Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It isn't good news...

It isn't good news.

I have secondary cancer - let me just repeat that, secondary cancer. Cancer that has metastasised beyond the breast and the immediate environs, the suburbs, as it were. Cancer that is moving to the country, to be precise, my right armpit and possibly my thymus gland.

I have to say typing this is already an out of body experience. I see my hands typing away and the phrase 'secondary cancer' repeats itself over and over again in my mind. How very strange...

Secondary, se-con-dar-ry....hmmmm It is currently in my right armpit, the opposite side to the original cancer, and may, I repeat, may be in my thymus as well. I say 'may' because the consultant couldn't be there; no, he had to catch a train and left just before my appointment. Don't these doctors get it? I have secondary metastatic cancer and the only person who can help me is the consultant and he leaves, leaving me with a registrar who probably hasn't seen more than three or four scans in her professional life and can't possibly answer any of my questions.

I want to know so much. I want to know if I should go on chemo to stop it moving to one of my major organs; my prognosis, the next steps, how we confim it is indeed cancer..but no. Certainty is not for me. No, for me is the uncertainty of diagnosis and further scans. The only definite action is that the consultant in his rush has given me Arimidex to block out even more hormones. This is to stop it travelling even further I think.

And I also think, how does one stop a flood? This is the first step to death, the realisation that my cancer is no longer curable, but is now a chronic companion by my side. Is this how it is going to be? The slow, relentless onslaught of a disease which won't stop before it holds me deep within its hands?

I do realise though that I want to live. I want to work, I want to have fun with my children, to laugh and to guide young men down their road to adulthood.

I want my life: it may have to be with a constant companion by my side but that isn't going to stop me...



craziequeen said...


DAMN that crappy horrible disease that is threatening to steal your life.....

and DAMN that specialist who had to be elsewhere.
He needs a sharp poke somewhere very personal with a long stick!

And warm enfolding hugs to you, my darling, and your daughters..



Terry said...

Oh Minerva!..
I wish I could hug you too...Love Terry


That Doc should be ashamed of himself!

Riley & Tiki said...

Craziequeen told us to come over and see you. We are very sorry that you cancer is back and spreading. We are sending you our purrs and purrayers and hugs.

Autumnseer said...

Unbelievable that a doctor would leave you at such a terrible time and with so many questions. You need to print out this post and send it to him!!

So angry you have to deal with this again. Must be a myriad of emotions you go through. Wish we could help in some way, but please know we think about you, try to bear the burden just a little with you, say a prayer for you and admire your strength and honesty as you go through this with grace and dignity.

Keep hanging on!!

Love, Laura

Goddess Empress of the Universe said...

I am so sorry to hear of this latest setback! I am also shocked to hear how uncaringly the specialist treated you! You deserve to be treated with respect and you deserve to at the least have all you questions addressed.

You are a woman of great beauty and great strength--you can and will overcome this too!

My thoughts are with you and your family during this very difficult time,


Anonymous said...

WOW Minerva. You sure have met with an overdose of challenges in your life's journey to date.
You have already revealed to us your strength & bravery, your capacity to laugh amidst chaos and your capacity to conquer daily challenges.
Keep moving forward mighty Minerva.

Sending out my very best wishes to you from afar.

Valentina (from NZ)

Bob-kat said...

The problem with doctors of any level is that they see people as "patients". Just someone lese to be treated on the treadmill of people they see going through their office. I know you know this. The problem for you is this is deeply personal. I really do think that some doctors have detached themselves to the point of insensitivity and this sounds like one of those cases. You deserve answers to your questions so that you can go on living your life the best way you can.

I hope you get the attention you deserve and the answers you need soon. All I can do is send you positive thoughs and a virtual hug from the heart {{{hug}}}

Aginoth said...

Long time lurker here Minerva

Really sorry to here your news, CQ summed it up.

we all hope for your recovery.

Dawn said...

I've stopped by before now, but I'm here again after reading a post over on my Blogsistah's blog.

I just want you to know how terribly sorry I am to hear this news. I also agree with CQ's words about that specialist who does indeed need a sharp poke somewhere very personal - though I wouldn't be using a long stick!

I'm keeping you in my thoughts at this time.

Suzy said...

I don't know what to say, but just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you. So sorry it wasn't better news ((hugs))

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Dear Minerva..I just came from CQ's...This is SHIT! Forgive me, but I am as mad as she is and I hate cancer more than anything in the whole world...I particulatly hate your cancer...Oh how I wish I could send it on a long extended holiday where it would fall down an empty well, break into a million pieces, and stop 'being'...!
I send you Huge Hugs. my dear, and Oh yes...The Consulting Guy??? I'd like to grab him by the short hairs and shake him till he passes out, and then give him some Truth Serum so he can tell you everything you need to know and then some!
This is really just the shits, my dear Minerva. I am sick for you, my dear....I know that doesn't even touch how you feel...I do send you much love and Big Big
((((((((HIGS)))))))). When does the consult return? Soon, I hope, my dear.

