Angela’s Corner: The Game ChangerAngela Banker
Oncotype therapy is a test that will analyze the behavior of a group of genes. After analysis, you will know how your cancer will behave and respond to different types of treatment. My cancer tumor was sent to California for testing. Once it was received, I had my results in a matter of weeks.
I needed to keep reminding myself to not worry about the results. I’m a strong woman and can handle whatever curve ball is thrown my way. I may not like it, but I know that once everything is said and done, I will still be okay.
My husband Eric and I walked into my next oncology appointment. Both of us were nervous for the results. Was chemotherapy in my future? How about anti-estrogen drugs? Will we have to halt adding another sibling to the family? All were valid questions, and all would be answered soon.
When it was time to go over the results, my heart rate spiked. I truly was a nervous wreck on the inside as I kept my cool on the outside. Dr. T. provided me with some great news, and some not so great news. I was about ready to jump up to do a happy dance when he said chemotherapy would do more harm than good. A huge sigh of relief escaped me as he presented me with that detail.
No matter how thrilled I was about not having to do chemo, my heart was breaking inside. I, in fact, needed to start Tamoxifen, the anti-estrogen drug for pre-menopausal women. Taking the drug daily for the next five years was not the issue. Being told I could not get pregnant while taking the drugs was the issue. When he told me that, my heart broke. The doctors, nurses, and patients in the adjoining rooms probably heard my heart shattering to pieces. I was just coming to terms with not breastfeeding our next child, something I had enjoyed with Emma, and I had looked forward to that bonding time. Now I had to come to terms with maybe never having another child. I know that sounds extreme and there are other options, but to me, carrying my own child was important. I loved the feeling of a baby inside; every kick, every hiccup, even every jab to the bladder was a precious gift. I needed to wrap my head around this news and wrap it quickly.
“Could Angela take the pills for a couple of years, have a baby, then immediately finish the remainder of the five years?” Wow! Eric was thinking on his toes. Unfortunately, that was not going to be an option. Our plan B of looking into adoption may become a reality. Dr. T. knew the news I heard hurt me and tried to do what he could to ease that pain. It was time to look on the brighter side of things. No chemotherapy was some pretty fantastic news. I mentally happy danced to the car that afternoon. After dinner, the family and I happy danced in the kitchen even more.
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