A moment in the life of a Metavivor
Blenheim woman, Tracey Eising, shares with us a moving and poignant moment of her life on the breast cancer journey. Tracey was first diagnosed with Stage 3, ER+ breast cancer in 2004 at age 37 and received a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Five years later, Tracey was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer - the cancer had spread to her liver, lungs and bones. Here, the mum of four children, shares what she describes as a 'Mother's Cry' moment:
It’s been a very emotional weekend for me this weekend and for my kids. Due to the side effects of chemotherapy the time has come to shave my hair off. My eldest boy offered to do his with me. So we did and I cried. He held my hand and spoke gently to me through the ordeal while his girlfriend had the horrible task of cutting my long lovely hair and then shaving it all off. The next day my two younger boys decided to shave their heads in support of me also - It was my middle son's birthday too, bless his heart! We had the entire family round for fish and chips and afterwards my daughter shaved both her younger brother's heads. My children amazed me with their love, empathy and support for me. It was all so intense.
It's not just the shaving of the hair that's upsetting, it’s the whole 'cancer trip'!! Honestly, I am terrified! I don't have one brave bone in my body right now! I'm not even sure what’s going on around me as my mind has gone all higgledy from anxiety. What I do know is the oncologist told me this is pretty much the last chemo try for me. I have been very fortunate to have responded well to treatment over these years, but to hear I’ve nearly exhausted the treatments available to me just spun me out. A couple of ladies from our page here at Metavivors NZ say that they are being maintained with the same chemo as myself, which is encouraging to hear.
Since my visit to the oncologist a few weeks ago, I have been kind of 'grieving' I guess. I have shed many tears alone and in secret. When I look at my babies I get this giant sob in my heart, it's huge. I want to touch them all the time and tell them I love them. I look at them, trying to take them in and seal their faces in the memory bank of my soul. The anxiety of being separated from them at this stage of their lives mortifies me and breaks my heart. Then, there are these massive moments of panic, where it feels like electricity shooting through my body and I shake my head and say “no no no, not yet, please not yet”!! I'm scared! I'm devastated and to be honest I just don't know how to deal with this, I don't know how to get my head around it all! There has been many ups and downs along the way with this advanced breast cancer journey of mine and I have maintained a positive outlook mostly. But right now I don't feel so positive! The reality of all this is too much to bear! I have to be positive!! Negativity is not an option! I know the battlefield is in my mind. It’s a fight to be realistic but to not dwell on the negative thoughts. Balancing positivity with what you hear from the specialists and trying to maintain some kind of peace can be quite a challenge. For me to remain positive is to acknowledge my fears and accept them, to not condemn myself when I do freak out, to not tarry in the place of disappear, to do what I can to look after my body, to take one step at a time and enjoy and appreciate the smaller things in life that each day brings!! As the old hymn goes...One day at a time sweet Jesus!
Metavivors NZ is a facebook support group set up by BCAC for those with metastatic (advanced) breast cancer - to find out more please visit: http://www.breastcancer.org.nz/metavivors-nz. If you would like to join the group, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
8th April, 2015