Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Month That Sucked

Honestly. The month of May was not the greatest this year. It started with a cancer diagnosis on April 30, which led to surgery and an emotional roller coaster. I was not anticipating my summer to go much better. Weaning my daughter in June and going through treatment in August. I was almost counting on July to be a reprieve- an oasis in the middle of all the other crap.

July and also Memorial Day weekend. We were going away- two nights at a friend's lake house and then one night with my in-laws, who live about half an hour away from said lake house. It would be a weekend of eating and drinking and not thinking about cancer. We were also blowing off the annual Memorial Day block party. I didn't feel like explaining my scar to the neighbors. We'd only told like two of our neighbors about my cancer and had asked them not to tell anyone for two reasons. First, having a bunch of people know made it feel like a much bigger deal than I actually think it is. And second, there are a few neighbors who I truthfully don't care for. But that's a topic for another time. The important thing was, we were getting out of town.

The afternoon before we were headed out, I got a call from the scheduler at nuclear medicine. Dr. E's nurse had told me that I would, so I was expecting her call. Just like S said, the woman told me to write everything down that she was about to tell me. The first thing she said was, 'So you've stopped breastfeeding?' I told her that no, I hadn't. That Dr. E had given me until the end of June to wean my daughter. She hit the roof. I was told that it simply wasn't enough time and that I couldn't be lactating at all when I got the treatment. That it was too dangerous. 'Really, ' she said. 'You should stop, like, today.'

I was a little taken aback. I thought everything had been settled. She said she would call Dr. E's nurse right away to straighten this out. 'Do you want to talk about this other stuff after I talk with her?' I told her I thought that would be best.

So, the next day while I was packing, and so excited to be leaving town, I got a call from S. She told me that she had heard about the previous day's conversation. 'It's really looking like you'll have to stop sooner. They don't want you going past June 12.' I started to cry. I was finding all of this rather upsetting. Weaning can be pretty difficult when it's not your decision. Just when I thought I had made some sort of peace with it, I was having to wean two to three weeks sooner than I had expected. It threw me for a loop all over again.

Obviously, S knew I was upset. 'Why don't we say that you're done on the 15th. That lets you finish out the week.' She was trying really hard. She had even asked Dr. E if we could push my treatment back, but I was already getting the radioactive iodine later than he wanted me too. He wouldn't budge on the dates. I said the 15th would be fine. I was still crying though. 'Will you be ok? Do you want the number of a lactation consultant?' It was very nice of her. I assured her I would be ok. I have a good friend who is in an LC. She said she would check back in a few weeks to make sure that the weaning had gone well. We hung up.

I reminded myself that I was getting the hell out of town. And that I wouldn't think at all about weaning or cancer or anything like that until June. I was going to end May on a high note.

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