Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Smiling Ear to Ear | Halifax, NS

Today was the oncology appointment.  The one where I find out if I have to have chemo.  I'm going to jump right to the good news to keep you from having to wait - my oncologist does NOT recommend chemo as a part of my treatment. Yay.  Happy Happy Happy.  Great news.

But if you want to read the story...

I've been dreading chemo.  I know everyone reacts differently to whatever chemo cocktail you get, but I was fearing the worst.  The nausea, the vomiting, the generally feeling like shit.  I didn't want any part of it.  But I knew that it was likely.  I also knew that if i were going to have to go through it, I would need to prepare myself.  I began to think of it as a given, that I would be having it and I would have to deal with it.  My mind was ready for hair loss and fatigue.  I was trying to prepare myself for what may come, for pain and sores, for changes in my eating habits, for needing help, for things too scary to think of. 

This afternoon, my team and I headed off to meet with my oncologist.  We had a very long wait in the waiting room, cousins everywhere, chatting, catching up, telling stories.  I was only allowed two people with me in the meeting so we divided ourselves up and got pen and paper ready for the plethora of information.  And boy oh boy, was there ever a lot of information coming our way.

The doctor gave us all the information we would need, he asked all sorts of questions - I really wish people would stop asking me about my period! ;-) - and answered all the questions we had.  He really really really chatted us up - at one point I joked that I would tell people, "He's really good but he talks a lot!"  But he was fabulous and we lapped up all the information.

We talked about family history, diabetes, strokes, tamoxifin, estrogen receptors, clots, nausea, sores, medication, and on and on and on.  Giving information and gathering information.  He asked how I was feeling and what I thought about the procedures.  So very fabulous.

And then, about forty-five minutes into the meeting he says it:  "For your type of cancer, I do not recommend chemotherapy."  "I love you."  I said it out loud.  Oooopsy.  Luckily, he laughed.

He explained why he came to this decision and what it meant for my treatment.  To be sure, I asked him to repeat it, "You do not recommend chemo?"  "Correct."  

"I love you."  I said it again.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh, such fabulous news.  Of course, he told me if I wanted to do chemo, I still could, they would support me and get me through it as well as I could.  But for the small amount of difference it would make, he did not recommend it.

It's been hours since our meeting and I haven't stopped smiling.   Ear to ear.


email:  karenk{at}