Not awesome news

I don’t have too much to say today. The news is as expected – the breast cancer has come back, and it is in my lungs. Dr. Canada was very kind and caring as always, but his message was a difficult one to hear. Essentially, he told me to get on it if I have any ‘big wishes’.

The cells appear to be weakly estrogen positive, which isn’t great news (it would be much better if they were strongly estrogen positive like the first time, but I guess it changed). But nevertheless, we will try turning off my ovaries for a couple months and see what effect that has. If the cancer is held at bay – then great! If not, then chemotherapy will happen.

But man, he paints a bleak picture. Basically saying how (which I already know) cancer can keep coming back approach after approach. He also said we’re going to have to depend upon future treatments that are being developed. So FUCK in a FUCK BUCKET because while that’s nice and all, “future” isn’t today, and today is when I could really use a cure to this disease. And then he was saying that when people have a ‘limited amount of time’ they don’t want to spend it being sick with chemotherapy. I hate to say this, but he doesn’t really sound hopeful, does he?

Don’t worry, I’ll get my positivity back. I have a disposition toward optimism.

I guess the good news is that today I’m not dying. Today I just have cancer. Right now I can breathe, and walk, and function – which means I can try every damn thing available (and affordable) to beat the fucker back. I’m going to see what happens with alternative approaches alongside the medical ones. Dr. Canada gave me two months before checking in on the cancer again, so I’m going to be doing my very, very best in that time. It’s literally the least I can do.

And today I guess we’ll lay in bed and cry a little bit. Then tomorrow we’ll get up, get going and keep pushing back. That’s about all I can promise for now.

I wish this could have been a post for miracles, but maybe they’re still working their way over? Who knows? Each day is a freaking miracle, that much I know for sure.

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87 thoughts on “Not awesome news

  1. Catherine…

    I’m so sorry…. No words… just so sorry. I’m here to support you in whatever way I can. I would like to just curse for the entire comment but for now, I’m in pain with you….

    I love you…

    AnneMarie

  2. Ahhhhh, !@#$ this was gut wrenching to read Catherine. I felt my shoulders drop out of existence as I read it so I can’t even imagine what it’s doing to you. My heart goes out to you.

  3. Oh, Catherine, I am so sorry. This just sucks, period. I wish there were a magic wand to take this all away. Crying with you and praying for a miracle. Much love and many hugs, Jan

  4. Hi Catherine,
    I am so sorry. I’m angry too. WTF? I don’t have any “gems” to offer for advice. I don’t think there are any. Go ahead and cry a little, or a lot. Then as you said, start pushing back with all you’ve got. Please know you are greatly admired and much loved by a whole community of supporters. We are out here pushing back with you in whatever way we can. Big hugs to you and Zsolt.

  5. You’re a remarkable woman, Catherine. Keep doing what you’re doing and know that you have the love and support of all of us. Big hugs x

  6. I am just so sorry Catherine. I hate bad news. You are such a great person and you do not deserve what is happening. Your doc sounds very negative. I know you need time to absorb all of this info. All I can do is send you so much love and support and let you know I am here. I know these are just virtual hugs but they are from the heart. Hopefully there will be a regimen that can shrink these blanking tumors. Right now it’s too much info and overload. Hugs and xoxo – Susan

  7. So sorry to hear you’ve joined our “club.” I, too, have had some dismal doctor visits, but I believe there is hope no matter what the doctor says. I’ll be praying for you and that future drug we all so desperately need.

    • Hi there I would strongly recommend you google calcium d-glucarate and breast cancer. I would also recommend googling Natpro Progesterone Cream. It may save your life. All the best

  8. Today cry all you need to, Have something very decadent to eat.Me I love double chocolate fudge brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce for good measure.I gazillion calories (lol) Tomorrow is another day everyone is right there as your back ups.. Love Alli….XX

  9. I was thinking about you all day and waiting to hear the results. Thanks for posting to let us know – that took great strength, sweet pea.

    If there is anything I can do, Catherine, do not hesitate to ask – now or later, whenever and whatever. I’m here for you.

