It's been a crazy week. On Tuesday night, I had a Facetime meeting with my longtime spiritual guru, Vlad. He's been a beacon in my life since I met him 4 months into my sobriety. He's a healer and a spiritual guide, and he introduced me to deliberate connection with God. Later, I'd find out that this is a key tool in staying sober. At the time, he was the only thing that made me feel safe and sane while I learned to live, feel, and look at the world with clear eyes and a very muddled mind. All of that will end up in "Back Stories" eventually. For now, all you need to know that this is the man I turn to when my world turns inside out and he calmly reminds me who I am. We had a 45-60 minute session. It's the strongest I've felt since I found out. I came out of it with a lot of confidence. I intend to have regular sessions with him until this is over. I honestly believe he can heal me.
In wedding planning news, I think we finally settled on a DJ. (yay!) His name is Ben. Gary from 74events.com hooked us up. Ben started out as a hip hop dj with some funk and soul mixed in there. He still plays at clubs and he also does weddings. Specifically, he's done weddings at the venue where we're getting hitched, which is a huge plus. We've been assured we'll get all the dancing, none of the cheesy dj BS. This makes me very happy. Gary has been very helpful in making recommendations. He pointed out that our wedding date is a very popular one, so we'd better stay on it and get all the important things booked asap. No pressure.
Today, I met with a surgeon for the first time. My amazing mother drove up from South Jersey and braved the Lincoln tunnel during morning rush hour to accompany me. I felt very comfortable with the doctor. She explained everything in detail. She even drew me pictures! Bottom line is that right now, because the tumors are too big for a (relatively) simple lumpectomy and because it's in my lymph nodes, she's recommending I start with chemo first. If we can clear the lymph nodes with chemo, she won't have to remove all of them, just a few. Taking out too many could result in chronic numbness and pain in my right arm, as well as lymphedema. Added bonus is that chemo could shrink the tumors, making them small enough to avoid a mastectomy. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. I guess I was somehow hoping to avoid chemo, but that was really never an option. Given the choice between losing a breast and most of my lymph nodes OR doing just a lumpectomy and also avoiding a giant swollen arm, I guess I like the latter. If I have to have chemo either way, might as well try it her way first.
I'm supposed to have an MRI and PET scan tomorrow. She also is having me tested for a BRCA gene mutation. Results from these could make all of the above moot, so I'm focusing on not getting too worked up until I have all of the information and all of my options laid out before me. I'll meet the oncologist on Monday am and I still have another surgeon/oncologist team to meet at another hospital. She did say I could take my time, like a couple of weeks will not really make a difference so to make sure I am comfortable with whatever decision I make. That's a relief. But she also said that since it's not in my family and I'm young (37! I love that they keep saying I'm young), and it grew fast that they'll need to be very aggressive with the chemo. I'm not going to lie. I started crying at the thought of a fresh chemo port scar scowling out over my beautiful strapless wedding gown. The doctor was so sweet and started throwing out ideas- a shrug, lace, stage makeup!- which made me love her. The upside is that if we do all that first, I should be done by March, latest, which gives me 6 months to power grow my hair. I had to give up on my huge bun idea. New goal: super cute pixie cut by September.
Immediate goal: sleep.