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Monday, May 3, 2010

Cancer Counseling 101


...............................................................................................................................................................................Why do gorillas have big nostrils?...They have big fingers!.....
It is 4:30 on Monday. I just got back from the doctors office where my husband and I met with a counselor. We thought it would be good to express our feelings about this ugly enemy we are battling, triple negative breast cancer. Last week my husband thought I was depressed and set this appointment for us. Turns out HE is the one who is not handling this as well. Don't get me wrong, I have battled depression for years...it tends to run in the family. So I get a little weepy at times; I have my moments and then I get on with it. Thank God for Lexapro.

So much for patient confidentiality. I will tell you everything....well almost :) Basically, my husband did not sign up for this (me having cancer)... Neither did I. But you get what you get in life and you have to learn to deal with it the best way you can. What we discovered in our counseling session is my husband has already got me dead and buried and he is wondering what to do next. Will my children still be in his life? Will they still love him? Will there dad let them see him? Blah blah blah! He is already thinking about plan B for Kevin's life and it is freaking him out! I am sure somewhere in the back of his mind this includes a young 25 year old hottie! (I am just trying to be realistic:)

But my views are different. Here is my side via the counseling session. If God would have told me that I could live a long healthy life alone or have 6 magnificent years with a man like Kevin, I would have traded all those years. I said it after we were married. I told him that if I died tomorrow that I would not feel cheated. Why? Because after marrying him I realized that I had what I thought I would never have in my lifetime. No matter how short the time was...it was something most people would never have. It is true and I feel very blessed. Also, since I have battled depression most of my life I feel like having cancer is somewhat of a blessing. I get to say "hey wait a minute, don't take it away....maybe life isn't so bad." How does that old saying go? You never know the value of what you have until you are about to lose it or until its gone.

Well all this craziness has come about because of Kevin finally educating himself about triple negative. Let me tell you, you won't find much positive on the internet about triple negative. We have not found one person's story on the internet that has lived longer than nine years. But hold up.....that is only because it has only recently been discovered. I am sure someone 20 years ago had it and they are alive and well today....but they were never diagnosed as "triple negative" because they did not know about it back then! Kevin told the counselor that he thought reading things on the internet was a bad thing. I disagreed. I want to read everything I can get my hands on about triple negative. I told the counselor "how can you fight your enemy if you don't know what he looks like?" Sometimes you have to embrace it....no matter how ugly it is. It's kind of like your past...some people say you never look back you just move forward. Well, I disagree somewhat. I believe you have to look it straight in the eyes and embrace it. You have to face it before you can move forward. You learn from it, you don't dwell on it. You challenge it, and you say "Past...you are not going to take my Today or my Tomorrow!" I think all of life's challenges are like this. They are there whether we like it or not. This cancer is there....like it or not. Give me everything you've got when it comes to information good, bad or indifferent. I will take it and use it.

So my hubby had a good cry and decided that I wasn't dead yet and he too could live life for today and not worry about the future. I frankly think what a blessing it is to truly know that your time might be short. You make everyday count. I want to do things. I want to live. I want to make precious moments happen. I don't want any to go to waste. I think of all the people who are walking around thinking they are going to live for 40-50 more years...people who may die tomorrow in a car accident. If someone told you that you would only live 1 more month, how differently would you live? Having cancer gives you that perspective. Don't worry, I plan on living as long as I possibly can. I am going to make this cancer fight for every moment it tries to get from me. I don't plan on going anywhere. I have two beautiful girls and an amazing husband and I want to live a long life with them. I want to see and hold my grandchildren. I want to take care of my husband when he is old and decrepit. I want to have wheelchair races in the nursing home and enter wet T-shirt contests when I am 80 (since I will have the best boobs). Bottom line is, none of us ever know when our time is up. In my kitchen there is a sign above the door. What it reads is simple.

"LIFE IS NOT MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF BREATHS WE TAKE...BUT BY THE NUMBER OF MOMENTS THAT TAKE OUR BREATH AWAY"

To my husband, Kevin, you take my breath away and I love you! To everyone else, make each day count never worry about yesterday or tomorrow. For all each one of us has is today.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading and following this blog. Awareness is the key to finding a cure and targeted therapies and treatments for triple negative breast cancer. Please, please, please, forward a link for this blog to all your friends and family. If you are joining through Facebook then you can click on "share" below my postings and the link will post to all your facebook friends. Even just to get the name out there and make people aware that there are different sub-types of breast cancer is a big step forward.

Thank you and God bless my friends!


4 comments:

AFWingMom said...

Amazing post Penny. I love your perspective and your will to fight. (((hugs))) and prayers always....

elliebelfiglio said...

Oh, Penny, how you make me cry. I guess Kevin got his tear ducks from me. I just came back from school and opened the comuter to see if you have any posting. Val is not home yet. It is his long day. So I can cry as much as I want, when I see that you with breast cancer have to calm my son. I am also very blessed to have you as my son's wife and my adopted daughter. I pray the God for a long, healthy, and happy life for both of you and my beautiful grand daughters. so much love from here to there my precious Penny.

Breast Cancer Awareness said...

Breast cancer is something that we have to constantly be on the lookout for. It afflicts over a million people a year and there are different forms of cancer that come up. Every year we are familiar with breast cancer awareness month, but there are ways to help fight the cause of breast cancer all year ‘round.

Pink Ribbon said...

Breast cancer screenings, primarily in the form of mammography, have a similar track record of failure. The journal report notes that since screenings began, there has been a 40 percent increase in diagnoses and a near doubling of early-stage cancers with only a 10 percent decrease in late-stage cancers that spread throughout the body.