    Sending you big, big hugs to you, and Zsolt and your family. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers. Denise

  10. So brutal. I’m so sorry to hear your news, but thinking of you as you take time to mourn and then get back to fighting this SOB. Wishing you a speedy path to effective treatment that will keep the sucker beaten back for a long time to come.

  11. Oh Catherine. I’m crying as I read this. I’m so sorry for your news. Words fail. The only one that really comes to mind is FUCK. Please know that you are loved & cared about. Will carry you in my heart. xoxoxo. Lisa

  12. Each day is a freaking miracle. After reading this post and hearing your news, Catherine, I’m unhappily reminded of that. I think that is a ‘positive’ (although I hate that dichotomy) though and reflection to have after today’s news. So sorry to hear that the news isn’t great, but like you say in this post, one step at a time. It’s just cancer for now… Right. Just cancer.

    You’re the best!!

    Steph
    Xoxox

  13. Oh, Catherine, I prayed it would be different. Damn. It is great that you’ve been blessed with a good attitude. That is more important than drugs to your treatment now.

    I am here for you, in any way I can help. Call me anytime. ~K

  14. This is not a death sentence. I am in the same boat as you are. I had double mast chemo radiation then tamoxifen. Within a year it returned regionally to my lymph nodes in super/supra clavicle and chest wall etc. did lupron to stop estrogen did arimidex as an alternative to tamoxifen. That didn’t work so they did hysterectomy. It was found in my liver. Next ct it was in my lungs. Tried several chemos some things shrunk some things spread. Traveled to brain and bone in shoulder. Radiation to brain and shoulder worked. Bottom line new chemo has all tumors shrinking dramatically. My docs who gave me the death speech too now say they are determined to make this a chronic condition. It is VERY possible. I’ve heard many stories about people like us living for many years. Do not give up. I do live like every day is my last and I enjoy what I can. Yes chemo can suck bu it’s soooo much better than the alternative. I’m 48 years old and I’m not done yet. Good luck and contact me any time. Lisa 🌸

  15. Sending you lots of love and hugs. I experienced similar news in regards to my husband and his metastatic state with his breast cancer. We have all cried today and will most likely into the night, but tomorrow we will all rise and trudge through this muck called cancer together! Xoxoxo

  16. Please check out Dr. Bursenski’s (not sure about the spelling) clinic. There is a move about him “Bursenski the movie” it is very interesting and an eye opener.

  17. Catherine:

    This SUCKS.
    I hate that this is happening to you.
    I believe there is hope. Lots of hope! And fun things I know you will do, and continue to do. Awesome adventures to go on, and sun-filled mornings with coffee and kisses, and afternoon naps, and evening shenanigans.

    Please know the BC community is here for you.
    Sending you big, giant {{{hugs}}}.

  18. FUCK in a FUCK BUCKET is right Catherine. That’s all I can really say. Cry and cry, and please laugh a little in between. Your army of internet supporters are here if you need anything. Love and hugs ❤

  19. Catherine I’m so sorry to hear your news. Please know you are not alone! We are all here for you. #bcsm Sending hugs your way.

  20. I’ve been following your blog since both posted our “the day I found out” videos. I’m really sorry to hear today’s news, like everyone else, I was hoping for the best. Sending you love and hugs across the ether x

  21. I have no great words of wisdom. Just know that someone in Oregon is thinking of you with love and holding you in light.

  22. Catherine, I’m jumping fresh into the fire (meaning I’m new to you – Nancy Pointed me in your direction). FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, is right! FUCK….. we try to live in the now but we need the future to be in the now. FUCK. FUCK (this intense fuck is coming from a women with breast cancer, two melanoma’s and now advanced rectal cancer – so trust me, when I say, FUCK, I’m saying really fucking loud)

  23. oh, dear Catherine, I am so very sorry you got such devastating news. truly a bucket of fuckedness. I wish so much I could say or do something – but barring expletives, I can only tell you that I believe in you, and that you will do all you are able to push back with determination and hope. and you are right – maybe the miracles you have been hoping for are still working their way over.