YellowRose said...

I agree fully with CQ's sentiments, couldn't have said it better.

Sending you love & positive thoughts from across the pond.


Michael Manning said...

Minerva: The word "unknown" kept popping out at me as I read this over and over. Your tenaciousness must surely lead you to second and third opinions, as my own family members (3 of them) had to do. In each case, further analysis of what was going on revealed quite a different perspective. Please stay on course and know we are in your corner until this damned disease is defeated! You are a remarkable young lady, and I will intensify my prayers and good thoughts as I stop by here. Accordingly, please DO keep us up to date!!! This Blogsite is invaluable as a lifeline between and amongst so many of us who care!

Val said...

Damn it.

I'm sorry, Minerva. I hate this for you. I hate it so very, very much.

kenju said...

I'm sorry, Minerva. Fight it with all your heart, soul and mind. Pray to whatever God you serve, and we will be here to comfort you as much as possible.

Esperanza said...

Dear Minerva,
I came across your life stories a few months ago while looking for the meaning of the name "Minerva" for our Middle School - Rancho Minerva. Your catchy layout caught my eye and then your words ... touched my heart.
You are a brave, beautiful woman and I thank you for sharing your life with those of us who either have a loved one who is going through the hells of cancer or going through it themselves.
Thank you Minverva - Goddess of poetry and wisdom.
Keeping you in my positive thoughts and prayers from San Diego, CA.

easywriter said...

There are no words only emotions.
I am thinking of you.

Lyn M. said...

I want to walk with you and be one of your constant companions. I know I can't walk in your shoes, but I want to be there when you're having fun with your children, or guiding young men on the road to adulthood, and simply being unstoppable.

Josephine said...

What to say honey? How can I possibly get inside your head at this time? I can barely imagine what this news must feel like for you...

All I can say, with all my heart, is that I am thinking of you, praying for you. If I could hold my hand out through this page for you to hold and squeeze I would. Whatever you need to go through now, rest assured you can go through it with all the love and support of all your blogfriends here.

I wish I could say more, say something to change anything.

I should add that I still hold firm to my belief that you can better this thing, fight it to a standstill, come out on top. Eventually.

(And I won't even begin to express my contempt for a consultant who does such a thing. Sadly an attitude all too common in our shitty medical system)

justrun said...

Oh M, you are in my thoughts as always. You have demonstrated your strength again and again and though it seems ridiculous that life would continue to ask it of you, I know you have it.
I'll be thinking of you and hoping that consultant gets on it!

Barbara said...

I'm glad you can be brave Minerva. {{hugs}}

Thumper said...

Phck... This isn't fair. It's never fair but this REALLY isn't fair.

WorksForMom said...

Minerva, I am so sorry. Please know I'm sending you positive thoughts and wishes your way.

I wish I could slap that doctor!!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I will pray for you -- hang in there.

/AD said...

*hug* Big big hug for you Sweetheart! How life has changed since we first got to know each other!!

That Doctor needs castrating!! Senior consultants are prima donnas and should be damn well told so! His behaviour is just not acceptable.

As for any positive side, well "guiding young men" sounds hopeful - just wish I was a bit younger! ;-) /Alan

Bilbo said...

Craziequeen sent me over to give you a virtual hug and what encouragement I can. I've had the experience of having a chunk of my nose painfully dug out to remove a cancerous patch, and I'm now anxious over every little unusual spot on my aging body. My heart goes out to anyone dealing with the big C in any form. I'm with you. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Baldeagle with you every step of the way my special friend. xs

LadyBugCrossing said...

Here are some hugs!
I came from CQ's.

Lottie said...

I am so sorry to hear the cancer has spread. I found out I have mets earler this year and it's a really difficult transition. Can you make another appointment with your consultant soon to get some more information - and perhaps discuss with a support nurse now if there is one available? You have a lot of questions that need answering. Thinking of you.

Moni said...

May you live with another companion as well – hope. Peace, strength and wonderful energy to you.

.:mar said...

Fight back, with your strong will and your love ... Can't believe the consultant was so heartless and took that train.
And ((Hugs))

Brigitte said...

Minerva, let me send all my good and healing thoughts to you, wishing and hoping it might help to hold this cancer thing at bay and might help to keep your love of life.
Love from me, Brigitte

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear the news, but this is very odd. For mets to show up in nodes in the opposite armpit first ? And the extremely low probability of mets to the thymus doesn't make this a very convincing scenario. Insist on a second opinion and, most importantly, on biopsies !
I must say after reading your comments for a while now and taking care of my wife during her journey through cancer land, for those who have it, healthcare in the US is infinitely better than what you're experiencing. Hope this turns out to be a false alarm.

David said...

reading this at 6:15 am, Pacific time. Now picturing, imagining your body bombarded by rays of Grace and mercy, may a steady stream of hope and health particlescascade down upon mt dearest friend, Minerva. "dear God, Do what only you can do: Help, rescue and defend her, gracious Lord!"

hello friend, standing with and for you!

