Granted, I went into Thursday’s appointment with the General Surgeon with a bit of an attitude. Not only was I annoyed that I couldn’t go straight to see a specialist as my radiologist and primary care physician said was warranted, but I when I’d looked Dr. G up on-line, I didn’t like what I found. His ratings in the “trust his decisions” category were below average and I already have a trust issue with doctors. But my intention was to be polite, go through the process, and get the referrals that I wanted.
Within minutes I knew – without a shadow of a doubt – that I would never let the man touch me, even if a request for a specialist was denied. Not only were his opinions in direct opposition to those of my other two doctors, but my Bullshit Detector was going off big time. Here in front of me was a Bottom Liner – they guy the HMOs. All it took was for him to tell me that the easiest thing was to do a mastectomy, radiate me, and call it a day, and my mind was made up. This, WITHOUT having all my test results! From a guy who, when I asked, said he had done “some” of these procedures.
Oh hell NO.
Needless to say, he didn’t have a clue who he was dealing with, but I made sure he found out.
By the time I left, both the referral for the MRI and the specialist were to be submitted. The insurance “gurus” may deny the requests, and it may take two weeks to hear anything, but I got what I wanted. And this morning, I’m actually happy for the delays!
Because while they’re jacking me around in the “Standard of Care” debacle that is today’s health care system, I’m taking matters into my own hands.
Yesterday, for the first time, I started researching on-line. I have my pathology reports, but I’ve only glanced at them. I’m not ready to. But I do know what the general diagnosis is and after a busy week that left me feeling exhausted and emotional, my first steps were tentative.
It started with the thought that joining a support group might be a good idea. Maybe I should hook up with others that are going through, or who have been through, what I am. The first place I landed was BreastCancer.org, where I found what looks to be a wealth of information and a very supportive on-line community. Once there, I began a sequence of point and clicks, and with each new discovery, I found myself feeling a bit braver. A bit stronger.
It was time to put my Inner Nancy Drew on the case.
It didn’t take long to discover some critically important things. For instance, DCIS, (Ductile Carcinoma In Situ) in and of itself is NOT a cancer at all, but a “precancer”. This little factoid wasn’t given much time by my doctors, which upsets me a bit. However, it turns out that someone I respect – Dr. Christiane Northrup – has much to say on the topic. I quickly ordered her book, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” and it should be here tomorrow. My immediate take away? Women die WITH DCIS, not from it.
From there, I wanted to see if there was any information on healing breast cancer naturally. There is the issue of the “invasive” variety I have to deal with as well. It means that the cancer has kicked in and has spread through the mild ducts. How far, I don’t know. But I found another book written by a woman who did just that. Her name is Dr. Véronique Desaulniers, and her book is “Heal Breast Cancer Naturally”. The fact that the cover has a butterfly on it…well, that made me smile.
So now, I know it’s been done, and more than once. I am at Stage 0, so I figure my chances are looking good. Really really good.
It was after all of this that I decided to search for a doctor who practiced alternative healing modalities that dealt with cancers, and there – in my Google Search results – I found him. And right in my neighborhood! His name is Dr. A. Meschi, and he healed himself of three varieties of cancer! It wasn’t more than an hour after writing to him to see if he thought I might be a good candidate for his help than he called me. Not only did he not want to simply pass me off to the front office, he wanted to personally connect with me. I told him what was going on and from the feedback I received, I already sense this is a man I can trust. He is someone who will look at my health holistically, and won’t poo-poo my thought that I don’t necessarily have to have pieces of my body cut out or cut off, and then be bombarded with radiation. In fact, his work has healed someone else with breast cancer and he said that he’s being written up about it! While he didn’t say surgery won’t still be a possibility, he did say that now – in this waiting period – is the perfect time for him to evaluate me and look at some additional scenarios.
And that’s when the shift happened.
After the sudden, unexpected news of the biopsy results threw me off the rails, I feel steadier. More hopeful. Stronger. The appointment is set for Monday at 11:00 and I am cautiously optimistic that I will – at the very minimum – speak with someone who will really listen and offer wise counsel.
My resolve is firm. This tata will not go down without a fight, and I will use everything within me to help myself. No matter what the future holds, I will champion my own cause and make the healthcare decisions that are in MY best interests. No way will I allow myself to be dictated to and managed by the prevailing wisdom.
Am I scared? Yeah. Am I feeling unsure? Absolutely. I still have so far to go on this journey, and there are many unanswered questions. But in all of that, I know that I am not alone. I am confident that I am being divinely guided on the path of healing best suited for me. I will not only survive this, but I will thrive.
I am Invictus.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
-William Ernest Henly
Standing outside at 3:00 am this morning, I basked in light of the gorgeous full Leo moon that hung in the sky, a single perfect pearl against a black velvet. How ironic is Life, that something so beautiful and awe inspiring could be part of the same 12 hours that contained the Inconvenient Truth handed to me by my doctor: The biopsy from last week showed Ductile Carcinoma.
That we unexpectedly had my 6 year old grandson for the night was a blessing in disguise. My daughter, suddenly struck with a fever of over 103 Sunday night, needed to go to the Emergency Room yesterday. So my husband picked up our Little Man to stay with us for a couple of nights while Mommy gets better, even though he wanted to stay with me in a show of support. I told him that if he really wanted to support me, he needed to do this rather than sit in the waiting room, waiting.
I explained to him that everyone has their way of dealing with nerves and me? I always do better when I know my family is OK. So begrudgingly, he hit the road.
By the time I was done with Biopsy No. 2, my grandson was fast asleep in the passenger seat looking like a sweaty little angel and completely at peace. As we pulled out, Mr. Man looked in the rear view mirror and asked how everything went. I just mouthed the words “It’s cancer”, and turned to stare out the window. We would discuss details later.
So, there it is. I have an appointment with a surgeon on Thursday and will get more information on the process then.
There is some good news. I feel myself rousing from the lethargy that’s held me the last couple of week, and just now, I can feel fire lighting up my veins again. The “waiting” is over, to a certain extent, and I can sense a rising up inside of me.
Yesterday was Imbolc. For some reason, this – and the Goddess Brigid for whom this special festival day is connected – seem important. There is a message here for me, even thought I don’t know anything about either. I can feel it. This feeling came to me this morning, after my moon gazing and while I was praying. As I moved through my prayers, talking first to Jesus, and then my Father, I suddenly found myself praying to the Great Mother, the feminine face of God. It was completely instinctual and seemed very appropriate. A sense of fierce calmness came over me. A sense that the both the Warrior and the Healer inside of me were waking. I’m not “there” yet. I know I have many miles to walk on this journey before it’s completed. But I feel strengthened by the symbolic messages of Love that the Universe arranged for me yesterday.