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“This is a part of me now.  Even without religion, this would be my religion”

Tomorrow morning we will meet the oncologist and hopefully get all our questions out of the way.  What is our score?  What does that mean?  What choices are there?  What are the risks?  What are the side effects?  How will that effect my/our lifestyle?  Blah! Blah! Blah!

My wife the eternal list maker has worked on a total of 4 pages of questions.  When she passed the list to me I could only smile.  She had the energy to create one of her famous “lists”.  Also on the list was, “Will it change my relationship with my husband?”  I told her to scratch it as I could answer that for her.  The answer is “yes”.  “Yes that it already has changed our love.  It has put it under a microscope and magnified it for us to inspect and see that it is okay.  It has shown us that we have enough love to go around”.

I know that it wasn’t “that kind of love” she was talking about, but I wanted her to know that the side effects weren’t going to change anything about how I feel and shouldn’t be a reason to change her decision.

Still uncomfortable, she calls her expanders a bullet proof vest or a chastity bra.  Humor has come out of her that I’ve never seen before.  Calling herself the Bionic Woman..”We can rebuild her…stronger, faster…” and wondering where she might be able to find those Gauthier cone bras that Madonna wore in the 90s are all ways of her making light of the uncomfortable feeling she has on her chest.  I know it is her way of coping.  I think she didn’t want to watch the chemo / hormone therapy tape last night because she purposely wanted me to just tell it like it is.  That tape was like a movie both of us dreaded watching, but was a real thinking video which made us realize how much thought we/she is/are going to have to put into the treatment plan.

Chemo would be a drag.  She has gotten almost all of her energy back and her desire to take back some of the responsibilities that I had taken over are there.  The chemo would seriously be a setback so we’ll see tomorrow.  All signs point to no chemo, but I think we’ll breathe an even heavier sigh once that option comes out of the mouth of her oncologist.

Tonight she got a call from her OB/GYN, the one who discovered the cancer.  This is what medicine used to be.  Your doctor calling to see how you are doing out of the blue.  It had been a while and since my wife self-referred herself to a different medical group for surgery and oncology, she hadn’t been as visible to everything as she normally would have.  She is getting her records which is a good thing as we wanted to make sure that she knew where my wife was in the process.

The call made my wife smile as did the email from her old colleague who has been seeing the same oncologist ,that she will be going to, for the last 3 years.  Her colleague said that she lived quietly with cancer for the last 3 years and was now just ready to let it out.  She wanted to share her story like everyone else as long as she could affect or convince someone else to go get tested.  My wife said she also saw a special today on Robin Roberts in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month and she too said it was time to make a difference.  My wife said she wants to make a difference and she is going to figure how at work, at home, and in the community.  She said cancer prevention and detection is her belief and even if she didn’t have a religion, fighting cancer would be it.

Amen.

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