Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ha, no longer a cancer

I'm not really into astrology, and I hate the name of my sign (cancer) anyway. So when I heard tonight that changes are in the works to change the zodiac signs I was not upset. According to the new dates I have been upgraded from a cancer to a gemini! I now join my little sis (and of course my wondertwin) in this wonderful, new-to-me sign. I've looked up the characteristics and looks like I am now compatible with my wife. That's a relief - maybe the next ten years will be even better than the first! Some of you will keep your signs while others take on a brand new, don't even know how to say it, sign: Ophiuchus (Nov. 29-Dec. 17). How do you all feel about that?

Yeah, cancer sucks. Just about a week ago I found out that my dad is now on his third cancer diagnosis. Breast, basal cell and now prostate. That last one is the one that killed his father right at about the age my dad is now. They both got breast cancer at about the same age as well. Like father, like son. Although my dad says his is very treatable and that my grandfather chose not to treat his. Not sure what he meant. Did my grandpop find out really late that he had a problem or did he have a problem and not go get it checked out? So spent some time this week surfing the acs website learning all about p cancer. I find myself understanding things so much more than when my mom got her cancer and when my dad got his first. I didn't know what any of the mumbo jumbo meant. Grades, stages, etc. There are about a million ways to treat prostate cancer and many of them depend on what the patient and doctor are comfortable with. I can sure relate to that.

For the last year and a half, I've known about my family history of cancer and I even have a genealogy chart showing it all. Despite that, the depth of it didn't dawn on me until my dad's third cancer diagnosis. Everyone in my family (blood relatives) that survived their first cancer has gotten a second cancer. That's on my dad's side. No one on my mom's side has survived the first cancer. What does that mean for me? Did I beat the odds by getting my colonoscopy early and getting rid of that precancerous polyp? Was that supposed to be my second cancer or is it going to be something else? Will I get brain or stomach or lung (probably not)? Will it be prostate (not!) or maybe basal cell or bile duct or colon. WT hasn't gotten cancer. She cut off her breasts and ovaries. Will that give her a "get out of cancer" free card? I wish that was guaranteed for her. Guess that is why it doesn't bother me too much that I still have my breasts because the worry doesn't stop even if I cut them off. But I need to stop talking like this cuz dw won't like it.

What I would like to do is find a cool gemini t-shirt and embrace my new sign:) So long, cancer.


  1. I'm a single dad of 2 age 2 and 5. I find your site so interesting and helpful. I hope I have much time each day to drop by and check your site for recent post. By the way thank you for sharing this.

  2. WT, I don't worry about breast CA anymore. :) wt

  3. Hey Janine - Reading this blog entry, and hearing about all the cancer that your dad has had, and thinking about other things - makes me wish that you'd have the surgeries. I'm not being pushy, but I do want to share a story with you. I have a friend who is BRCA+. She had breast cancer a few years ago. Rather than have a mastectomy she had a lumpectomy like you did. She was terrified of the idea of having her breasts cut off (technically, if you have the DIEP, like you were considering, they aren't even 'cut off' but more like 'scooped out and refilled'). Anyway, she knew she should have a PBM, but she was afraid. Since we are close friends, I felt it was ok to talk to her about it, and stress the importance of her, being BRCA+, and a breast cancer survivor already, to have the PBM. After awhile she finally got up the courage to take steps towards having the PBM. She scheduled some consultations and such. A few weeks ago she went out to dinner with her husband and passed out while she was in the bathroom. They rushed her to the hospital and at first they thought it was a stroke. It turns out though, that it was brain cancer. Or, rather, it was metastatic breast cancer, in her brain. She's being told that she has very little time left to live. She's not a candidate for the PARP inhibitor either, because it's in the brain. Oh how she wishes she would have had those breasts removed along with the cancer three years ago. If she had, she probably wouldn't be sitting on her death bed right now...
    You've been given the gift of knowledge (or given yourself the gift of knowledge), and what you do with that knowledge is totally up to you - but personally, as your bloggy friend, I think you should cut the b*tches off, before something really terrible happens to you. I really don't want to lose another friend to cancer, and I know your dw and Mary don't want to lose you either, especially when you have the power in your hands right now, to ensure that you won't get certain cancers that you are very prone to.
    Just saying.... I don't worry about getting breast or ovarian cancer anymore, and would be happy if you joined the club.
    p.s. I'm not pro-surgery, it's just that I'm anti-cancer.