Well, we are a long way from where we were five days ago. We have gone from “It’ll be a significant surgery and a tough four or five weeks but you’ll be completely done and cancer-free,” to “Six months of chemotherapy and regular scans and check-ups for five years.”
My beautiful wife, Carrie-Anne, is being prescribed multiple rounds of fairly aggressive chemotherapy because the cancer she has is fairly aggressive. It’s classified as a “triple-negative breast cancer,” a fairly uncommon form found only in ten-percent of women who have breast cancer, and typically in African American women and other women 40-years-old and younger. That’s not my wife; but here we are. We’re doing our best to arrange the chemo infusions through Texas Oncology in Midland – it looks very promising. It’ll be once every three weeks for three months and then once a week for three more months, hopefully beginning in the next ten days or so. When it’s over, in June, they’re saying we’ve got a 92% chance of the cancer not returning. Then M.D. Anderson will see her here in Houston every quarter for scans and checkups for two years, and then twice a year for three more years. If she stays cancer-free for the whole five years, then they believe we will be totally in the clear. We have learned over the past week there is no such thing as 100% when you’re dealing with cancer.
So we’ve moved from recovering from soreness and three or four trips to Houston for reconstruction to a five-year journey of chemotherapy and constantly looking over our shoulders. That’s a different deal than what we were initially told.
We have our final follow-up appointment with the plastic surgeon today at 11:30 – we’re not really sure how the chemo is going to impact her reconstruction, but we do know her final two drains are being removed – and then we’re heading home to Midland. We’re hoping to arrive at Stanglin Manor before 11:00pm, where our middle daughter, Valerie, will be waiting on us. She arrives in Midland later today and will stay with us through Monday morning.
The last four or five days have been an emotional roller coaster for us. The pathology report Friday was a gut punch in many respects and the meeting with the oncologist yesterday signaled lots of changes in plans and expectations and lifestyle for us. But we’re in good hands all the way around. And our Lord is faithful. We are sure of that.
Uncertainty alone brings its own form of suffering. We feel your pain.