Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Enemy Returns

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Well it has been one week since the big news hit. One week since my world went from being normal back to being a "patient" again. It has been a difficult adjustement and I am generally on the verge of going insane or fighting the urge to smash plates against the wall one by one. Despite the fact that I am still only 2 weeks post op, the whole recovery thing has faded into the background when we found out the bitch was back and had to go into battle mode again. But the reality is that I am in pain, I am tired, I am irritated and I am afraid. Not the best combination for anyone really. I normally have a knack for bouncing back from setbacks and almost always find that extra reserve of energy to get through the tougher parts of the day. However I just don´t seem to be "bouncing back" from this. My emotions go from shock, sadness, anxiety and usually end up somewhere aroundthe crazy angry mode. And you better believe that I am furious at this situation. It is so unfair and unjust. I think I am a pretty nice person who tries her best to do the right thing. But that is the thing about cancer. It doesnt care who you are - it just attacks indiscriminately. So here I am a few weeks shy of my two year cancerversary, waiting to find out my fate again. I honestly can´t believe it some days that one of my greatest fears actually came true. The cancer came back. How did the statistics fairy screw me over again? I was working so hard to get my life back on track and be normal again and it was working which makes the sting of this relapse even sharper. I have often gone to sleep in a terrible mood, medicating myself into a false sense of peace and waking in the morning thinking it all was just a bad dream. But then it hits me - no this is my reality and in some ways I relieve the shock of it with each day. Maybe in some ways I just don´t quite believe it yet. I just want to unzip myself from body and take a break from all of this but it is impossible. I feel trapped at times and can´t escape this beast. And god do I feel helpless knowing my body is attacking itself under my skin. I continually wonder what are my cells doing? And why do they keep going all rogue on me?

Now I ask all of you not to misinterpret my words as defeat. There is no way in hell I would ever give up and I absolutely know that I can and will be healthy and cancer free again. But please understand that if I come across as negative or upset in this post, it is also just a completely normal reaction to an entirely shit situation. It is temporary and it will pass. Because if you know me well, you know most of the time I am captain bloody positivity and look for the good in even the darkest of moments. I will find my light again. But give me some time to get angry.

In terms of the battle plan, well that is still unclear. The circumstances of my relapse are weird which pretty much ties in with my whole cancer history. Nothing has really ever been normal about my cancer. But the good thing is that there is hope. It is at a stage where we can still eradicate it. That is the greatest comfort I can take away from this whole mess. I will take this thing down so hard it wont know what hit it. I will have the right to grow old with wrinkles and grey hair with my husband at my side. I will watch my daughter grow up - go to school, get married and maybe one start her own family. I will be there. And please everyone remember what a priviledge it is to grow old and never fear or take it for granted.

We will know more in the next few days but it looks like surgery is the best option at this point. We need to get everything out that poses a risk. I can´t say the thought of a massive operation only a few weeks after my last sounds pleasant at all however there is no choice. I have to do this even if I am afraid. Chemo will be a last resort option as I only finished my last treatment alittle over a year ago and it hasn´t proven to be that effective in a situation like mine. I am not complaining though as chemo is something I dread. I told my doctor on the phone yesterday, "I can´t do it again. I can´t lose my hair...myself." So for right now, we are essentially sitting in the waiting room - waiting to hear what my team thinks is the best and safest solution to proceed with. It will happen fast and there probably will be little time to process it before I have to dive in headfirst. It is moments like these that I find it tough to be positive, I am fighting cancer a second time in my already too short life and it seems hard to find a silver lining to that predicament. But in true OBB style, I will find something that will help me get through this bump in the road. All of you cheering me on helps immensely so thank you again for supporting Team OBB. I may end up crawling but I will get to that finish line again and hold my arms up in triumph. I know my story is far from over and there is far too much living left in this body. So I will again pick up my sword and reluctantly head back into battle and fight my stubborn enemy to submission. I just don´t do losing.



  1. Great choice of a quote to start your blog... Your courage again surfaces in spite of all the disappointment and fears you express. And how you can you not be angry and rage against the return of the enemy? Get some cheap plates.... I/we out here in different parts of the globe, share your fears, worries... so hope maybe we can lighten your load a tiny bit by chipping away at the pain with our prayers, our wishes for you and by loving you. There is hope and there are options but wish you didn’t have to suffer. I cherish you Captain AC

  2. Dear Kate,

    It's with tears in my eyes as I read your blog again. I am so touched by your amazing courage,honesty,and strong determination to fight back the return of your enemy. You are really inspiring! My heart goes to you and I would like to give you my warmest embrace as I share your shock, pain, sadness, anxiety and anger.

    If I tell you that over the past few years I have not been living in uncertainty and fear that one day, cancer will strike back on me, I am lying. Everyday,I am simply trying my best to take every possible preventive step to live healthily and positively, lest I forget. Sometimes I failed. However,I am alert, once we got hit by this cancer devil,I must be prepared, that is the harsh reality. You've phrased it so right,"that is the thing about cancer. It doesn't care who you are - it just attacks indiscriminately."

    Kate, we are bonded, we've all been there, we understand.
    It is so completely normal for you to get angry, so just take time to let out your emotional outburst. You know it is temporary and it will pass. For sure,you will stay strong and positive and keep looking for the best solution in even the darkest of moments. You will find light again. You will remain undefeatable!

    Remember you are always surrounded by love and support. You will find COURAGE and STRENGTH to help you get through this bump in the road. All of us are with you as you pick up the sword bravely to fight this stubborn enemy and put an end to it. We are all waiting to give you loud cheers when you cross the finish line again, holding your arms up in triumph.

    I sincerely pray that your medical team will find out the best and safest solution to proceed with the measure and you will be enlightened to make the wisest decision to compile with it.

    Trials make you strong, BELIEF brings you success!

    Hugs and Prayers!

  3. I just wanted to say I just started reading you blog, and I lack the words to express my admiration for you.
    Your honesty and courage is breath taking...

    You have one more supporter for Team OBB :)

  4. I came to your blog through Renn at The Big C. Your post moved me to tears. You have every right to be angry because you were dealt a shitty hand. All your emotions are valid. There is no way to do cancer right, and you are handling this the best that you can.

    I'm not sure if you are aware, but there's this awesome group of individuals that you can contact for support. Their presence is well-known on Twitter. Every Monday night at 9 p.m. US Eastern time, there is a tweet chat with the hashtag #BCSM (breast cancer social media). It's a wonderfully supportive group of patients in all stages of breast cancer, as well as former patients, doctors, nurses, psychologists, etc.

    Even if you can't make the tweet chats, please reach out to them on Twitter if you can. Just use the #BCSM hashtag.

    In the meantime, allow yourself to feel all the emotions you feel. Cancer is a horrible thing, and you don't have to feel positive about this.

    Warm cyberhugs,


  5. I just want to let you all know how much I appreciate you reading the blog and also showing your support. It does make a difference. Thank you for the advice as well. I will look into the twitter group Beth.

  6. Sending you support and TLC from the #BCSM community, which Beth mentioned above. I am one of the co-founders and tho we have no answers, we do support and try to empower each other. Cancer is awful and so is what you are going through.

    You are being real, and honest with a difficult, difficult situation.

    Thinking about you,
    Jody Schoger

  7. I found your blog via Beth as well. I'd just like to say that of course you feel angry and cheated. Don't pretend to feel any way you are not feeling. Your feelings of anger, and all the rest, are entirely understandable. Cancer once is horrible. Twice even more so. I'm sorry for all you've been dealing with and for all the uncertainty that lies ahead. My best to you and your family.