Melli said...

Oh Minerva... I'm sorry you are going through all of this. I have you in my prayers and I HOPE that when the doctor gets back you will find that the prognosis is better than what you are thinking. It really does seem like nothing should have been said if no one would be around to explain it all! *shakes head*... I am just sorry.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. Still hoping for the best for you and your family.

Take care... Sharon

craziequeen said...

We'll be walking by your side every day, constant companions - if 'virtual'.

We outnumber Mr C.


Waiting to hear the second opinion....

You *are* going to get a second opinion, aren't you........?


Jeannette said...

Minerva, my friend, my heart is with you.

Mr. Cancer doesn't know who he is facing. I have faith in you, in your fight, in your strong will...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Minerva, my friend, I've so wanted you to be free from the clutches and enjoy a normal life.

For a specialist to be casually elsewhere while you whole life is being discussed.

As always, I and all your many friends around the world are hoping for you.

Thinking of you and supporting you always.

M.L. Zafron said...

Oh, Minerva, I am so sorry and so angry at this awful horrendous disease and at that doctor for leaving you when you needed him the most.

Hugging you virtually. Wish I could be there to hug you in person.


Dee said...


That 'out of body' feeling is very familiar to me too.
It doesn't feel any more normal for me to say it, or write it now, almost 11 months after I was diagnosed with secondaries.
It still feels like I'm talking about someone else, when I talk about it. And it often feels like I'm living in some weird movie, rather than living my life.

As you know, I've had immense problems, being messed around by doctors too.
And now, since my latest bone mets diagnosis, I seem to be having even more, and being kept waiting even longer. So I can absolutely sympathise with you on how that feels.

Lots of love to you and yours,

WendyWings said...

Long time lurker who never really knows what quite to say, I am sorry this news is as OldLady says Shit.
Sending you tons of healing thoughts and hugs from way down under in New Zealand

Le laquet said...

I am so sorry because that sucks and it's a shitty way for you to be treated by life and the bloody consultant.

Hang in there!

Felisol said...

Dear Minerva,
so sorry to read about your mathastases.
And agry with the arrgogant doctor. Aloofness must be a doctorial gene, and should be removed by force.
Then again I thought I'd tell about my very good colllegue, Anna, who had her breast removed and then had to removee her thyroid gland (not thymus, if I recall right). All this happened twelve years ago, very dramatic, and we were of course more than anxious. This summer she celebrated her 75th birthday, and she's still working extras both in the somatic and psychiatic wards.
She was way down and scared as the battle raged. She had nursed her mother as she was dying from cancer in her youth, but the sad story did not repeat itself.
Anna has even two lovely grandchildren today (and a grumpy husband).
Wish you the best, the very best. Felisol

Suldog said...

I came from Barbara Miers site.

You will be in my nightly prayers. God bless you.

cmhl said...

that specialist should be ashamed of himself. if nothing else, he should have called you by phone on his way to whatever...

thinking of you, Minerva..

Ali said...

ride this life like you stole it hinny.

get what you need from these doctors.


moon said...

I came over to read your blog by CQ's urging. It's so hard to find heart goes out to you. I hope my thoughts and prayers added to all the others can help...they certainly can't hurt. Even as a stranger..I and I'M sure, others feel so helpless. We wish we could do something..more then just this...I also know...comments, encouragements can atleast prompt a smile or a warm feeling, a thought that someone else in the world can care. So as I write this, know that althought it's my first time here...I will be back, if only to say hello...think about you...and send u my virtual hug.

Hedgie said...

Now you know your enemy. If you can find one decent doctor to shepherd you and fight for you then living with cancer will be easier. If you were on this side of the puddle I'd sign up for bulldog duty. As it is, I send all the compassion and hope a heart can hold.


flleenie said...

Cancer sucks. I hope you don't have to wait too long to get the answers you deserve.

Stay positive and remember right now you are "living" with it & you are right to not let it stop you!

You will be in my prayers.

Sandee said...

Damn dragon!!!! I'm so sorry to read this M! I've been living with metastatic cancer for many many years... hang in there sweetie... get back to battle mode!


Terry said...

Good morning Minerva..
Just coming in to say hello and hope that you have a restful weekend...Love Terry

rashbre said...

I hope you take some strength from knowing there are many people who care about your situation.

PI said...

Dear Minerva, your friend CQ told me your latest body blow and I am here to send you all the strength and love I can muster and send it to you with a warm enveloping cyber hug. Keep all those positive thoughts well to the fore. Miracles happen every day. Miracles happen every day. Just as a safeguard I'm going to switch J Ross off and say a special prayer for Minerva to beat this cancer completely and get well again.

Miss Melanoma said...

Hi Woman of Many Parts,
I check your blog everyday and think of you so often. I know that this is a terrible time for you, but I want you to know that so many of us have you in our prayers.

Hoping that you are coping well.