my cancer

2012: Worst. Year. Ever.

2012-12-31 15.41.48 Today is a lovely, snowy day. Soft flakes are falling and blanketing everything in white. Nice try 2012, but giving me snow for what might be the last time in my life just can’t make up for the rest of the year, so 2012…










Fuck You CatIt can’t make up for months of gemzar/carboplatin treatments that repeatedly destroyed my platelet levels. It worked great at first, but then my platelets and hemoglobin began to plummet and I swelled up with 15 lbs of fluid, sending me to the hospital with mega-doses of Lasix and blood and hemoglobin transfusions. Every three weeks it was the same: one infusion, the next week my platelets have dropped to the point that I need a blood infusion, and the next week no treatment. My oncologist did this over and over again. When I told her I wasn’t comfortable pulling from the blood supply for something being done intentionally when there were people who really needed the blood for emergencies, she just started letting me get down to a platelet count of 13 (I needed a minimum of 100 to get treatment) and waiting until it went back up to about 70 for another infusion.

I finally gave up on her and went to St. Louis to a different oncologist, he took me off the chemo until I had a PET in November.* A week before my scan, I had a grand-mal seizure and they found 17 mets in my brain. Seventeen. How did I go through all these treatments and scans without anyone looking at my brain? I was put into full brain radiation treatment without even realizing what was happening. Everything I looked at on line to try to learn something told me I was going to die in 2-8 months.

In fact, everything has been tinged with death. My sister came from Los Angeles for the holiday and it was lovely. It snowed, we ate yummy things, spent time together and exchanges wonderful gifts. But the feeling was that it was for the last time hung over everything. Last winter, last holiday, last new year. My beautiful husband left alone.

So 2012, I am not sorry to see the back of you. The world wasn’t destroyed this year, but my future feels like it pretty much was.

Welcome 2013. Right now you are nothing but possibilities, and I could use some of those right now.

* Ironically, the PET scan results were great. The two tiny lesions I had left when I stopped chemo were still there, with only minuscule changes.


11 thoughts on “2012: Worst. Year. Ever.

  1. Balls. Fucking no good unrepentant fucking worthless lame disgusting fucking cancer! 2012 blew, Seize 2013, baby. We’re here to help you hold on! I’ve got ya. We’ve got ya!!

  2. Hello…

    I’m so sorry to hear about your BC. I read your latest post and congratulations on the clean report of the brain. The reason I’m writing is one of my closest friends from college has been diagnosed with metastatic BC. She got it during her pregnancy and went unnoticed until she gave birth. By that time it already spread to her lungs. After a year of chemo and mastectomy she got a clean report. Unfortunately a couple of weeks earlier they found tumors in the brain. I apologize for not using the correct terms but this is what she told me.

    I’m just writing to know how have your recovery been if you don’t mind sharing. She told me she would lose her memory and I have been reading scary thing son internet and hope none of it happens to her. I’m sorry if I have offended you in any way and you can totally ignore my post.

    But congratulations once again on the good report.

    • I don’t mind sharing. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you but this has been a hectic and difficult couple of weeks. The initial clean post-treatment results only lasted for three months. Physically I was getting stronger and I was particularly strong cognitively. I get little slips of memory (not unlike everyone else in real life) and I’m more emotional than I used to me. But overall, I’m still teaching 3/4 time.

      I’m currently waiting to see my rad oncologist in 1/2 hour for my most recent MRI radiation report. Probably would have made more sense to wait and answer after, but I didn’t want to forget to answer you. I’ll post what the doctor said this afternoon.

      Be well, Acacia

      Please feel free to contact my any time you need or want to. I like pen pals too, so we can even do snail mail.

  3. Thank you so much for taking time to respond. I’m planning to visit my friend this weekend. She’s in Atlanta.I hope the recent reports too come out good. My friend has been hospitalized due to weakness from radiation. She was undergoing chemo fro the past 1 year with two surgeries.She seemed to be responding fine until this new development i her brain 😦 I’m hoping she beats this.

    Again Thanks so much for your time and response.

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