EGE’s New Plan

January 13, 2014

After conversations with multiple oncologists, I have finally reached a decision on the New Plan for this year’s Cancer Games.

There have been lots of options laid before me.  And my ultimate prognosis has been spread across the spectrum of morbid grimness (sending me into hysterical panics and detailed bucket list planning) to what looks like a ray of hope on the horizon.

The ‘good news’ about my recurrent cancer is that it has not changed.  It is still only estrogen positive. (There are 3 ways in which breast cancer can be positive in receptors: estrogen, progesterone, and HER2.)

At the time of original diagnosis, my oncologist wanted to take my ovaries for the very reason that my cancer was estrogen positve.

“I’m only 30 years old,” I said at the time.  “I don’t have a husband.  I don’t know who he may be someday.  What if having a biological child is important to future husband?  Or what if I really want to make a tiny human specifically with future husband?  Please don’t take my ovaries.”

So they didn’t take them.  I have been on an estrogen blocker for the past year and a half in the hopes that a recurrence would be prevented.  But, apparently, I am one in the 20% of women whom estrogen blockers do not work for.

In retrospect, the decision to keep my ovaries seems like a weak choice.

So now… they are going to take them.  On Monday.  And while they’re in there, I’m going to let them take all of the other lady things that are at a high risk for growing more cancer.

The hope is that if the food supply is cut off, my cancer will shrivel up and disappear.  Doctors will couple the estrogen shut down with oral medications designed to shrink the existing tumors and stop rapid cell growth. (I’ll be enrolled in a clinical trial that is in conjunction with M.D. Anderson & The Mayo Clinic.)  Then they will do scans in 6 weeks to see if it is working.

It has to work.

We must all believe it will work.

I was initially told that I would need to have more chemo. But after 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions, it was explained to me that the cancer is so present in my lymph nodes that if I start chemo I will most likely be on chemo for the rest of a very limited life.  The hope is that since I have the ‘blessing’ of a singularly positive cancer, this course of treatment will allow me to have a good quality of life.  And if my body responds in the best way possible, that life could have more years.

It has to work.

We must all believe it will work.

So… I’m preparing to say hello to early menopause.

But mostly, I’m grieving the loss of what feels like all that is left of my womanhood.

I knew they would take my ovaries eventually.  After Mom’s diagnosis, I went up to an 80% risk of getting ovarian cancer.  I was prepared for this to happen.

Just not next week.  Not on the early end of my dirty thirties.

And the stupidest of all stupid fears right now… much greater than the fear of death… is the fear that future husband has now completely disappeared from whatever short picture is left.  Everyone who knows me well is very aware that I have not made the strongest of choices when it has come to selecting a  potential life mate.  And after years of convincing myself that I deserve better and am in fact a fantastic catch… I keep landing on the question, “Who will possibly want me now?”

Fake boobs.  No womb.  Terminal disease.

Ugh… what do I know?

Fake boobs, no womb and zero long term commitment are probably exactly what men are looking for in a life mate.

I should just start pitching myself that way in bars.

I promise I am not throwing a self pity party.  It has just been extremely difficult to see the scope of dreams-come-true narrow into such harsh realities.  And I am allowing myself to grieve.

There’s the new plan:  Bye bye lady parts come Monday.  And a strong belief that this strategy will work.

End cancer: the sequel chapter 2.


9 Responses to “EGE’s New Plan”

  1. Marcia Shaver Says:

    Gwen, all your fears and questions are valid. I know that is so hard for you and all I can give you are my prayers and all the hugs coming your way. Keep fighting and know that so many people are here for you. Any man should be so lucky to have you in their life just the way you are.
    All my love and just let God hold you on Monday morning. I know he has a big lap, just hold on tight.


  2. Tara Says:

    It will work. Don’t start buying into that ugly T word yet. Love you Gwen.

  3. Jason Says:

    You overwhelm me — in a good way. I am so grateful to call you my friend. You talk about a “weak choice” here, but nothing about you is weak. I don’t see that at all. You have such amazing strength and resolve. Quite simply, Gwen– you’re breathtaking. In every possible way, you are breathtaking.

  4. Jack Benton Says:

    I wish I was beside you right now….sharing strength, nastalgia and comfort…I miss you, I have so much love for you, and find you to be so courageous, talented and worth a thousands lives of happiness!

  5. scottzeigler Says:

    Uh I saw you recently….still sexy.

  6. Chandler Davis Says:

    Gwen, I think about you often and I am sending much love your way.

  7. Patrick Kennerly Says:

    With every blog entry I read, I am more and more in awe of you. Praying constantly that this step will be the step that stops the beast. You are not the sum of your parts. You are God’s incredible equation. I’m sorry, heaven can’t have you. Heaven can wait!

  8. 1. I love you.
    2. You got this.
    3. That life mate joke was a really good one. Made me and Juanito LOL for real. xoxo

  9. Erin G. Says:

    It will work. We’re sending you good thoughts from Seattle ❤

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