ROLL THE DICE, MOVE THREE SPACES

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I have been at the doctor’s office at least once a week for the last eight weeks. I met with the oncologist this week, a 3-hour appointment that left me exhausted, but hopeful. I answered questions, filled out forms, had a complete physical exam, and they drew blood. Marking where I am physically before I begin radiation treatment took longer than I thought, and I have a 2-hour appointment with the radiologist on Wednesday.  I am grateful, though, to get closer to action, rather than information gathering and assessment.

A week ago Friday, I got the news that the tissue they removed during my lumpectomy included a 2mm tissue sample of Stage 1 aggressive cancer. I spent the weekend very troubled, because this news, in my mind, made me skip a few spaces toward chemotherapy.  I believed that because I thought I would test positive for BRCA gene mutation, which would put me at high, high risk for recurrence and the doctors would want to do whatever was necessary to lower that risk.

Monday, however, the doctor called to give me the news that would move me back a few spaces away from chemo. I tested negative for the BRCA gene mutation. I was more in shock by that news than the news I was now advanced to Stage 1. That relief was much needed in the midst of the weight of uncertainty. I hadn’t even given a negative result a second thought.  I felt like I’d been given a free roll of the dice.  Move ahead six spaces past chemo.

The oncologist and I talked about another issue that needed addressed: my weight. My cancer is estrogen positive which means my fat cells are the enemy. I also have to navigate a new diet tailored to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence. All I have to say is, “no bacon.” I will be seeing a nutritionist in August after radiation so I can get started on that as soon as possible.  In the meantime, I have been looking into vegetarian dishes on my own.

So that’s where everything stands.  I will most likely start radiation in a couple of weeks.  I will take treatment every day, five days a week for six weeks. That will take me through to the end of July, and then I will see the oncologist again. To me, it all seems like a random roll of the dice, but I know God has it under control.

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