We received the official diagnosis on Tuesday afternoon, November 14th. Breast Cancer. It’s official. We are still waiting on the pathology results with hormone markers that will dictate the treatment plan, but as of this point, I am looking at chemotherapy and a mastectomy. How am I feeling? Tired. Frustrated. A little overwhelmed. I think one of the hardest parts of this process, for me, has been the fact that the world doesn’t stop moving even when my world has been rocked. I still have to parent, I still have to put on a happy face when I talk to people I don’t know, the world still turns as normal for everyone else. Meanwhile, I feel like I’ve been dropped off in a wilderness jungle and told to fend for myself. I’m in survival mode, in a very real sense, gathering documents and information and resources, and talking to the people that are going to support me through this. I’ve been calling doctors and insurance companies, coordinating appointments, going appointments, having diagnostic testing, and thinking very hard about some tough decisions I need to make for my future.
Yesterday was a tough day, the first of many, many tough days, I’m sure. I had a genetics screening, blood work, and met with the plastic surgeon to discuss my mastectomy reconstruction options. The mastectomy has been something weighing heavily on my mind; whether to remove one breast or two. It’s such an intensely personal decision, and everyone seems to have thoughts on it. We have also been struggling with what to do to preserve my fertility. Egg or embryo freezing is an option, albeit a very expensive one. Doing nothing is also an option, and a much less expensive one. I feel like I’m constantly on the phone with someone trying to schedule something, and I really just want to crawl back into bed for a few hours and catch up on the sleep I’m not getting at night, when I sit in bed, restless, and perseverate over the overwhelming list of things that need to be done the next day. I really need to find the space to sit and grieve for a bit, but that space is hard to come by. And I’m just so, so tired.