Coming home today after an interview and then a luncheon with a new friend, I felt so horrible that I went straight to bed and passed out. What is going on with me? I never get sick. I never have any issues except for that pesky cancer years ago… Then, I start putting all the pieces together: 1. This morning while brushing my teeth I almost puked something from my dinner last night! 2. I couldn’t quit belching and seemed to have a serious case of indigestion that started yesterday. 3. Last night after I took Tamoxifen, I immediately got a serious case of the chills feeling as if I was about to get the flu. 4. I swear I had a fever last night. 5. And what is up with this nasty cough and tickle in the back of my throat? 6. And weird pulses and funky headache?
Waking up this morning, I was worried about feeling good enough to finally meet the recruiters client, but I felt good enough to go. I arrived to the destination early and drove around the area checking it all out, when I felt green around the gills and finally stopped to get a bottle water and took a few bites from a low-sugar protein bar that made me feel good enough to smile as I walked inside the client’s building.
Afterwards, I was headed to my favorite place we all know as Tiny’s to show my friend around for her first time as we talked like girlfriends for more than two-hours. But I still felt green – just lethargic and sub-prime. As I left, I texted my cycling team that I would not make it tonight for our first meet and greet and ride because I was not feeling well. Then, I put the pedal to the medal and drove home.
Arriving home around 3pm, I turned on the TV in my room and quickly fell asleep. At 4:57pm I woke up watching Juno, the movie that made me feel so uncomfortable while watching it at the movie theater with my parents in Austin just months after I returned from Geneva. If you haven’t seen it, let me tell you that I still feel as if they took a few pages out of my own journal. There is a couple and the wife, Vanessa is looking to adopt a baby and they find Juno who is sixteen years-old and pregnant who is looking for someone to adopt her child. Juno chooses this couple to adopt her baby, until Vanessa’s husband decides he wants a divorce and states that he’s called an attorney and already found a loft to live. In this one scene he goes from postponing painting the nursery to finally telling Vanessa that he never said he would be a good father. In the end, Juno still wants Vanessa to have her baby and she becomes a mom with the little baby boy in her arms. Intently watching the movie, I am feeling deeply connected to the whole theme.
Then, as I am checking email via my phone in bed, there it is. An email from Dr. Schoolcraft’s office sending a copy of all of my records from 2003 when I couldn’t have my own children because of a translocation between chromosomes 8 and 18 so we tried IVF to harvest any of my own viable eggs. Shaking my head and laughing at the coincidences that are pure God at work, I smile knowing that Zoe is ten years old because I adopted her soon after the failed process. After clicking on the file it takes a few minutes to finally appear on my phone so I can start reading it because it is 52 pages long. As plain as day it says that my chances of finding a viable egg were small if non-existent. Shaking my head, I wonder why I was so stubborn to go through this process?
Then, the questions start to make sense to my brain: Did the IVF process have anything to do with my breast cancer diagnosis six years later? Did my original translocation have anything to do with my breast cancer diagnosis? From the NIH website on Chromosome 8 it is stated that rearrangements (translocations) of genetic material between chromosome 8 and other chromosomes have been associated with several types of cancer. This is why I have an appointment next week with Dr. O from BCM to discuss my genetic issues and how they affect my short and long term treatment plan.
Also because when I look at my spreadsheet of life, I had finally become consistent in taking .5 mg of Tamoxifen for the past ten days and now I was experiencing extreme side effects all of a sudden and out of nowhere. As I finally tried to eat something for dinner, I felt nauseous, which never happens, until I finally belched which scared me, because this is exactly how I felt on chemotherapy. But then, Tamoxifen is an oral chemotherapy drug. And every time I tried taking it, I’ve had adverse responses and this time it is no better. Plus, my suspicions are confirmed when I take my temperature and it’s 99.2.
Frustrated at the whole situation, I remembered a discussion with Dr. F from the NBCC Summit a week or so ago, when she cautioned me about being consistent with each drug so that I did not become hormone resistant. This is why I have an appointment next week to try and look at the big picture. I have detailed notes on how I’ve not been able to tolerate everything I’ve tried over the past four years in my spreadsheet of life. I will bring it for him to see.
It’s been ten years since I first saw Dr. Schoolcraft and just like Vanessa in the movie, If this is what I really want, then I to can be successful. We will leave that in God’s hands. But for now, I just want to feel better.