I got the 'thumbs up' from Dr. F this morning that my counts have increased enough for me to proceed with surgery as planned. Truthfully, I am pretty surprised at how low my counts remain after three weeks off treatment but at least they have come up enough to allow me to go through with this surgery as I had hoped. It is the weirdest experience to almost be 'hoping' for a surgery like this, if you understand what I mean. It was just like the time almost 6 years ago when Mike, Mom, Doug and I waited to see if I got the green light to start my first round of chemotherapy. We were so excited (for lack of a better word) when we found out I could start treatment. Who in their right mind would have ever thought that I would be celebrating the fact that I could get chemo that day?! And who would have ever thought I would be happy to hear that I can get my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed tomorrow morning?
It never ceases to amaze me how much the human spirit can endure and what we can become accustomed to in this life.
I know that I tend to overuse the word "grateful" but it is what comes to mind most often and it's the way I am able to best describe my emotions during many of these twists and turns I encounter. Today, I am not only grateful for elevated white blood cells that are protecting my body as best they can from infection and illness, but I am grateful for the gift of almost 6 years. Almost 6 years to wrap my mind around the fact that what biologcally makes me a woman (estrogen), is also the source of what is feeding the disease that threatens my life. Almost 6 years to discover what physical toll the lack of this hormone takes on the body, decades before God intended it to. Almost 6 years to contemplate what life would look like without the precious little baby we have always longed for....the one who would have his daddy's bright blue eyes and equally beautiful heart.
At the end of my days, I am fairly certain that I will still say that not becoming a mother has been the greatest heartbreak of my life. It is a pain I don't wish upon anyone. A pain that extends far beyond my own...not seeing Mike become a father is far worse than the pain I experience for myself. The pain of not allowing my mom to become a grandma...she would be the absolute BEST grandmother in the world! If you know her well, you know this is true. I could write a million posts on all of the emotions and thoughts I have revoloving around this subject, but the bottom line remains the same. It is not in the cards for us. That is a decision that was never ours to make and I have come to peace with that. Who am I to feel as though I am owed anything in this life? Who am I to question God's plan for me? A life with children was never promised to me. Of course, we grow up believing everything will work out exactly as we plan for it to be, but that is just not reality. It's not reality for any of us. We all have our cross to bear and this is mine. Does it make it less painful? No, it doesn't. But do I shake my fist at the Heavens and get angry at God? No, I don't. I wish life looked different for us. I wish we could enjoy the love of children like all of my friends do. I wish for so many things. But, these years have helped me learn how to be grateful for what has been provided for me and for all of the blessings that I do have.
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We will leave for the hospital at 5am tomorrow and surgery is scheduled to start at 7:30am. I believe it will only take a couple hours at the most. It has been scheduled as an admission and overnight stay but I am hoping that if all goes well, I may be able to be discharged home tomorrow. I intend to spend the weekend catching up on lots of tv and being a big ole' bum. The surgeon told me it is about a 2 week recovery but I think that is just due to some soreness. So, if I am feeling well enough, I am hoping to return to work on Tuesday.
Dr. F would like me to resume treatment of the Ibrance on Sunday. I will go back to Karmanos in two weeks to check my counts and see if I can remain on the treatment. If so, I will see him two weeks after that and again check my counts. The good thing is that Dr. F told me today that nearly everyone needs a dose reduction on this drug due to the effects on the bloodcounts. If my counts continue to drop, he will reduce the dosage and we will go from there.
I can't help but say it again and again...thank you so very much for all of the love and support. I feel so completely covered in prayer, love and well wishes - it is truly heartwarming. I have received so much love and in so many different ways, from family, co-workers, patients and friends. And speaking of my friends...they are simply the best! They put together the most special and incredible care package I could ever have imagined.
I had dinner last night with two of my wonderful girlfriends and they presented me with this beautiful box full of "sunshine". It included a huge stack of envelopes that have a different instruction on the front...."open when you're feeling tired", "open when you are feeling loving", "open when you are nervous or anxious". Each envelope is filled with a letter, passage, note, etc from a different friend of mine. The box has a few other fun items in it that correspond with what is included in a few of the envelopes. I was so touched and blown away with how amazing and thoughtful all of my friends are! I want to save each envelope for when I truly need a little ray of sunshine the most, so I haven't even read them. I have no clue who all particiapted in this special project, but thank you so very very much to those of you who did. And for my beautiful friends who organized it all! My life is truly so much more joyful and meaningful because I am surrouned by such giving, authentic, selfless and amazing friends!
I am expecting tomorrow's surgery to go very smooth and that I will be rested up and feeling back to myself in no time. Thank you for all of the love and concern - for the prayers and well wishes. I know deep in my heart that every bit of it makes a difference in not only my emotional and spiritual health, but my physical health as well!
With love and gratitude!