"Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself."
I have my own personal Voldemort - not quite in the sense of the character, but in the sense of having a monster I’ve been afraid to name for too long. This past couple of weeks, I’ve finally given it a name. Before the test results came through, it was ‘The Big C’ - talk about a name to inspire fear! I now just call it cancer. See? It even loses its capitalisation!
Back in Brazil, I discovered a lump in my breast. I duly went to the doctor and was told it was just a fatty deposit. Switch to ‘ignore’. I’m good at that… ignoring something I don’t want to deal with. We then left on an adventure across the oceans with England being the destination, so we could be closer to Tat. A couple of months ago, the ‘fatty deposit’ changed and very soon became something that was most definitely not just a fatty deposit, so back to the doctor I went.
To give the doctor some credit, I’d hate to ever play poker against her. She gave nothing away, but booked me for further testing ‘just to be sure’. I went for the obligatory mamo. Then ultra scans. Then the biopsy. The mamo is awful. The ultra scan, messy. The biopsy… combine raw fear of the disease with fear of the ‘gun’ that punctures the hole with discomfort and the pain when they take a sample beyond the lump to check for spread. There were two of those… one for the lump itself and another for my lymph glands.
A few days later, I had my appointment to review the results, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). People suddenly start talking quieter in serious tones. I lost it with the surgeon who broke the news when I told him I’m pro-active and asked him what I could do/eat/drink to promote healing before the surgery. “Oh, just eat healthy and do a bit of exercise,” was his response. No foods or chemicals to avoid - and we all know there are many carcinogenic foods and chemicals out there. He had absolutely no advice at all, not a shred of wisdom to share. Let’s just cut it off and pump you full of harmful chemicals and radioactivity and be done with it. At that point, my anger kicked in. I’ll nail this damn thing, yes, I will!
So, from the point of view of the specialists, the programme is as follows: Next Thursday, I go for a bone scan and a CAT scan to see if there’s cancer anywhere else in my body. On the 15th of September, I’m booked in for a mastectomy. It’s still up for debate as to whether or not they want me to do chemo before or after the surgery. A lot depends on the results of next week’s tests.
I am, however, not the average patient ;) I came home and, after the first tears, rants and blind hysteria, I sprang into action. I’m not without resources. I will do everything in my power to avoid ‘modern medicine’s solutions the cancer. I am pro-active and have started an intense treatment programme of my own. Perhaps I’ll write about that in another blog. Perhaps not. I know that there are those that will try to shoot me down in flames for what I’m doing, but I’m Not going to take this lying down and I will Not have treatments forced on me that will, I believe, do more harm than good. I do, however, intend to be around for many more years, so, trust me, I won’t be stupid about this. I am, in the end, a realist, and will do whatever it takes to heal.
So there’s my Voldemort…. a pitiful beast in the end and one I can fight. I know there will be scary moments and downright frightening encounters, but I have around me so much love and support that there’s no way I can lose!