I can’t believe I am sitting here watching another blanket of snow fall. School is closed and in total desperation — and in an effort not to spend the day nagging — I wrote out a list of chores for my son. I easily came up with 10 things he can do for me today, including some laundry and, eventually, when the snow stops, shoveling.
Usually by now we have booked our flights to LA for the summer, maybe even planned a spring weekend getaway. But this year is different. I can’t commit to anything until I know whether I’m going to be put on a chemo regimen. I just don’t have a feel for this one. At times I think it’s unlikely I’ll need chemo, but who knows? I guess it’s a good thing the doctors can test my cancer and come up with a definitive answer.
I remember a few years ago, another friend here was diagnosed. When she was trying to decide on her treatment plan, she let the statistics guide her. At the time I thought it was just the math teacher in her, relying on the numbers for guidance and direction. But I get it now. That’s what it’s going to come down to for me. If my type of cancer has a high percentage rate of recurrence, and chemo can improve my chances by 30%, then I’m going to have chemo. But if my cancer has a low percentage rate of recurrence — let’s say, for example, that the chance of recurrence is 10% — then adding chemo to the mix doesn’t make a lot of sense. Reducing 10% by 30% is not really going to make a significant difference.
I have an appointment with the oncologist on the 16th. She should have the results of the oncotype dx test by then. When you think about it, it’s pretty remarkable how far they’ve come in treating breast cancer. It’s hard to believe there was a time when treatment was handed out in one-size-fits-all packages. Everything now is so specific. It’s almost like no two breast cancers are the same.
One of the weather reports I read this morning said that there are no new storms on the horizon. I can almost believe that this may be the last one. We’ve had hard winters before, but I never remember a winter where we’ve been hit with measurable snowfall and ice every week for six weeks straight. I think it’s been six weeks. But I’m not willing to bet on it. In my head it feels like six months.
I think no matter where we end up this summer, no matter what plans we are able to make, it will somehow feel like we’ve been reborn out of the snow and ice. Of course, I desperately want our summer in LA — but I have to at least prepare myself for the fact that it may not be possible for me. No matter what, I will figure out a way to get my son out there, to give him his summer with his cousin and all the things he loves.
But first, he has to do his chores. And at the rate he’s moving, he may not finish before June.