I teared up and my heart smiled it's biggest smile. Magical.
I had no idea how to start this blog post, so I chose my favorite recent kid story. How I really wanted to start it was....I have cancer again. (Seemed a bit harsh. It's the holidays.) For those of you keeping track, Santa has now given me the wrong gift 2 years in a row. It's true. It's back. It's not in the same place, but it's in the same general area. I won't go into detail because it involves the word vagina and that makes people uncomfortable. There are typically 3 ways that cancer is fought: surgery, radiation, and chemo. Unfortunately due to the location of the new tumor, surgery is not an option. Radiation is not an option either, as you can't radiate the same area twice. That leaves chemo. My oncologist set me up to start chemo today. One 8-hour round of a three drug cocktail every 21 days for 6 cycles. The thing about the chemo is there's only a 20% chance it'll work. 20%. Not great.
There's something I don't think I've shared on this little blog yet. Which is surprising because I share pretty much everything. The type of cancer I have is called Glassy Cell. Why does that matter? With a quick google search, you'll see that Glassy Cell is no good. The kind of cancer you don't want. Not that you want any. It's exceptionally rare and extremely aggressive. Of all cervical cancer patients, less than 1% have this type. It is also one of the types of cervical cancer not caused by HPV. Yes, it's possible to get cervical cancer without having HPV. Little known fact. You're welcome.
I've know I've had Glassy Cell since day 1 which means I've known it was a possibility it was going to return at some point after I beat it. Thanksgiving would've been my 6 month cancer free anniversary. I expected it to wait a bit longer.
So in a turn of events, yesterday I was given an opportunity to go for a second opinion and I've decided to take it. I did not start treatment today and have put it on hold so I can travel to Sloan-Kettering to see what they have to say. I was nervous that my doctor wouldn't want me to delay treatment for a week because what we're looking at it is so serious. But I've been given the green light and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
How did we get to this point?
After my last battle, I was set up on a 3-month plan. Every 3 months I would get a check up at Roswell. (I'm much better at making these appointments than I am at the oil change ones) My last check up was in October. They found something. At the time, in the office, it was hard to tell exactly what they found. Could just be bad tissue from the radiation. Could be cancer. Could be nothing. They did a quick biopsy there and that came back clear. The doc sent me for a scan juuuuust in case. Good thing. You light up in scans when you have cancer. I was lit. Still, we needed to be sure. This could be a false positive. They sent me into the operating room and took "lots" of biopsies. Now as I'm writing this I'm realizing I never asked how many they took and I'm curious. These showed cancer. That made it official.
Lots of emotions. I haven't really cried a lot. It's weird. I'm an emotional person usually, but this doesn't do it for me. I'm just annoyed. Like stop it. I want to live my happy little life without worrying if this is my last Christmas. This also makes me feel super awkward. I hate telling people that my cancer is back. Unfortunately for most, I'm fairly blunt in my delivery of this news and people don't handle that very well. Sorry. I'm a realist, not a dreamer. No puppies and rainbows here. I know what I'm up against. This made telling family and friends way harder than the first time. Most people I told found out via text. And a lot of my friends are finding out right now. Modern technology kind of made me an asshole and I apologize. But it also is giving me this outlet and opportunity to share my story. And that's amazing.
Thank you, All. Thank you for being with me on my adventures over the last year. My support system is the best on the planet and I appreciate every single bit of support you've shared with my family and I.