Monday, February 4, 2008

Baby, will you love me when I'm bald?

In the past three days I do believe I have run the entire gamut of human emotion. I feel drained, emotionally and physically. I’m walking the fine line between keeping my chin up and crying poor me all the time. Fortunately I have been blessed with the most amazing friends and relatives who have taken the time to make sure that when I stumble someone is there to play catcher. I am blown away by the beautiful sentiments everyone has sent me via facebook and email. Thank you so much. So just to keep everyone updated, here’s a quick overview of the past few days, both the good and the bad.

In the early morning hours of January 29th my beautiful sister-in-law gave birth to a healthy little boy, Cole. He weighed in at just under 7 lbs and I love him. We went to visit him in the hospital that morning which provided a magical reprieve from real life, if only for a short time.

All of the tests and scans I had completed came back clear! This means that the cancer is contained in my breast and has not spread anywhere else in my body. With this news, Coady and I danced.

On Thursday we met with the nurse at the Chemo unit to go over the drug plan and side effects. The list sounded a lot like the Pepto-Bismal commercials, nausea, heartburn, indigestion…sterility. What?! “Sterility” says the nurse, so nonchalantly she could have said hiccups. Once again my head started to swim. There is a high risk that chemotherapy will send you into early menopause. “Early” is a bit of an understatement.


We made frantic calls to the oncologist, my family doctor, the cancer agency in Vancouver. What about egg harvesting? It turns out that egg harvesting is rarely done outside of McGill University and that the success rate for pregnancies with frozen eggs is quite low. They do freeze embryos, however we need a time line of about 6 months, not exactly in the cards right now. My heart sunk. The weight of this news was almost too heavy to bear. Why? Is this really the way things are meant to be? How could my life plan go so far off track that it isn’t even recognizable to me anymore? With this news we resumed the plans to go ahead with my first chemo session on Friday.

Chemo-therapy (a horrible name I’ve decided) is not actually as scary as I thought it would be. The chemo room at the hospital is a bright little space, with comfy chairs and smiling faces. The therapy itself took about 2 hours to administer all the while there was lovely music in the background and my beautiful boys to keep me occupied.

Dave continues to be my rock. “I’ll love you even more when you’re bald” he says. “Do you realize how much money you’ll save me on haircuts, product and color not to mention time getting out the door!” His comic relief is invaluable to me.

While the days continue to place constant hurdles in my path, the nighttime hours replenish my soul, my hope and my heart. I only have to look over my shoulder to see two beautiful faces sleeping calmly beside me to know that all is right with the world. Tomorrow is always another day and it’s worth getting up for.

All my love