Second week with breast cancer is behind us.
I am slowly but surely changing into a red beet. I wouldn’t be shocked if they would take a red beet instead of my tumor at the surgery next week. My mum decided to water us all down with juices. “It’s possible you might become slightly orange,” says mom. “That would be from the carrots. Carrots can slightly change your skin color, nails and such. But it’s the best thing for you right now!” So finally the mystery of Donald Trumps’s weird orange color is explained. Silly me, I thought that it was a wrong make up color, instead he might have breast cancer and a very diligent mom juicing for him.
We are all juicing. Even my mom, whose idea of breakfast until recently was a cup of coffee and a cigarette. Mom quit smoking. She quit for real but says that it has nothing to do with my cancer because she is worried she won’t be able to quit for real and she would somehow jinx my results. I believe in her. I know she will make it!
Anyways, I am not worried, I know I will make it too. I know because I played solitaire, I won two games in row and I, the biggest dummy ever, told myself: “Now if you win the third one in a row you will be OK.” Man, that was probably the most intense game of solitaire I have ever played. But I won!! Now I know I will be just fine.
My husband is also excited about our new healthy lifestyle. “I have tons of energy. And all of it from these great veggies and fruits!” He boasts as he eats yet another brussel sprout. He has so much energy that he is watching my daily green tea intake to make sure I won’t drink less than three cups of it per day. The best was when he changed my diner order from coffee to green tea. I am really not complaining, I love good healthy food and I know it is ultimately good for us, but it is insane to think that me having cancer was the thing to push us over so fast.
Our little guy also gets to share our juicing experience. My mum makes a special fresh juice for him, without beets. It is just impossible to push in him some beet juice. “Yuck, yuck! Apple juice.” Screaming as he hides under the table.
Even my in-laws are starting a healthy lifestyle. They will need to stay full of energy they say. It’s not going to be an easy transition for my mom-in-law’s chocoholic tendencies , but still easier than to get my father-in-law to chew on salad leaves. Maybe, just maybe, he might stop eating his five day a week tuna and egg salad and then the weekend’s free to all.
The word mastectomy is not a guest in our living room anymore. And yes, my husband will have to miss out on any breast enlargements. I know, sweetheart, it’s not fair. I was so looking forward to buying myself all those new bras and finally being a real Czech woman with the real rack. Those D’s or C’s do look nice, I know. The good point is that at my age I have to think about backaches.
Friday, right before New Year’s Eve, we got the final pathology results. Sure enough as we abandoned the word mastectomy, we added a new word, chemotherapy. But my doctor is very happy: “You have a very treatable cancer!” cheers my doctor in our phone. Short term sucks but, man, the longterm is fabulous. What a way to end the year. 2016. I feel just like John Oliver in his final episode of the year when he blows up the numbers in the air with dynamite. Or as my husband is prone to say on a long day of hiking, and right before the last hill, “the final fuck you.”
My cancer is not only estrogen positive, it is also HER 2 positive. “Awesome, we have two receptors to catch this thing by.” Says again my very cheery doctor. I am not sure if my doctor knows, but I am Czech and we are very dark and pessimistic people. We are used to our doctors telling us “you got cancer, woman. You will do this and that. And don’t cry! Get some beer and toughen up.” Maybe I should tell her to save her positive energy for someone who needs it. I am fine. (Look at me she is so nice and wonderful and I am still being negative. You can take the girl out of Czech, but you can’t take the Czech out of the girl.)
“And for that second receptor we will need to give you chemo.” I think my cancer is already dead anyway because it just can’t survive the vitamin-juicing onslaught.
So, my chemo is going to be targeted. That is again great because it is not supposed to be the one where you puke your guts out. I know that there are now pills against it, but that’s how we know it from the movies. I am lucky yet again, just in case I will lose my hair, I can go to the jewish orthodox neighborhood and get some real awesome wigs. Like the ones with the little hat on top of a little hair in front.
I think that if the chemo won’t make my hair to go down, it will definitively be the bills that I don’t have to pay because I am lucky to have an excellent health insurance plan. But I still have to see them because the American insurance company just love showing off how great they are because they are paying your health bills.
As of now, the braggy insurance company paid for my mammogram, ultrasound and biospy. $11,000. This part of the american life is still completely insane to me. I was born in Europe, a continent where everybody is insured. A continent where you don’t have to start finding a doctor who takes your health insurance while you are sick and just want to be in bed. The continent where we don’t have to worry our insurance company won’t pay for our medication. But hey, it’s true, you, can’t have your combat rifle. So I guess it’s not such a paradise, the European continent. I know we are in the good hands of the Orange God because he has a “very beautiful plan.” I just hope it’s better than his make up.
Our new normal still feels just a little bit surreal. But I bet we will get used to it.