I’m good at planning. I love a check list. At this moment I have an agenda, a syllabus, a detailed outline of the next several months and I resent it a bit. First the update:
I’m 27 weeks pregnant on October 27. I have shortness of breath, and some trouble making good decisions. I want to stay in bed all day. I don’t feel confident driving because so much is happening all at once and I can’t process it quickly enough to feel safe trusting my judgment. I feel cloudy and tired and I feel my daughter bumping around all the time. I make Nick nervous because I’m not communicating well. I’m not communicating well inside my own body. I feel unwell, but I can’t figure out what’s wrong to say it out loud. So when the only explanation I can offer in response to him asking what’s wrong is, “I don’t know, I’m tired,” we both get frustrated.
Blood tests revealed slightly elevated cardiac enzymes. Not too anemic, hemoglobin is higher than on Monday. Normal EKG. I’m staying for observation in the hospital tonight. But they might send me to Roswell.
The plan is, first, I figure out why I feel so ill and stay pregnant. I have 7 more rounds of Taxol, I finish December 12. I stay pregnant the whole time (a very important detail which cannot be overstated). Then I rest, recover my strength, get my blood counts up, for three weeks. I celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year. On the fifth day of the new year, baby bump and I get induced into labor.
Two weeks after she is born, and I survive, I get an MRI with contrast to see what’s left of the tumor. Then I review the results and go over the lumpectomy plan a week after. On the 30th of January I have surgery.
Then I get some more rest time. About 4 weeks later I’ll start radiation. The length of that course of treatment will be determined after surgery and the pathology results of the shrunken tumor. I don’t have a radiation team yet.
The plan is good, but I’m getting tired of this unrelenting pace. I want a vacation from this reality. I want to make sure the resting time I have restores my mind and my body. I’m not certain I can recover when I’m sitting in the same stressful place I’ve been all during treatment.
I’m calling this unfinished business because we don’t know why I feel so poorly, or exactly why my heart is so stressed. I feel like I’m being led by a stranger while I’m blindfolded and the stranger is not inspiring confidence with all the backtracking they seem to be doing. I feel like a medical mystery. But also, the ailments are so obvious: I’m pregnant with breast cancer.
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