A Family Affair


Cancer doesn’t just affect the person battling the disease. It affects everyone they love too. The doubt, the confusion, and the fear of what the future holds.

The first time I watched Deadpool was a few months before I was diagnosed with cancer. I chuckled because it was funny. Who doesn’t laugh when he makes fun of David Beckham’s voice or says that his off switch is right next to his prostate while pondering that it might be his on switch?

In the months since my diagnosis, I realize there are some very insightful statements about cancer buried inside the humor. Before becoming Deadpool, Wade Wilson says to his love Vanessa,

Listen, we both know that cancer is a shit-show. Like a Yakov Smirnoff opening for the Spin Doctors at the Iowa State Fair shit-show. And under no circumstances will I take you to that show. I want you to remember me, not the ghost of Christmas me.

When he said ‘The worst part about cancer isn’t what it does to you, but what it does to the people you love,’ I actually began tearing up. I realized he was right.

During these first uncertain months, I have watched how it has affected those I love. When my doctor broke the news to me in the emergency room, my middle daughter had this look on her face that broke my heart. And while my son tried to act tough, I could tell he was scared.

Those first early days were filled with so many unanswered questions. What kind of cancer did I have? Will I need chemotherapy or radiation? Will the pain I’m in improve? Does this mean I am going to die soon?

Cancer doesn’t just impact the person the person that was diagnosed. Cancer is a family affair. It is painful to watch the fear in the eyes of those you love. Sometimes that hurts more than any of the treatments and blood draws. The last thing you want is to see your family suffer and the only thing you want it to make everything better for them. When you are battling cancer sometimes there is nothing you can do to make it easier for them because you are powerless to just ‘get better.’

Remember the silent victims of cancer. Don’t forget the pain they are going through as they watch the one they love fight the battle of their life. Cancer is cruel and doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care who it hurts. Sometimes it is harder to watch someone you love in pain than to fight the disease that could ultimately kill you.

Jennifer – Extensive mets to bones. Diagnosed de novo at 43 of ‘unknown cancer’ on 9/25/2018, official diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer with bone metastasis on 10/9/2018. Cancer won’t win. I won’t let it. Life’s too short not to fight for every minute.
Dx 10/9/2018, invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), left breast, 1.5cm, Nottingham Grade 2, hormone receptor positive, ER+ (estrogen receptor)/PR+ (progesterone receptor), HER2- (human epidermal growth factor), BRACA- (genetic mutation), Stage IV, metastasized to bones
First CA 27.29 10/9/2018 83 (goal <38)
Hormonal Therapy 10/12/2018 Tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) pills
Targeted Therapy 10/12/2018 Xgeva (Denosumab) injection
Hormonal Therapy 10/19/2018 Lupron Depot (Leuprolide Acetate) injection
Surgery 11/29/2018 Vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
First CA 27.29 post hysterectomy 12/10/2018 73 (goal <38)
Hormonal Therapy 12/11/2018 Femara (letrozole) pills
Targeted Therapy 12/23/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) capsules
First CA 27.29 post medication change 1/10/2019 60 (goal <38)