Three oncologists all attended one seminar. Three oncologists with three different life experiences have three different takeaways from said conference. The data that was presented (as usual) leaves me somewhere in the "unknown", the "it's really up to you", the "well on the one hand.....but then on the other...."
Needless to say, since my last post I've been doing major soul searching. Soul searching is so exhausting. I had a solid week of nightmares and anxiety so bad I woke up clenching my jaw. I have been able to take so many hits on the chin and skip on down the lane but this one had me deadlocked in my boots.
Let me tell you about my new friend Dr. Mchayleh. I had met Dr. M in a public capacity when we both spoke at the BFFL event last fall. I have heard wonderful things about him since he began his oncology practice here in LaGrange and found them to be more than true when I consulted him for a second opinion. He was so warm, personable, and uniquely knowledgeable to my personal circumstance. He had even printed articles for me to read. He knew I was overwhelmed at the prospect of losing my ovaries. He paused, and sincerely spoke to me as he would his own sister. As a student in elementary, middle, high school, and even college, I have always done better with a more compassionate teacher. I am a firm believer that it takes all kinds of people to make this world go round, but at the end of the day, I am a patient with a sensitive soul who longs for a tender-hearted doctor...and I think I have found him. He has also ordered a genetic retesting of my entire gene panel to look for a new mutation, among other interesting reasons.
Dr. M knew I would benefit from one more set of listening ears, and he wisely suggested them to be female. So he made a call and sent me to see a firecracker oncologist at Northside named Dr. Amelia Zelnak.
In English, this means that rather than committing to the irreversible very permanent decision to remove all my baby-makin' parts, I along with 2 out of 3 of these savvy docs have decided to opt for Adjuvant Exemestane with Ovarian Suppression for the remainder of my total 10 years of cancer treatment. This means that for the next five years, I will receive a monthly injection that will suppress the ovaries' estrogen production, in addition to switching medications from Tamoxifen (this blocks estrogen coming from ovaries) to Aromasin (this blocks estrogen coming from peripheral tissues). The hope is that when this leg of the journey is finished, and the injections stop, I regain ovarian function and nature allows me to live another 10-15 years as a normal woman.....before menopause makes its regularly scheduled stop. Of course, there are no guarantees that this will happen. There are no promises my ovaries will churn out estrogen normally once I have subjected them to this shut down madness...but there are no promises to the contrary either.
Who knows folks......I may just get a little Baby Byrd after all. 38 is the new 22 right???