Since my diagnosis, I have seen an oncologist, a breast surgeon, my plastic surgeon and the nurse practitioner who is very nice but has yet to do anything she said she would, no follow up, no checking in, no guidance. I have been told I need radical surgery to remove the rest of my breast skin and some muscle, no more implant, that I will have the axillary nodes removed from my armpit to make sure the cells have not migrated beyond the breast, and that I have to have chemo, just not sure which one yet. I was sent for a PET scan where they inject you with heavy steel thick case carrying nuclear radiation and glucose but then told, thank goodness, that the cancer has not spread however, PETs can’t pick up small cancers so I still need chemo. But at no point did anyone stop and look at what may have caused this. When we asked, they dismissed the question. No idea why it’s back, if it’s recurring or new, just that I have it and it needs to be treated. That does not sit well with me. None of this does.
The breast surgeon did say I was an anomaly. Most people she sees with a reoccurrence are usually within a few years, not 7.5 years later. Maybe, I thought, it’s because I changed my diet enough to keep these little suckers at bay, but the stress of the past 1.5 years starting with my sister’s diagnosis, my father’s passing, my foot surgery, my sister’s downward spiral, and my training for 2 marathons in that time all proved to be too much for my immune system and the little buggers took full advantage of that to start growing. Maybe if I find a way to reduce my stress, we can make the rest not grow.
Sometimes I think how strong I am that I ran a marathon with breast cancer, other days I feel like my life is a marathon causing my breast cancer.