I should have known when my doctor said the preliminary scans looked perfect – that that was a bad omen. I mentioned that I never heard him say "preliminary" before, but as one who always sees the cup half full rather than half empty, I was devastated when he said you need to get an MRI.
The PET scan had lit up a spot in my neck. Here we go again. You would think that someone who has been living with Stage IV metastatic cancer for 10 years could take on a casual attitude about a new spot. But no, I seem to react with the same dread every time I hear,"the cancer is now in your bones… liver… neck." It is horrifying and deeply disturbing on every level.
I'm doing chemo. I get two motherload shots of the estrogen blocker Faslodex every month and I get myself sucked in to a safe little place thinking I have beaten the beast! I am either completely naive or acting like a normal traumatized cancer patient. Which is it?
Maybe I need to invent a pocket pump filled with Valium when the doctor calls with results. I could ask him to hold for a minute while I activate the fast acting Valium drip. Now that would take the edge off the bad news. Any entrepreneurs out there? I think I'm onto a million dollar idea.
Thanks to all of your positive responses to the new Men for Women Now website. The discussion board is there for you to have conversations with other caretakers. Finding someone to talk to and to share your feelings with is the key to staying positive. I received an e-mail the other day from a Marine whose wife has breast cancer. He ended the e-mail with “Marines cry too!” Wow, to show vulnerability is the sign of "real man.” I was happy to write him back and say that I am married to an ex-Marine who is extremely sensitive, and yes he cries too. Feeling and expressing emotion without pushing it deep down is the sign of a very cool guy.
We all need to live in the NOW and that means feeling your pain and expressing your feelings especially to the woman in your life who is fighting this monster... CANCER!
I invite everyone to send a short, (under 60 second) video telling us what you did for your loved one that made their day better. God bless the caretakers who watch over the ones we love.
Please join me in this fight by joining Men for Women Now. We will send you updates on upcoming events, relevant news and ways that you can help. It will allow me to stay in touch with more of you so that together we can make a meaningful difference.
Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is co-founder of STAND UP TO CANCER and co-produced the TV show, which raised 100 million dollars for cancer research. Noreen went on to create the Noreen Fraser Foundation to raise money and awareness for women's cancer research. The 'Men for Women Now' program enlists men to ask the women they love to make appointments for their mammogram and pap smear. Noreen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org