How much is enough? How much pain, how much sorrow, how much illness, and how much sadness is enough? That is a question I keep thinking of lately. I am willing to take one for the team, but my heart truly aches for how cancer impacts lives. Too many lives. And that pain goes so deep. I really feel blessed that you are all willing to be on this journey with me, you could avoid this hurt and just walk away. And, trust me, some have. And yet some of you have drawn closer to me and my family, accepting the pain that this has and will cause you. Yet, here you are, part of our lives. There are times I really do want to withdraw from you in order to protect you. But I can’t, I really do have motivation for keeping you close, you give me strength when I have none. And this would be one of those times. The surgeon called this evening and confirmed the skin removed was metastatic breast cancer in the skin. It looked like a grain of rice under my skin, yet it was cancer, finding another way to grow. I’ve had people comment that I always seem happy…and there’s some truth to that. Usually, I am happy…and I have a lot to be happy about. But I’m also incredibly private with my grief. I can probably count on both hands the number of people who have seen me cry and grieve.
I have this great group of stage IV people in my life and it seems that each one of us accepts our challenges, often feeling like lab rats, and enduring crappy symptoms. As the friendship grows, so does the hurt for the others who are dealing with the same symptoms or even worse. True compassion I find in these women, what a beautiful thing this is to witness and experience. I feel compassion from each of you as well reading through the notes and replies.
I meet with my oncologist on Friday. Since the skin mets showed up after the surgery (and before I started this new chemo), I’ll probably stay on this treatment a bit longer, then have a scan in a month.
I’ll spend this eve of my birthday month processing, grieving, and adjusting to this news. Then tomorrow, I plan to start my celebration. Cancer gets tonight, but I get the next month!