Monday, 27 June 2011

Simple Plans

Happy Chemo Day!

Three down, five to go. I can't help but feel like I'm in for it this time. I know there's no point worrying about it but I'm past the point of thinking the side effects won't get to me. The metallic taste in my mouth has set up camp and my eye lashes are starting to go. I still have my nails though so I guess that's a bonus. Today's chemo was #3 out of 4 sessions where they give me two separate drugs. The first has to be manually administered by a nurse because it's so toxic that they need to be able to pull it out right away if there's any leakage out of my veins. Joy. That's the one I get nervous about. It doesn't help that it comes in these giant evil syringes full of red hate. The rest of the chemo is given through a regular IV drip and the whole appointment only lasts about an hour or so. My last four treatments will be with a different set of meds and I'll be stuck in the chair for up to 4 hours. Although it sucks either way I'm sort of glad there's only 4 of each. It somehow seems more manageable to break it up that way. So that's the plan. Every second Monday I'll be in chemo until the fall.

It all seemed so simple on my first visit to the BCCA. Chemo till September, then recover. Surgery and reconstruction, then recover. Radiation for a month, then recover. Done. I felt so good about the plan, that I didn't bother to ask my oncologist how he felt about my odds. However the further along I go, I realize that things aren't necessarily that easy. It's not just grin and bear it and then it's over. There's the assess. "Let's wait and see". I want a prognosis but they won't give me one. It's too soon to tell. "We'll have to assess you at a later date". I've realized that this is all because of the curve balls cancer can throw your way. Chemo may kill the cancer but it might also leave me infertile and in early menopause. It might also give me another cancer. Pardon?? Surgery and reconstruction can't necessarily be done together. But that's what they said to me on my first appointment! "Well, the radiation will burn and shrink the skin and that may change things". Sorry did you say burn? So, I guess I can give up on this dream of being done with this nonesense by the end of the year.

This is the part I'm struggling with. I'm a planner. I like a nice orderly world. I'm fully onboard with visualizing my life without cancer. I had been aiming for the New Year. I don't like being told, "Well, let's just see how it goes". Listen here doc. I have plans. I'm going to Hawaii in February with my entire family and I'd don't plan on stuffing my bikini with tissue paper so work with me here, OK? I pride myself on being a model patient, so now I just need things to go according to plan. Enough with the medical drama. I've accepted that I have cancer. All I want now is for my treatment to be uncomplicated. No curve balls please. When I was pregnant, I put in an order for a 7 hour delivery. It seemed reasonable. Lyla made it here in 6 hours and 45 minutes. Just sayin'. So...

Dear Cancer,
I have a family trip planned. I feel like I've given you plenty of attention and I'm being a good little patient so I'm putting in my order for an uncomplicated healing process. I'd like to be in remission by 2012. If you want to go ahead and bump up that time line as a Christmas present to me, I accept.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Much love,


  1. Ashlyn, keep that focus! I'm so glad you set this goal and put it in writing in your blog. I am such a believer in the power of positive thinking and goal setting and I know you're going to hit your goal. Just stay strong, stay positive and keep visualizing those palm trees, sista.

    Love ya and thinking of you lots! xo.

  2. Ash,
    ok so on top of it all I am going to make you learn Portuguese...AMO TE PARA SEMPRE and you will kill this and sneak out and have fun on roofs and in your pool...with our new generation!!!! Ashlyn you are fantastic the 5 or 6 or 7 or how many we may be will all meet up and beware because ms. Jane aka your wonderful daughter...may have the unfortunate chance to one day marry a Portuguese Canadian haha! xxxxAnnna