I Google very lightly when it comes to cancer. It's a rat hole like no other and can make a grown-ass woman cry when she's trying so hard to live on the surface of this disease and stay optimistic so she can still make lunches and pay taxes.
The truth is, I get enough dire information from the real doctors in my life, sometimes when I'm looking the other way.
I got my practitioners assessment form back, which details for my work why I can't be working right now. I skimmed it before putting it in an envelope to mail away. It took a few minutes to percolate and then it destroyed me.
Right there, in doctor-like scrawl, Dr. A had written "metastatic breast cancer". Before you think I'm a complete idiot and not paying attention to my own diagnosis, I know that when the same cancer returns and shows up in lymph nodes outside the original area, technically, it's stage IV, even if there are no organs, bones or brain matter involved. Rationally, I know this. And I know that metastatic means basically the same thing. The rub lies in the fact that I've never attributed these things to me in any official way because I haven't seen it in words. And I needed to get through the first few weeks of this business without someone else's verdict hanging over my head.
And then I did the thing I thought I'd never do: I Googled a little.
My findings? In so many words, "when you have metastatic cancer, it can no longer be cured, only managed to extend your life." So there.
Listen, I'll get to the point where I'm ready to say "fuck you" again and defy the statistics. I'll show this thing who'll live more than just a few more years. I'll put away Dr. A's comment at my full diagnosis appointment in early April about "helping me live several more years" in a rusty file drawer. I'll ignore all the wisdom of centuries of traditional medicine to come to my own conclusions, thank you very much.
But for a moment, I am humbled and scared.
I just finished part three of cycle one and have a two-hour nap under my belt. I'm rested and ready to turn this small stone around my mouth and under my tongue until I'm ready to spit it out.