Written on Monday, February 20, 2017: The last week and a half have been one of the most stressful times since this journey started. I thought I was almost at the end of one phase, so I could move on to the next. My surgery was scheduled and I was meeting with my radiologist about radiation treament. Everything was in place, but just like anything in life, I was not in control. God had another plan for me.
My whole life I have had a very rare bone disease. Most of my life the disease didn’t even have a name and I would have to explain what it was to every doctor I met. They found it when I broke my leg when I was 2 years old. I became an expert at a young age. Now Richard is the expert on my bone diesase. It’s called Ollier’s Diease and I have one type, which is called Multiple Enchondramatosis. You can google it! But it basically means I have cysts in my bones that make my bones brittle and easy to break. I have broken/fractured several bones and have developed a high pain tolerance because of this disease. The cold can be painful for someone with Ollier’s, so moving to Florida was a good move for me. Unforunatley, all my doctors remained in Boston and I had to start over. So what does this all have to do with Breast Cancer? Well, I will tell you. I hope I am doing this story justice. Richard is much better at explaining it than me. I think I have become so numb to the whole thing.
Before I started chemo I told my Oncologist about my bone disease. I told her that my bones would light up like a Christmas tree on the PET Scan. It is typical of Ollier’s to light up, but it doesn’t mean I have bone cancer. Fast forward to 6 months later, postchemo. I get another PET Scan. It was the best worse news I have ever gotten. My body reacted great to the chemo and you can barely see the cancer in my breasts. The down side is that they found something in my spine. They don’t know if it’s because of Ollier’s or if the cancer has spread to my bones! WTF!!??? They weren’t sure if the chemo had “cured” my bones and they needed more info. The “What if” factor came into play. Olliers typically affects the outter extremities, like your arms and legs, so having a cyst in my spine is rare, but not unheard of since I have one in my Sternum. They ordered more tests to be sure that the cancer hadn’t spread. So I had to get an MRI of my spine, which is not fun. If you have never had an MRI well you are lucky. It’s painless, but make sure you are not claustrophobic. We played the waiting game and the results of the MRI were inconclusive. So the next step was a biopsy of the spine. Again, if you have never had a biopsy of your bones, thank your lucky stars. I had to have a biopsy of my sternum 10 years ago and that was not fun. I was NOT happy about this procedure, but if it was going to give the doctor’s some more answers then fine. I sucked it up, but on my big girl pants and had it done last week. Five days later and I am still very uncomfortable from that biopsy and again we are playing the waiting game. Hopefully, the results will show that the lesion on my spine is from the Olliers and not bone cancer. I pray they are two separate issues and not related. Because if the cancer spread then the doctor’s will cancel my surgery (bilateral mastectomy) and I will have to start another round of treatment, so that means more Chemo. I was just getting used to having some hair again. Honestly, I don’t know if I can do more Chemo. My body is still trying to recover and to have to start over! Oh god! Give me the strength!! I really can’t make this stuff up. I am trying to stay positive, but my spirit is a little broken right now.
I have debated about writing this blog because of my current emotional state. It has been difficult to stay positive and not to question why all of this is happening. For the first time since all this started I got ANGRY!!! Breast Cancer I can deal with, but having Bone Cancer on top of it all. That’s a little too much for me!!! The smashing of the plates was part of all of this. It was supposed to be something to help release my stress and anger, but I think Richard and I had too much fun with it. We laughed more then we screamed, which is not a bad thing! Richard and I have gone through every emotion possible. We have felt anger, frustration, sadness and at the end of it all we felt grateful. Grateful because we still have time together. I was already giving myself a death sentence. I was about to start planning my funeral! But, I am putting all my faith in God that all of this will be resolved and that I can move forward with my recovery. I am frustrated becasue this “hiccup” has moved my timeline and this whole journey has become longer. Everything has been pushed…. I spoke my brother Kenny, who said maybe I wasn’t supposed to have surgery last week. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. I have to believe that. I have to believe that there is a reason for all of this. I am sitting here writing this as my boys go nuts running around the house. We have been home all weekend because they have been sick. I can’t afford to get sick, but mommy duty calls. Maybe my surgery was postponed because I needed to be here to take care of my boys? I don’t know what God’s plan is? But I have to believe in him.
AND THEN I GOT THE CALL….
Written on Wednesday, February 22, 2017: Just like that, in the blink of an eye I went from having Stage 3 Breast Cancer to Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. The biopsy came back positive. The Cancer has spread to my spine. My spirit was crushed. I was home with the boys. I had to lock myself in the bathroom so that the boys would not see me crying. I went numb as the doctor explained everything to me. I don’t even know if I heard everything. I immediately called Richard and asked him to come home. I pulled myself together and made lunch for my boys. Richard came home, we put the boys down for a nap and we laid in bed crying for a good hour. All I thought about was how I was going to tell my parents and how much time did I have left? But like Richard says “in true Myra fashion” I refused to stay home feeling sorry for myself. When the boys woke up we went to the movies to watch the new Batman Lego movie. Richard said we are not normal. Who goes to the movies after hearing their cancer has spread. Well, we do!! In my mind I figured, if I am going to die, then I am going to enjoy every day like it’s my last.
So that is why I am praying for a miracle. I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday to find out about treatment options. It might be more chemo, radiation, a clinical trial. I am not sure. But we are going to find out. At this point I am willing to try anything if it means I get more time with my family. This week has been rough. I haven’t slept or eaten much. The anxiety is killing me, but I made a choice to be more positive. I kneeled down and prayed to God to give me the strength to deal with this new obstacle. I prayed for more time. I surrendered myself to him and gave him all my fear and anxiety, and now I am ready to fight!!