Monday, November 3, 2014

Brains, trains and automobiles

So the month of October went by without me being able to rattle out an entry focused on Pinktober. I am really slipping these days as it is the first time in 3 years that I missed out on making a statement about this important month. I did write a short entry on my facebook page and published some never before seen pictures of my head shaving experience.  I think the one of my daughter being hold by her newly shaved mother was powerful. She was just a baby than and had no idea of the struggles her mother was living through. She was just happy to be in her mother’s arms – wrapped up in her love. Things are so different now – I can’t hide anything from her anymore.

So the month of October has been especially hard for me. I have not been feeling well at all and it has made much of my daily life a challenge. Let’s just say things are slipping through the cracks all the time. I have continued to work through all of this and not really missed a day of work despite feeling like I was on the verge of collapse because I didn’t feel I had a choice. At first I didn’t think much of it and just thought all of the symptoms I felt were unrelated and most likely the cause of my insane workload and schedule for a person in recovery. People who have lived through two back to back cancer rounds aren’t usually working full time in an incredibly stressful and demanding job. Or at least they aren’t in Norway! But I feel like there is no choice. I feel so bloody trapped between trying to recover and trying to make up for lost ground. And when you give a little on one end, you feel you lose on the other and thus I am stuck in this endless tug of war against my two halves.

After a few weeks of constant nausea, upset stomach, lack of appetite and taste changes, headaches, body pains and a general weird feeling in my head, I spoke with my oncologist after he had heard through the grapevine about my symptoms. He is always so direct and to the point. “I am going to order a head MRI for you and I will make sure it is done very soon. “ Ahhh…. Are we back to the world of investigations again? He said he hoped it was just my body reacting to an overload but that we couldn’t rule out anything in the brain as the symptoms also were scarily similar to brain mets. I honestly hadn’t thought about it being more cancer until that moment and it scared the shit out of me. Brain mets are so unbelievably bad for a breast cancer patient. It is an immediate death sentence and a fast one at that. I actually had naively thought that my scans in the summer had included my brain but unfortunately PET scans don’t. So no one has checked that place out for the dark passenger and it terrifies me. I keep telling myself that I am fine and that it cant be anything bad. But then the scary thoughts creep in and the googling starts and….suddenly I am making my way down the rabbit hole again. Life expectancy after tnbc brain mets…6 – 8 months. Oh fuck! How the hell do you not freak out about something like this? I actually think my fears are penetrating my subconscious because I had the most traumatic dream on Saturday night where I actually killed someone. An intruder in the house that I attacked with a baseball bat! I can honestly say that I have never killed anyone in the real or dream world and it made me question whether this was related to what was happening in my life.  
So Wednesday is the day I will take a trip to Cancer Town to get a lovely photo of my brain taken and then wait until we know what is happening.   As you imagine I need all your positive thoughts and prayers coming my way so that I can write in my next update that I am still 100% cancer free!!!  So many things swirl around in my head regarding the what ifs and some of them are surprisingly rationale in a crazy kind of way.  You always prepare yourself for every possible outcome because that is one thing cancer teaches you. Be as prepared as you can regardless of the news you here. Never let cancer surprise you again. SO I am desperately hoping that this is all a false alarm and just my doctor being very thorough. Perhaps after this latest episode, it might finally force me to sit down and figure out what to do with my life as this merry go round I am on can’t keep going around.

Thanks for your happy thoughts!! Here’s to a happy met free brain!!



  1. oh kate, I am so sorry for your having to wrestle yet another big, fat, unwelcomed unknown. dammit - it's just not fair. I will send my most powerful juju, thoughts of a pristine scan, and big, BIG hope for all to simmer down and allow for a break from those too frequent visits to Crazy Town.

    much love,

    Karen OOXXOO

  2. A follower from Washington DC here again! So sorry to hear about this latest stressor. On the positive side, it sounds like you are getting pretty fantastic care from proactive doctors. You are doing the right thing in getting it checked out, and hopefully you will have an answer that can ease your mind by the weekend. I don't know you at all, so I don't want to give advice, but maybe if you can afford it, you could stay home with your daughter even if just for a few years. I know we couldn't afford it here in the US, and I'm sure as a non-native you have to work so hard to prove yourself that you don't want to give it up, but if there is a way to remove some of the stress - even if it means relocating to a smaller home - maybe it will be worth it. Thinking good thoughts!
    A Supporter

  3. Oh OBB I will be thinking of you on Wednesday and holding you close! Hoping for a BBC (boring brain scan!). {{{hugs}}}

  4. Kate, I am sending you warm hugs today as well as gobs of positivity!!!!! xoxo JoAnn

  5. Kate, I am sending you warm hugs and gobs of positivity today!!!!!!!
    xoxo JoAnn

  6. Lots of prayers and thoughts and love from an unknown :)