Every Step of the Way: A Nurse's Cancer Diary
Nancy Cohen, BSN, RN, has graciously shared her personal journal, in which she writes about doing battle with cancer for the second time in her life. This is the second installment of a weekly blog that will enable readers to join her on the journey.
Entry 2: The Waiting Game
October 19, 2011
I guess I’ve always had this unrealistic expectation that my doctors and God would protect me against another trial with cancer. I was 14 ½ years out from my initial diagnosis with breast cancer and my oncologist assured me that it was highly unlikely I would have a recurrence, though we never discussed the possibility of a new primary cancer in the opposite breast.
I’d been “mastectomized,” so what were those odds?
About 1 percent or less. But I have the BRCA1 mutation, so if something turns that deadly gene on, remaining breast cells or a small bit of tissue can turn cancerous.
That’s exactly what’s happened to me. I can never escape my genetics or the malfunction that threatened my survival, but I’m determined to take it in round two.
Time for another showdown: Nancy versus Breast Cancer, ding ding! I’ve donned my boxing gloves as I face my deadly opponent.
I want to win this round as much as, or perhaps even more than, the first time. I’ve got much more at stake now: a 10-year-old son who depends on me to be there for him as a mom; an extremely supportive husband who gave me strength and helped me the first time around; and an ailing mother - my biggest cheerleader. Unfortunately, she’s battling a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
So, here I am in the midst of worrying about diagnostic tests and what they will indicate, how far advanced or early on this cancer could be. I have to handle the psychosocial, emotional and the critically important financial aspects of this disease as I cover the family’s benefits.
Click here to read Entry 1: Here We Go Again.