Thursday, June 25, 2009

anyone got a spoonful of sugar?

My oncologist told me to take an anti-anxiety pill before bed last night, but I didn't because they can make me feel so groggy in the morning. But I woke up at 2:45 feeling... anxious. Guess I should have taken the pill.

Greg and I board a plane to Boston in an hour and a half, and I will have my first chemotherapy treatment. I am pretty sure that this is the right thing for me to do, but I'm finding that it is not nearly so neat a decision as the one about surgery. That one was hard, but once I made it, I didn't look back. This chemo thing is a much tougher pill to swallow. (Good thing they're going to give it to me in an IV. Ha ha.) With the surgery, there was no doubt that it had to be done, in anyone's mind. It was just a question of how exactly to go about it. But with the chemotherapy, I'm still not convinced it has to be done. I just think it is best if I do. 

There are so many opinions about what might cure this cancer. But nobody knows for sure, and so I am left to hear all the options and choose the ones that seem best for me. That makes it sound a lot easier than it is. I have encountered so many recommendations, many of them contradictory. Advice about everything from what to eat and how to cook it to what supplements to take--or not take. Ingest 1/3 cup flax seed oil every day, cut daily fat to 20%. Take high doses of antioxidants, no, definitely don't. Cook all your vegetables, vegan and raw is the only way to go. Don't drink icy drinks, have a smoothie with berries and wheatgrass every day. Take chemotherapy, it might be the only thing that will kill any remaining cancer cells. Don't take chemotherapy, it damages too many of your healthy cells. 

I don't want to make these decisions from a fearful place, but the fact is that having cancer is absolutely terrifying. No one is being melodramatic when they call it life threatening. My prognosis is pretty good, but I'm not looking at a 100% cure rate here. 9 out of 10 alive in five years doesn't sound too bad, but I bet that's not what the 10th person would say. I'm trying really hard not to be that 10th person. If I knew what would make this go away forever, I'd do it. Whatever it was, I'd do it. But I don't know, no one does. So I'm working with some best guesses here. Wish me luck.


  1. i wish i could think of something better to say than 'i will be thinking of you today,' but i will.

    i wanted to tell you i think you are an absolutely amazing writer, and you knock my socks off every time you post something here. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Luck! Luck! Love! Big Open Hearts! Funny Jokes! Delicious Foods (of any sort)! Luck! Luck! Future! Life! Love! Running! Napping! Making! Luck! Love.

  3. I'm with Katharine...luck, love, light, jokes, love, napping, love, resting, ALL THE BEST THE UNIVERSE CAN PROVIDE...! Love always...Mom

  4. Not to repeat everyone but luck, love, fun, food, humor and more love! Oh, and also love!

  5. The best of luck, the best of all! Thinking of you Patti, and I think you will be beautiful with really short hair.

  6. :-) that's what i have to give you :-)