Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy


So, today, I finally have the information, I feel, to make an informed decision. Steve and I met with Jessica today, the nurse practitioner for the oncologist. Doing chemo for me is really about that 5% chance that something has slipped through that the radiation and medication might not get. Because I am in such EXCELLENT health, and she kept emphasizing that, lovely as opposed to yesterday, and I have such a microscopic amount in my lymph, there is a good chance it hasn't spread, and there is no way to know and so do we take a chance? The risk is 5% if I don't do chemo, and just do radiation.

She explained everything, and showed me where it is done. I would have a view of Mt. Tam. Someone can be with me. The people who were there receiving chemo did not look miserable. They are all nice people. The nurses are wonderful, and one tells good jokes. Sees candy is always available. It seems a relatively happy place.

It is odd that if I were in worst shape, the decision would be easier, and maybe there really is no decision to make. They seem pretty clear I should do this, and not take the risk and they also point out they are oncologists, and therefore, have a slanted view.

I have also become clear that this isn't about anything I might have done, so doing chemo can offer some assurance that all is reasonably well, and we have done all we can that is available at this time in history. Sometimes the cells go awry. Nobody knows why, and so it is. This is a way to deal with that. It may seem aggressive and even cruel that so many cells have to die, and it is the only tool we have right now to ensure a better survival rate for the organism as a whole, which in this case is me.

Jeff pointed out that these studies are based obviously on women who had chemo and/or radiation at least ten years ago. They are people who went through Sutter Health. It is their study. I'm not sure that changes anything as to the decision, but it is important to realize that I am now part of the study. No one can really know what my response will be. Ultimately, I have to trust my gut on this, and do what feels right. I am not a statistic, and I am. What happens with me can influence the decision of another, and it will still be their experience.

We also talked about Melissa Etheridge and her horror story as told on national TV. It seems she was also on Oprah Winfrey spreading terror. My nurse practitioner said it is not like that at all, and she is going to try to organize a group of doctors to be given equal time as to the chemo experience. Of course, that probably wouldn't be very exciting, or get people to turn on their TV. I am sure that Melissa had a horrendous experience, and I think that her speaking of it as she did on TV felt pretty upsetting to me. It sounds like her experience will not be mine if I choose to do this.

For all of you who were so excited about the medical marijuana, it sounds like I probably will not need it. I am welcome to go for it, but all sounds so well-taken care of and well-planned, I am not sure where I would put it in my rather fascinating schedule. I will keep it there as an option. People have worked very hard to save lives. They may error on the side of caution, but who wouldn't? They allow me my own decision, and I have great respect for their work.

I will let them know what I decide on Monday, and I am scheduled to start on November 21, at 10:30 if I do it. I have another week then to prepare and mull, and I think it will be okay if I do it, and that is my news for today. I realize stress comes when I am not clear on what is going on. I am quite content right now. I hope you are too!!

Great love and care to you,

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