When I was first diagnosed, I would wake up each morning and for a moment, I would not remember I had cancer. Then the reality would set in, and I would lay there in shock. The sun would begin to shine through my window, and I would push myself to get up and face another day – keep going, Estee. A couple weeks into my journey, a shift occurred. Instead of waking up in shock, I would wake up and think, “Oh my gosh, I have cancer. Have I told anyone?” I would remember everything, and immediately I would feel a sense of peace. I did feel the lump. I did go to my doctor’s appointments. I did sort through the madness of a diagnosis in seven days. I did start chemotherapy. I remember one day in particular when I felt normal again, and I dubbed the feeling as “new normal.” New normal is Estee living with cancer. New normal is scheduling chemotherapy appointments, going to work when I feel good, meditating, and spending a majority of my time caring for my body and mind. I like new normal. In fact, I don’t want to go back! I think to myself that going back in time would put me in a place before the cancer. I have loved every second of my life up until my diagnosis, and now I want to move forward because everything after this will be about the Estee who beat cancer.
I have my third chemotherapy appointment tomorrow, and I’m feeling good because I met with my oncologist this past Monday. He checked my tumor and smiled because it is much softer and smaller. He knocked on wood (twice) because these changes mean the chemotherapy is working. My body is responding!!! Part of the reason I chose to do pre-operative chemotherapy is because I wanted to know that the medicine is effective. Having my oncologist confirm that my tumor is responding means if any sneaky little cells tried to escape, they are also dying! He explained to me that since I am BRCA 1 positive, he would like me to finish the AC regimen, and then shift to a different regimen of Taxol and Carboplatin. This regimen will last for 12 weeks. Taxol is a slow drip IV and Carboplatin is a pill. In previous BRCA 1 patients, this regimen has shrunk the tumor to nothing! This regimen won’t be as intense as the AC regimen so no matter how the chemo makes me feel or what physical changes continue to occur, I am fine because the medicine is working.
Thank you so much for your continued thoughts and prayers. I’m celebrating the small victories, and this week has definitely been a victorious week in my new normal life. 🙂