Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's a battle that I prayed I would never have to fight....again

Whew!  Where do I even start?  I am sure that no one really even reads my blog, it is just for me.  I have been asked by my Pastor to start keeping a journal, so I figure I will just keep it here.

If you read my blog...back in the day when I actually posted may remember that I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was just 34 years old.  I fought an beat that cancer hands down!  Little did I know at the time that I would have to face it again.  I entered into my 2nd occurrence just two years after finishing treatment the first time.  The second battle was much harder.  I not only had to fight the cancer, but I also had to fight the insurance company for any treatment that was not the "norm".  And since the traditional form of treatment had not been successful, I had to look out of the norm and try to beat the cancer.  I took a LONG time...fought for almost two years.  But I did fight it, and I did win the battle!

I was so very excited when I was finally told that there was NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE.  I cried for days, but this time the tears did not flow out of sadness, but out of TOTAL joy!  I went to my follow-up appointments, ran all the tests that had to be ran on a normal bases and rejoiced every time that the scans and blood work showed that I was still cancer free.  I thought, I can do!  I can make it to the five year mark and celebrate!

That was until March of 2011.  I went for the usual PetScan, blood work, etc....and I waited....and I waited....and....I waited.  I knew that the waiting was not a good sign.  I had always heard within a day or two the results.  It was going on a week and a half and still now news.  Fear set in and it set in fast!  I called my prayer warriors and prayer began!

Two weeks to the day of having the test ran, I got the know the one.  The one where the nurse says "Ms. Galbraith, Dr. So-an-So would like  you to come in to discuss your test results". My heart sank!  I knew what that meant...or so I thought.  I was so not ready to hear what I was told.

The nurse sat me down, offered me a bottle of water (that has NEVER happened) and said the Dr. would be right in, would I like her to stay with me.  Would I like her to stay with me? Really? Why?  Never had I been asked that.  Oh my!  Talk about shaking in your shoes!!  I began to sweat, my hands began to shake, and I just knew that I was gonna throw up.  It seemed like HOURS till the Dr. came in, but when he did, I could tell on his face that the cancer was back.

He sat down and went over all the results.  He showed me the films from the PetScan...but this time, it was not breast images he was showing me.  I was not even sure what the image was at first.  Then he said it...I had Stage 3, secondary breast cancer to the right lung and liver....what?  what did you just say? Lung? Liver?  What?

I bawled! My shirt was soaked from the tears flowing down my face.  This was not part of the plan.  I was suppose to hear no evidence of disease.  Not lung cancer....Not stage 3. I was not a smoker, (OK, I smoked a little in high school, and the first couple of years after graduation, but it was only casually.  Only when out with friends, like maybe 4 times a month, and even then, it was just one smoke....  How on earth did I have lung cancer!  yes, I know, it is "secondary breast cancer"...whatever!  It is cancer, and it is in my lung!

I started with chemo AGAIN...let me just say...there is NOTHING good about chemo!  NOTHING!  It makes you feel so bad. It leaves you drained, it leaves you with chunks of hair falling out, it leaves you weak, it leaves you laying on the bathroom floor because you are afraid to be to far from the toilet.  I was told I would have to take it everyday for 4 months.  It was an oral chemo, suppose to be easier on you.  I needed this so that I could continue to work.  After four months more tests were done.  The results showed that the chemo had not been working.  Well, actually it did...just not the way we had hoped.  The cancer had stopped the cancer from growing but it had not shrunk the mass either.  So, we switched to yet another that was stronger, with hopes that this would be it.

Well, that's all I can do for now.  I am drained.  Who knew that writing this all down would be so emotional.  I will finish the story tomorrow.