    I love you, and am holding you and zsolt in the brightest light of hope,

    karen

  24. Oh, Catherine….this is just shite. Bat excrement, as 3laine would say. Going to haunt cyberspace for promising research now. Hope your doc will at least help you look for clinical trials perhaps if the ovary shutdown doesn’t help enough. I can’t think of bad enough cuss words. So, hugs instead, sweet one. Kathi

  25. Catherine, what a bunch of crap. Who do these doctors think they are? Can they not put themselves in their patients shoes and think about what they are saying? We really need advocates who can communicate with us…give us the facts, but also give us something to hang onto. We need encouragement to get through however many days we have left. Everyone, including those without cancer, have numbered days. We never know when it will come. I hope those who read your blog and your friends and family can be that source of encouragement you need. xxoo

  26. So sorry and sad to read this. This might not help one bit, but in case it does, I’ll include the link because I remember reading it when I was first diagnosed and finding it pretty inspiring. I know every situation is so different, but it’s always nice to hear a story where someone beat the odds I think.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/health/27case.html?_r=0
    I know it’s hard, but try to keep hope that some nerdy scientist dude is sitting in a lab somewhere frantically searching for answers for metastatic BC, and hopefully those answers will be found.
    Good luck over the next few months as you figure out your plan of attack. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you. So sorry you have to deal with this shit, it’s really not fair.

  27. Hi Catherine, we don’t know each other but today I heard your story from a new friend I met here in London, ON who is a friend of yours from England….Eric. I was literally shaking when he told me about you because I, too, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. I went through two surgeries, chemo, radiation, and now I’m on Tamoxifen. I, too, must live with the reality of a reoccurrence. I know this path is really tough. I’m sorry you have to go through this. I believe there is a reason which is beyond us as to why but I do hope that it will be made clear to you and you will be lifted above this storm. I have a blog that I think you may be able to see now on your site, but if not it is desertflatlands.wordpress.com
    I haven’t written in awhile but you can see my journey if you so wish. I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ and I believe He put you on this earth for a very important reason. I believe you are and will discover it more and more. Today I will begin praying for you.

  28. SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!. Double shit. Dammit. I was holding good thoughts for you. I just….I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine the world without you in it. Yes, fight dammit. The future is not written. Many, many hugs!!!

    Jules

  29. Hi Catherine,
    I am sorry you were dealt the blow. I just wanted you to know I also was dealt the blow over three years ago. I’ve been Stage 4 from the get go. It’s in my liver, lymph, bones and maybe lungs. I have been riding the Stable train for a long time and there is no reason you can’t too. The future of medivcine is happening everyday and you just need to pl ay a good game of leap pad. Ride one drug until it wears out. Hop to the next. So those future drugs that are being developed will be closer to hope on. Things have been increasing in speed especially since they have done the genome and know so much more. I have a crazy promising trial I would like to share with you. I just found it today and it might even be too good to be true but it is based out of TO so it’s close for you. I’m in Calgary. I have never read a blog of yours until today. SOmeone shared it on facebook. The stars have aligned…. 😉 Grieve but get back up and put on your fighting gloves. If you want info on alternative support I can help there too. hang in there. No fat lady on the stage just yet. The beginning is always the hardest. It does get easier. Sounds weird but it’s true.

  30. Dear Catherine, I was praying for you so much, I just can’t believe these news.
    Now when you wake up and see my comment, it is a new day. A beautiful day (although in Hungary it is cloudy but hopefully you have sunshine there). Just live your life and try to be happy, we are here to pray for you. You will see, the miracle will happen!!!
    Lots and lots of love to you and Zsolt!
    Beáta

  31. Oh Catherine, I’m so sorry. I was so so so much hoping for better news for you. This fucking sucks. I’ve been where you are and I understand something of how you feel. I wish there was something I could say to make it easier, and that anything I do say is pitifully inadequate…but please know there are legions of friends out there in the interwebs thinking of you and sending good, healing thoughts your way. I just want to echo what one poster above said: this is not a death sentence. Doctors deliver their thoughts in a brutal way because they have a crappy job to do. And you have a job to do too. Just keep living. For now, scream, rage, rant, swear, whatever you need. And then squeeze your husband tight and keep on living. You’re obviously someone who has a great talent for *really* living. Sending you hugs. We’re here whenever you want to scream and vent!

