I had my palliative care appointment this morning. The doctor was very kind and I really enjoyed talking to him, but it was a really emotionally heavy and intense day. He certified me for medical marijuana, and he was filling out all the bureaucratic bullshit for the state-they really make people jump through hoops for this stuff… but anyway. He was walking me through the paperwork while he did his portion on the computer and he clicked “no” under “terminal cancer” and explained that “the guidelines for terminal diagnosis are expectation to die within 6 months”…. and I’m happy that I’m not terminal by that definition… but I am still so in shock that this is even my life (And the fact that that’s a box to be “checked” as if it’s nothing…). It all hit me in a new way in those moments in his office. I’ve been crying on and off since this morning. My inclination sitting across from him as he “clicked” away was to get excited that I’m not dying in 6 months, and then I realized that I’m getting excited over not dying in 6 months and I just broke down in the middle of Strong. I’ve been crying pretty much all day. I have more to say but I don’t have enough energy to write right now. Instead, I’m sharing an article on metastatic breast cancer, aka stage 4. Well meaning people say things like “this is just a blip in the radar” or ask “when are you done with treatment?”… this article does a nice job of explaining how metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has invaded other organs) is different from early stage breast cancer.
Published by amyhealthyself
"If I bore you, that is that. If I am clumsy, that may indicate partly the difficulty of my subject, and the seriousness with which I am trying to take what hold I can of it; more certainly, it will indicate my youth, my lack of mastery of my so-called art or craft, my lack perhaps of talent... A piece of the body torn out by the roots might be more to the point." --James Agee My name is Amy. On April 11th, 2016, I was diagnosed with what they believed was Stage II Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (Breast Cancer). After surgery it was discovered that the cancer was technically an early stage III-Still considered "early stage breast cancer". Unfortunately, I learned in November that the cancer had spread to my lungs, after a mysterious rash at my mastectomy incision site prompted further testing. I am 27 years old living and breathing with metastatic breast cancer. This is stage 4 breast cancer. I am living with an incurable disease whose prognosis is not very good. But statistics have never been right for me. So I'm learning to adjust to this new life. I am also a classical singer who was recently accepted into the Chicago College of Performing Arts for the Masters Program in Classical Vocal Performance. Obviously, this cancer diagnosis has put a wrench in my plans but I'm trying to view this whole experience as a gift of renewal, so that I may take the lessons I need to learn and leave the rest behind. I also struggle with bi-polar disorder, anxiety, body dysmorphic disorder, extreme depressive episodes, eating disordered behavior, to name a few of the key players I have in my "mad hat". Many of these have certainly become more pronounced since my initial diagnosis of cancer, and even more so with this more recent Stage 4 news. So I'm adjusting to my life as a woman with both mental illness and cancer. This is an attempt to gather the shattered pieces of my soul, dust them off, and put them together with something lasting and unbreakable. View all posts by amyhealthyself