Breast Cancer at 41- It’s a @#$ Day
Today was a day where I got so fed up with being me. I normally don’t break down and I normally don’t feel sorry for myself, but today I snapped. I don’t know if it was brought on by my hormones being all screwed up due to my recent surgery* or that I’m just done. That’s right – all done with ALL of it and I just want “it” – the endless doctors visits, the “treatments” and the IV’s – to be OVER!!!
At 9:15am this morning, I had an appointment with the cardiologist. This was a routine check-up prescribed by my Medical Oncology to see how my heart was holding up to the chemotherapy. Chemotherapy – so bad for your body that it not only kills the cancer, your hair, your nails, and your brain cells, but can also damage your heart!
What sent me over the edge was I was mentally prepared to have an Echo-cardiogram (sonogram of the heart). However, my doctor scheduled me for a MUGA scan (MUltiple Gated Acquisition scan). This scan takes images of the beating heart to help determine the health of the cardiac ventricles.
Poor ignorant me was sooooo very unprepared for my test that when I sat down in the medical office I got a little excited to see there was a treadmill. I asked if running on the treadmill was part of the test!!!! Nope, sorry – DENIED.
It wasn’t the MUGA scan that sent me over the edge. It was the fact another technician was going to stick yet another IV into my vein that I just couldn’t deal with IT/THIS/ALL OF IT anymore on this fine Monday, morning.
- I will place the IV in your arm
- I will inject a radioactive substance, Technetium 99, into your bloodstream
- You will then sit and wait for 20 minutes for the radioactive substance to attach to your red blood cells
- I will take 2 photos under the gamma camera. Each photo will take approximately 10 minutes and you should NOT move!
So while I waited my 20 minutes for the “radioactive substance” to do its’ thing, I listened to the latest “Another Mother Runner” podcast, and there was Bart Yasso being interviewed by SBS and Dimity. He said, “Never take a finish line for granted.” Right there I stopped the podcast and was brought into the MUGA scan room. I just let the statement resonate. I laid there sobbing, really sobbing, tears rolling down my face while I was on the machine with my arms above my head (but not too far above my head because I just had surgery less than 2-weeks ago and I can’t lift them any higher).
“NEVER TAKE A FINISH LINE FOR GRANTED.” – Bart Yasso
Powerful – and so very true. Just yesterday, I had walked a 5k – a race I was so happy to BE ABLE TO WALK. And even though I had run 15 full marathons and 24 half marathons it didn’t matter to me because all that mattered was I was able to cross the finish line of a 5K. A 5K – the littlest race of them all, but the most important to me at this moment because that’s what I was able to do ON THAT GIVEN DAY and I was thankful.
I arrived home from my appointment. Cleaned up the full thermos cup of hot coffee I dropped in the car while driving to the appointment and checked the mail. I had received an unsolicited package from CareRunners. Inside was a medal – a 2014 Pixie Challenge 22.4 Flutter to the Finish – for completing the Tinker Bell 5k, 10K, and Half Marathon.
Now, I don’t know who sent this medal to me, but damn I needed it today. I needed that pat on the back that said, “You are a strong, bad ass and this too shall pass.” So, I thank you, whoever you are, because it started my afternoon on a high note!
*coming soon – Breast Cancer at 41 – Reconstruction & Hysterectomy