather than within 6 weeks?
I don’t have the absolute final word, but I have my first chemo appointment scheduled for Thursday, January 29 at 8:45 am. While I wanted to have my appointments on Fridays, there wasn’t one available on the 30th. I’m going to take the 29th off and work from home on the 30th, because I don’t know how I’ll feel. I read on breastcancer.org how with the start of chemo some women wonder if they’re doing the right thing, because one feels sick when getting chemo, but not before the start of chemo. It’s true: people ask me how I’m feeling, and I tell them that I feel fine, normal even. No matter how crappy I’m going to feel, though, I don’t think I’ll question whether what I’m doing is the right thing. My family is grounded in science – I’m the only one with a BA rather than a BS in my generation. One sister is a doctor married to a doctor and the other sister is in biotech. One niece is a pharmacist, another is in her 3rd year of an MD/PhD program, and the 3rd niece is doing research at Stanford while applying to medical school. Ted has a BS and taught high school science for a number of years. I definitely believe in better living through chemistry, and this is the ultimate belief in chemistry and science.
I got my hair cut short on Saturday. My hair was pretty long; I don’t know how much was cut, exactly, but I assume it was 8-10 inches. I didn’t donate it; I was under the impression that for hair donations it had to be un-color treated. Apparently that’s no longer the case, but what’s done is done. I’ve forgotten how convenient short hair is; maybe I’ll keep it short after it grows back. The stylist (thank you, Joanne) left enough on so that I have a sassy ‘do for the next few weeks.
As hard as it is, or will be, for me to be going through this, I think it’s hardest on the caregivers. They can only learn as much as possible about the disease, watch, and provide support to their loved one. They have fears: of their loved one suffering, or longer term, that their loved one may succumb to this disease. As with many things in life, breast cancer does not affect just the person who has it, but those around her. I feel badly about that, but there is nothing I can do about it. I can only be positive, get through this treatment, and keep telling myself and all those around me, “it’ll all be okay.” I am blessed to have so many who care about me, and who are willing to take their time, effort and resources to help me, even though they may have a thousand other things going on in their own lives. Thank you to everyone who have already reached out, with a text, PM, email; with flowers, comfort bags, homemade cakes, notepads….you are all amazing and incredible.