Monday, September 21, 2009

History Continued...Breast Cancer!

I about freaked out when the mammogram came back with a serious lump and spots in the other breast. The doctor at the mammogram joint wanted me back ASAP for biopsy. So I scheduled one for the following Monday. The mammogram was on a Friday!

Luckily, they gave me a Valium, or rather half a valium, 5 mg before the procedure, and some nice lidocaine to numb the area. The biopsy went fine and then the tissue went off for testing. Not long after the procedure, say within 24 hours, my right hand started to go numb starting with the little fingers and proceeding within a week to take over the whole hand. I could not write, grasp anything and dropped things.

Next I went back for a biopsy on the left breast and as with the right hand, the left started to go numb a few days after the procedure. Ouch! Not only were my hands numb but they hurt like holy hell. Burning pain etc.

My Primary Doc prescribed Cymbalta, like I was deficient in it. OK, being all stressed out now waiting for the biopsy results, I agreed to give it a try. OH MY GAWD!. After the third dose, I almost passed out, dizzy, foggy brained, pulse racing, couldn't breathe! My husband called my best friend who is a paramedic and she and her husband, also a paramedic came racing over and helped me through it. The solution? Xanax. Luckily I had some around even if it was a few years out of date. It stopped the reaction to Cymbalta within 10 minutes. Thank goodness. What a horrible horrible drug. Who the heck created this monster?

Nothing was helping the pain in my hands either and I was getting more and more disabled and unable to cook, write, type or use my camera. Scary!

Then the results came back from the biospy: Cancer. Stage 2, ER+ PR+. And it was off to MD Anderson for the possible treatment options. And I didn't like what I heard one little bit!!!! Remember cancer is big business and although Anderson is the best in the country for cancer, its big enough business that they advertise on the nightly news.

I was told that I needed 24 weeks of chemo then a mastectomy then tamoxifen for 5 years. After having sprayed pesticides for years and knowing I was already toxic I did NOT want chemo at any rate. Frankly I knew it would kill me. I would rather die from falling off my motorcycle than from being systematically poisoned to death. I did have time to research it. I went to meet with a local general surgeon to see about having a port put in. He gave me the strangest look when i said they wanted to do chemo for 24 weeks prior to surgery. That look stayed with me. More on that later.

I researched on the internet for the efficacy of the chemo and red the hundred pages of side effect including losing my hair, maybe some heart damage, etc etc and got madder and madder. Even with the spin on the great odds of surviving with my cancer after chemo, the real numbers were not great at all. Chemo would give me about the same chance of survival as surgery and nothing else. What about radiation? I got another appt with the oncologist and she said point blank that there was no other way to treat the cancer than the chemo and radiation was not an option. I left with no decision.

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