My 2nd week after being diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer has been an exhausting, slightly painful but yet hopeful week of a CT scan, an MRI, blood tests, meetings with oncologists, relentless phone calls to arrange test results to go to a specific doctor/hospital, a second opinion with a top cancer specialist followed by finally receiving my vaccine. I got the AstraZeneca vaccine and although having cancer doesn't feel like a positive, it's certainly nice to jump my age group queue to get the vaccine so I'm having a lesson this week on what positive really means and where I put my values.
Because of my recent diagnosis, I've been advised by my doctors to move out of where I have been renting a room to live with my boyfriend who lives in the same town but a much smaller place. So this last week has been exhausting not just for all my medical tests but also because of trying to rapidly pack and try to move what we can on the days when we've not been too exhausted while trying to arrange to hire a moving company to move me out by early next week.
My landlady has been shockingly unkind and though I've been saving every penny since learning I had cancer on the 17th of March, to pay for a private consultation with a top cancer specialist, she has been harassing me for £160 which I owed her in rent. I used to pay per week for rent and as she mentioned she doesn't plan to rent out my room after I leave and that she plans to fill my room with junk, I couldn't understand why she was so insistent to get this money from me when I was trying to make sure I had enough to pay the cancer specialist. She is wealthy, having purchased a new house last year and has nearly £200,000 left after she sold her previous house. She has indicated that if I'm not out by early next week, then she expects me to pay for another week of rent. So this last week is the week of huge learning experiences with the support of such incredible friends from around the globe coming forward to send me messages to give me hope often with their own incredible stories of surviving this kind of cancer which I'm inhaling as if they're a life force; but then out of all these wonderful supportive people, only one has been horrific to me - my landlady. I will cheer when I finally move out of my rented room!
My private consultation with the top breast cancer specialist in the UK, Dr Gui, gave me lots of hope, more so than the previous oncologist. Dr Gui was very matter of fact which I appreciated and didn't overwhelm me with the horrors of cancer but rather told me what he understood from examining me and his understandings of my CT scan and other medical notes. I'm still in the process of processing the referral to The Royal Marsden and hope to have this finalised by Monday so that my treatment will start as soon as possible. Dr Gui specialises in early detection breast cancer, which mine is and suggests doing chemo first in order to shrink my tumour and cancer and then see what my genetic results say to see what kind of surgery I'll need by the end of my chemo. He's so thorough and suggests a bone scan too which the previous hospital hadn't mentioned. I like that he asked about my digestion too as I feel like my gut health is linked to any other inflammation in my body so again, I feel pretty impressed and pleased with my visit with him.
I think it's important that when diagnosed with breast cancer, that we as women realise that we need to look at all angles of this diagnosis and that getting a second opinion is crucial and completely correct as our lives are soooo important. I'm glad I pushed for this second opinion as I think I'm at the best hospital for my type of cancer.
So here I sit, writing this, feeling some side effects from my AstraZeneca vaccine but taking it easy and feeling ready for battle and very positive. I've ordered so many healing books about eating healthy and maintaining a positive mindset during chemo and along my healing journey. I'm also still booking regular reiki sessions with my wonderful reiki healer, Tracy of Positive Reflex Therapy and am quite looking forward to having a buzz cut again (I did the buzz cut thing when in art school over twenty years ago!) and have even purchased some rather pretty soft hats too! I'm pretty excited about my recent discovery of a really inspiring and helpful cookbook for cancer patients that's created by a doctor at the Royal Marsden which is where I'll be spending a lot of my time so I'm really looking forward to getting my diet sorted out.
Perhaps all this stress and exhaustion has made me a bit loopy, but I'm rather looking forward to starting on my new healing journey. I'm finding something very interesting too as whenever I tell anyone what's happening to me, they are always so devastated and I'm having to constantly cheer them up as my cancer is curable and I'm so lucky that it's been caught early so I don't feel sad about this just ready to get on with fighting it and being well again!
In an effort to completely surround myself with positive things, I'm still trying to censor myself quite a lot from people who like to share things with me about my type of cancer that I feel is not helpful so I've been asking people to only send me things that will make me laugh or happy positive stories of survivors rather than medical statistics or studies. I'm not a study or a statistic and I don't want to read about this disease in that way. I don't want to hear about anyone who didn't survive because I'm now in fierce survivor mode, physically, mentally and spiritually and positivity is my weapon of choice for my coming battle!
So if you're reading this and are one of my friends/family then thank you so much for being there for me as your positive energy is fueling my healing process for which I'm very grateful!
If you're a cancer survivor then get in touch as I'd love to connect and hear about your positive healing journey too and if you're reading this after having a similar diagnosis, then I hope my writing gives you hope and helps you also prepare for your own healing journey to full recovery!
Let's keep the positive energy flowing by sharing this post with anyone you know who may need to hear it! #Healing #PositiveEnergy #IWillSurvive #LoveToAll #FriendsAroundtheWorld #PeaceOfMind #FranceskaDrawsTreesAndBeatsCancer