So, my predictions were 100% correct. Things were getting more and more complicated and messy as events unfolded. My doctor was so flummoxed by what my test results had revealed that he’d had to resort to consulting other specialists abroad in order to decide what the best protocol was to follow. I was sitting at home…my family and I still reeling from the shock. I didn’t reveal to my girls how serious the situation really was. I didn’t want to traumatize and worry them. I also wasn’t sure whether they would grasp the full gravity of what I was up against and that would also just add confusion to the mix which I saw as a recipe for disaster. As it was I felt so sad that not only did they have to spend their summer vacation in the car going backwards and forwards to a cancer center, but for their entire lives so far they had never known a mother without health problems. There has never been a moment in their lives where they have seen me as a normal, healthy mum. They’ve had to grow up with extra worries and burdens that other normal children have never had to think twice about. I was sure as hell not going to add to those burdens and worries now.
As the days passed after the doctor dropped this bombshell on me, my anger and frustration mounted. I had this monster inside me…a highly stealthy enemy that I knew from the beginning was capable of dodging surgery and chemotherapy. Now however, the stakes were even higher because I had no idea until now that this disease was capable of mutating and morphing it’s chemistry to avoid being terminated by medical intervention. One minute I would be crying and beating my fists against anything that was nearest to me, and the next I would be huddling in a corner,my legs drawn up with my arms wrapped around them rocking back and forth…absolutely paralyzed with fear. I had just had the only safety net that was left available to me ripped out from underneath my feet. I felt as though I’d been thrown into the air by the quick and violent rip of the carpet being removed, and I was sailing through the air. Beneath me was a black hole that I was falling towards and I had absolutely no way of preventing my terrifying descent into it. I knew too, that this black hole had vertical and very slippery sides and that it would take me a very long time to slowly and agonizingly crawl my way out of it…if at all.
A week later, my doctor called me back to his office with a plan of action in place. I would have to do 6 more months of intensive chemotherapy once a week for three weeks with a weeks break in between. He provided me with one small spark of hope, and that was the fact that triple negative breast cancer responds very well to chemotherapy…more so than most other types of the disease.
I grabbed onto what I saw at the time was my last microscopic shred of hope and bit into it for all I was worth. It was all I had for now and I wasn’t going to let go. 6 months of chemotherapy lay ahead of me in the form of two different types of chemotherapies. Avastin is a high risk medication to take because it can cause serious internal bleeding amongst other things but my doc added it to the mix because it is a targeted treatment and assists with the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. Despite the risks, we had to take the chance…it was all I had left. Each chemotherapy session would take at least 6 hours. I settled in at the daycare ward to start the long slog once again. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. I remember thinking to myself how nice it would be to just sleep for these 6 months and not wake up till it was all over. In my mind I pictured my girls when they were still small. It would give me the incentive to keep fighting.