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Saturday, 18 August 2012

Fourth Chemo Session Down - only 13 sessions left!

Well it's Saturday morning and I'm sitting in bed with my doggie trying to get the energy up to go to the local farmers market and see what fresh organic food might await me.  I am so happy to be past my last Adriamycin/Cyclophosphamide chemo cocktail.  This time it was so much easier because I had made the decision to have Mork (the port-a-cath) installed last week.  So for those of you who are facing long chemotherapy treatment times like I am, I highly recommend you get it installed.  I was terrified to get one done, I mean who really wants to have a foreign object installed right on your chest and then fed directly into you jugular vein.  That being said, Mork has proven to be amazing.  I hardly felt the needle going in, wasn't worried about a vein failing and certainly wasn't worrying about the IV missing my vein and pouring Tigers Blood (Adriamycin) directly under my skin.

One unfortunate side-effect (at least I'm calling it a side-effect) from this chemo session is a morbid sense of sadness.  I have been trying to avoid support groups and reading any statistics about inflammatory Breast Cancer because they are just too unacceptable for me but yesterday and invitation came across my Facebook to attend An afternoon discussion on Inflammatory Breast Cancer: An update for patients and the community and a look towards the future. So I went online to read a little more about it as their clinic is part of MD Anderson Medical Centre and they specialize in IBC, so therefore are the experts on IBC.  What was the first thing that stood out for me???

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Facts

Inflammatory breast cancer is rare, and it is the most aggressive form of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it accounts for only 1% to 5% of all invasive breast cancers. However, the five-year overall survival rate is 40%, compared to nearly 90% for all other types of breast cancer combined.
This threw me over the edge, I mean I'm already feeling so down from all the treatments and having so many more months of treatments to face that to hear again and this time from the foremost clinic for treating this cancer that they still cannot achieve better than a 40% survival rate over five years, well that was just a kick in the pants!!!!  Once I am done all my treatments and back to what they call Normal (the next new normal), I will probably be 49, so this would have already taken 2 years out of my life, if I were to get IBC again within 3 years, I'm not to sure I'd have the desire or energy to go through this all over again.  What a way to live, and if it does come back, I will have no breasts for it to come back to, so where will it come back?  Lymph nodes? bones? my brain?  and how will that be?

NO NO NO NO!  This cannot happen.  I need my strength back and my belief back that I can and will fight this and it will never happen to me again.  I need to work on the inner being more to build up faith and a strong resilience, if the medicine cannot heal me, then my mind will just have to do the job.  I have so much more life to live and two lovely children to raise (I want to be able to see the day they stop fighting with each other), and I also want to educate people about IBC so that they can catch it early, be their own advocates and not listen to their doctors when they tell them it's nothing, just a spider bite, or mastitis.  By catching it early and avoiding the 6 plus weeks of back and forth with doctors you can save your LIFE!  

Please don't let this happen to you.  It's not a fun ride to be on.  Speaking of rides, I think I'll try a little ride around the block on my cruiser - it's about the only thing that's managing to keep my spirits up these days.

Happy Sunny Saturday,
Love,
Michelle

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