Follow us here for the next 21 weeks as Trish kicks the cancer’s ass into the cold hell of chemotherapy and then mercilessly cuts it out of her body.
An outline of her schedule is on the left. Red weeks are very difficult, orange weeks are bad and green weeks are fairly normal.
Week 1: Awaiting the diagnosis
We start the week at the Surgeon, who gives us some surprising news. She doesn’t want to remove the breasts immediately, as we expected. The 3cm lump, a little smaller than a marshmallow, is big enough that she wants to shrink it first with chemotherapy.
She can see that it’s in at least one lymph node from the mammogram. Her chances for successful surgery are better if we wait until after the chemo is done. It’s disappointing at first, because Trish doesn’t want to carry the cancer around for the next few months. But we adjust to the news and trust that it’s a good idea.facebook page to allow our friends to vote on her replacement boob size. Suggestions include more than 2 boobs, and a split C/DD pair for ‘the best of both worlds’
A short shuffle down the hall is the oncologist. Dr. Hendricks schedules a series of tests, and will see us in about a week. Mentally it’s tough for Trish. The procedures all involve needles, of which she is deathly afraid. And the tests will reveal if the cancer has spread to her other organs. The anxiety and uncertainty is a heavy load to bear for even a few days.
Finishing the week strong
How do you kick cancer’s ass? Step one is to join the circus. Only hours after Friday’s MRI, Trish goes to the final practice for her circus show. The following day Trish will fly 30 feet in the air in the inaugural performance of the newly built Trapeze School of New York in Washington DC facility in Southwest DC.
Even then, for a few years, she had to travel to Baltimore to do Trapeze. (They didn’t have a place in DC) And she had an office job that made scheduling difficult. But when she went freelance last summer, and TSNY opened up a new facility in SE Washington D.C. along the water, she could go easily. She joined an Intermediate Flying Workshop this spring and practiced flying every Friday afternoon for 8 weeks.
When we first found out about the cancer, she was more worried that she would miss her performance! I put together a little slide show here. TSNY was incredibly supportive and loving of their girl. They home-made little pink ribbon arm-bands, served ‘Pink’ velvet cupcakes and dedicated the show to Trish.
Obviously being able to participate in the flying trapeze was a victory for Trish. Her first of many battles she will win against the Cancer. We rested on Sunday and enjoyed a calm day before the storm.