Round 3 hit me pretty hard, I discovered a deeper chamber to my cave but am hoping that my low white blood cells count had something to do with it. My level was .6 before my treatment and my doctor told me she would have postponed my chemo if it had been .5, close call! She ordered a Neulasta shot which is a shot that boosts the bone marrow’s production of white blood cells but she then proceeded to tell me that some people find the side effects worse than chemo and that I may get intense bone pains (whoo hoo exactly what one wants to hear knowing that they are about to dive into their cave). Well I got the shot at noon yesterday and so far so good, I am afraid to say it out loud for fear of jinxing it but maybe writing it doesn’t count… I will need to take Claritin and Aleve for 4 more days but so far it seems to be working.
When I met with my oncologist on Monday, I asked her if she had received the results from the Colaris test. Colaris is a genetic test that assesses one’s risk of developing hereditary colorectal cancer and it looks for various mutations on specific genes. I had the test done during my first visit and had been anxiously waiting for the results. The potential ramifications of the results were pretty disconcerting. If you have the gene, then your kids have a 50% chance of having it and so do your siblings. Spontaneous mutations are extremely rare so chances are, one of your parents would have the gene and then their own siblings would have a 50% chance of having it and so on and so forth. The potential domino effect was unnerving.
My doctor had not seen the results and said she would have one of her girls look into it. When I went back on Wednesday to get unhooked from my pump (such a deliverance) and get my white blood cells booster shot, I asked one of the girls if they had heard anything about the genetic testing. She looked through my chart and handed me a sheet that said “patient copy”. I was a bit shocked not to get the results “sitting down” but then again not much surprises me anymore and at least I was not driving (LOL). So anyways, I took the piece of paper and read the capital bold letters at the top:
“NO MUTATION DETECTED”
Wow!!!, whew!!! phew!!! (big sigh of relief!), a huge weight was off my shoulders. The first thought that went through my head was that my kids did not have a 50% chance of having this gene (yay yay yay!), then I thought about my siblings, my parents and my extended family, what a relief… This was such a big worry that I could just finally let go.
However, my reflection didn’t end there. I like to put percentages on things because it helps me keep things in perspective. So I can say that 95% of me was extremely relieved and ecstatic to find this out, but there was a selfish 5% of me that was disappointed, not for my family of course, but for my self. I know I will probably never find out why I got this cancer, but thinking that it was maybe genetic made me put this question to rest. It was just bad genetics. But now I know for sure, that it was not bad genetics, so what could it have been? The nasty McDonalds fries I liked so much?, the fact that I didn’t exercise as much as I should have? the fact that I lost patience with my boys and yelled?, the fact that I spent too much time on pinterest while not paying attention to my husband?, the fact that I always tried to do so much and didn’t “self nurture” enough like I always taught all the women who sat on my couch? what the fuck was it???? (sorry dad)
I don’t think about this all the time, but of course I do have the normal fleeting thoughts that come with having such a diagnosis. I thought I had successfully boxed up those thoughts for good but with the results yesterday, I was forced to reopen the box and take out the explanation I had thought I had found. As a result, all the questions came back…
I will find my meaning, I know I will, I just need a little patience…
“Said, woman, take it slow
And things will be just fine
You and I’ll just use a little patience
Said, sugar, take the time
‘Cause the lights are shining bright
You and I’ve got what it takes
To make it… ” Guns and Roses…