But it seems that now with the diagnosis, not only has my patience level plummeted, but my ability to try to control the crankiness seems to have flown out the window. For example: last night I checked my phone and discovered I had a voice mail from MRC (Metabolic Research Center), the wonderful people who helped me take off around 80 pounds (though this diagnoses has stressed me to the point where I've put just a few back on) while my husband was deployed in 2010-2011. It was from a woman who's name I didn't recognize. (I'm hoping she's a new consultant and not the receptionist that I've met hundreds of times.) She wanted to know why I hadn't been in to weigh in, telling me that I had been doing so well and didn't want to blow it now. And by the way, they have a new prescription product that will help me lose 30 lbs in 30 days. When I listened to that voice mail, my first response was to call back and leave a scathing reply. What was she doing bugging me about losing more weight and it having been three weeks since I'd weighed in?! Didn't she know I'm battling cancer? What was her problem?! And why do I need to loose 30 lbs when I'm around 20lbs under the goal weight they had assigned me.
I took a deep breath. Then another and then I realized that she obviously didn't know about the cancer. Even though I had told them about it during my visits in December, it's not as though they doused my filed in pink ribbons. Chances are the consultant that I spoke with in December didn't make a note in my file - though I don't know why not. Still, the woman who left the voicemail obviously had not read much of my file or she would not have been suggesting I needed a prescription to help me lose another 30 lbs. I took another deep breath and instead of leaving a scathing voice mail, I sent an email (perhaps one not as friendly as I would have liked), explaining the situation and telling them I'd come back in for a weigh in after I recover from the second surgery.
Cranky, cranky, cranky!
But this also brings up another feeling that I've been experiencing. As I mentioned before, we chose to go with BCT (Breast Conservation Therapy) or what I like to call a lumpectomy. The tissue they removed during the first surgery was a small amount and they won't be taking very much tissue during the second surgery. Outwardly, since I'm not a topless dancer, there aren't any signs that I have cancer. The surgeon did a very good job and I don't think my scar will be very noticeable when I put on a swimsuit for the hot tub. Yet there are times when I feel as though I have CANCER VICTIM tattooed in bright pink letters across my forehead. Or maybe my left breast is glowing neon pink. Ridiculous I know. Yet when your body has been invaded by cancer, ridiculous seems to just take over. I often say I just want things to be normal. Well, guess what? Things are never going to be normal again or rather my definition of what is normal is going to have change a little. After the radiation is over I will take tamoxifen for the next five years and I'll be spending a little more time with the doctors than I would have chosen (next needles, the thing I have the biggest phobia about is a visit to the doctor.) As for whether or not I'm a flashing cancer sign - well, I'm not hiding the fact that I have it. I do wear a Save a Breast bracelet that my youngest got for me and my favorite water glass does have pink ribbons all over it. But, I'm not a cancer victim, I'm a SURVIVOR. And I hope I can be a help to others as well. Pink is my current signature color. (I've always loved the color pink, and now wearing it not only looks good, but hopefully increases awareness.)
One last thing for today. I'm a big believer in the power of prayer. I'm a Christian - perhaps not the best example of one, but I know God loves me because he hasn't left me alone in this fight. My prayers were that the cancer would miraculously disappear. It didn't, but it did turn out to be the most "innocent" (yes, I know I still need to deal with my issues over that term) of cancers. Without the prayers of my friends and family, this fight would be even more difficult and my crankiness level would be over Pikes Peak.
Therefore, I believe everyone could use a little prayer. A friend sent me the following:
In memory of our moms, dads, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones of whom there are so many...and those fighting it today...
February 4th is world cancer day - I'd appreciate it if you will forward this request
A small request.. Just one line.
Dear God, I pray for a cure for cancer. Amen
All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it's only to one more person.
In memory of anyone you know who has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.
A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle..
Please Keep This Candle Going
If you don't believe in the power of prayer, well take a few minutes and think positive thoughts. (And if that sounds a little too new age -ish - thinking positive thoughts is a lot better for you expending energy on negative thoughts.)