Thursday, November 18, 2010

Portland Medical Oncologist

It is Tuesday, time to head to Portland to see the Medical Oncologist. Jeremy and I had planned on leaving by 7am, but it was later, much later - 7:45. What's amazing is how much all this absolutely drains you emotionally and then turns to your physical self. We are absolutely exhausted to say the least and I wish I could just lay in bed for a couple of days to just sleep after these last couple of days - what an emotional roller coaster..... And I will get to that.

We leave, late, and head to Portland, but not first before stopping at Starbucks of course and getting gas, pushing it even more. When you are getting bad news, it is hard to be in a rush to get there. And we're off. Besides one almost near death experience on 217N, we make it. And when I say near death, I mean it, cars all slammed on breaks, thank god pavement wasn't wet and my breaks work. I was able to stop the car before ramming into the PT Cruiser in front of us. How Jeremy stayed calm I have no idea. He did and then laughed when it was done. It was good. Needless to say my blood pressure was severly elevated when we got in to see the doctor.

Dr. Ali Conlin is her name, and she is most terrific. She talked with us for quite awhile and went over my reports with me, again how lucky I am considering most my age are never found until the tumor is 2-3cm and can be too late by then. My doctor saved me by her referring me early. She explained that what I have is what 70% of all breast cancer patients have. That only 10% is hereditary, meaning got it from a family history and the other 90% are just like me - very random. She said 1 in 8 women in a family will get breast cancer. I had always thought the stakes were higher in the family connection, nope. She was amazing. She is a specialist, breast cancer specialist, and comes from Sloan-kettering out of New York - the big cancer research place - amazing. We talked about my chemo and she explained to me that I definitely need it, but I am right on the edge. There is no evidence that shows by giving me a strong dose of chemo vs. a lighter dose betters my odds of recurrence so she doesn't see the need in putting my body through the big bout of chemo and create so much toxcicity within it. I will do four sessions, three weeks apart, lasting 12 weeks and be done with that, and then a pill a day for five years - Tamoxifen.

Then we talked about other things. Before this whole thing started Jeremy and I were ready to start having a family. Jeremy has, or should I say, had testicular cancer when he was 20 while in the Army. his teste was removed, and radiation performed. He goes in for checks all the time, and so far so good, no reccurence. So we were in that process of looking into him more and then WHAM, I get breast cancer, game over...... And we don't have $10,000 floating around just to go in and see some fertility specialist to get anything done now so we may have a chance after this whole thing is over. I cried, we cried, for a long time over it, came to the realization it wasn't ever going to happen and that is that.

But sitting there talking to Dr. Conlin, she says if it is something we want we need to call this place, and talk to them about coming in and getting my eggs frozen. She will give me a month to do it before I start chemo, but that is all. normally they like you to start on the 6th week mark and I am passed that. This would put me at the 10 week mark, and she says that would be fine, for she doesn't want me to have the regreat of not doing this if children is something we wanted. I take the number, say thank you, and we leave.

Once out, Jeremy and I talked about it, and decided we would call. Didn't have much hope in it actually happening, again we don't have that kind of money anywhere, but I knew my mom would help, she always does, and never holds it over my head, and she really doesn't have it, but she would help...... She is most fantastic like that. I called.

Talked to Corby, she got my information and I would be put in something called a Fast Track and Andrea would be the nurse following me. Corby would email me information and she set up an appointment for us the following day at 10AM at the Oregon Reproductive Medicine. That was that. We head home.

I was so excited to get home and read the email, but also knew there was probably still no way of this happening, we didn't have that kind of money. But I kept little hope. Got home, read the email, and no where did it discuss money, the cost. Jeremy and I decided I should call them because we didn't want to waste anyone's time by keeping this appointment if they wanted money up front to pursue it.

Andrea talked to me.....
This is a time when we don't want this to be about money and more about getting yourself better and well, and then being able to have the family you wanted. This service is heavily discounted to our cancer patients and you can pay all or little and take your time paying it off. This is something we truly believe in and want to do our best to do this for you.

We talked a little more, I cried alot more, hung up and let the sobbing begin. How does this happen, good news in the middle of so much bad. Tears won't stop..... I think my angel is still there.

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