  32. Oh Catherine – I am absolutely gutted to read your post. Words can’t express how sorry I am that you are facing this. Am hoping like mad that an effective treatment regime can be found STAT and that you are writing, loving and adventuring for a very long time to come. xxxx

  33. now that the miracle option is gone I guess it is indeed time to scream and swear … FUCK this FUCKING cancer … I am so so sorry – just so so so sorry xoxo

    • I reckon miracles can still happen 🙂 I know an amazing woman who was told she wouldn’t live through the night, and 20+ years later she is well and owning life. Whether that happens to me remains to be seen, but I’m here and that’s good for today.

  34. Catherine,
    I agree with your approach to combine both medical and alternative therapies to keep you physically, emotionally and spiritually strong. Marcelle, Tony and J.P. are experts in their fields. Remember too that you are a remarkable woman with inner strength and wisdom. And as J.P. often tells me, remember to breathe (like in those tourist commercials from Alberta which show the Rocky Mountains). Showering you with gold and silver light.

  35. Sending you prayers of compassion and strength. It is an interesting ride living with mets. Live each day as you can. Some days are amazingly beautiful & others really just suck. Take good care!

  36. I am holding your hand….I am looking at the stars and wondering why? I cried when I read your post. I cried again when I read it again. I just finished tx for Stage III breast cancer. We are all connected when it comes to uncertain and sometimes completely fucked outcomes. I wish for you whatever it is you need a push for, I will push with you.
    Much love.

  37. I don’t even know you and came here from a post another blogger shared on Facebook. I cannot imagine how you feel! Hugs, prayers, and positive thought being sent your way!
    I don’t know if you’ve heard of this, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try, I’ve written a post about dandelion root tea killing cancer cells (not healthy cells), hey it’s tea and it’s cheap! If you look around online there are a few people who were actually terminal and it worked for them, completely cleared the cancer. Of course, I’m no doctor and no promises… Just thought I would share, you never know.

  38. I’m so sorry to read this news. I’d like to second your fuck in a fuck bucket because shit. This just sucks.
    Take all the time you need to cry, even if you’re crying while you are also pushing back.
    Holding you in my heart right now and wishing I could do more.

  39. Like everyone else, I’m extremely saddened by this news. I never thought the word “Fuck” would feel so inadequate, but it does. We are always here for you … lean on us and draw from the collective love and energy being channeled your way. xx

  40. I’ve been thinking about you and Zsolt a lot lately. This won’t be easy but if anybody can get through this, I believe it is you. Your attitude and approach to life make you a remarkable person and give you invaluable strength. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers. Jen

  41. You keep pushing back Catherine! It’s good news that the doctor is waiting two months to check in. Your miracle will still come. And you are right each day is a miracle for each one of us. Reading this and your attitude is proof. Hugs

  42. I know this is hard and I am so sorry for your pain. Hopefully this might help: I am a now two year survivor but didn’t grow up a stranger to cancer. My mother was first diagnosed at thirty , had mastectomy, but over the next 25 years she had five reoccurrences in the other breast, lymph nodes and chest wall. She’s 82 right now and she’s still with us and I am convinced her will to live and her positive attitude got her through each and every battle.

  43. Catherine,

    I so wish I had all the right words, and all the right cures, and I hate that none of us do. I know your optimism will return, but the anger and fear are just as real.

    I know nothing about alternative treatment but in the last few months I’ve looked at a lot of complimentary therapies and I think there is so much potential. I would recommend the MSKCC site for reliable information and a book entitled Choices in Healing by Michael Learner. Michael also started a life-affirming, life changing program call the Cancer Help Program at Commonweal. That or any program like it is an INCREDIBLE opportunity.

    And most of all, we are all here to support you on your journey.

    Wrapping you in love and blessings,
    Lori

  44. Hello Catherine, Im glad I found your blog but so sorry to read this news on my first visit. Cancer is a right royal pain in the backside and I, like everyone else who has been touched by it, wish the cure would come quicker. While we are waiting I send you love and positivity, I honesty believe your optimistic outlook will help and whatever the Dr says, push him for the best possible treatments. Just because its back doesn’t mean you or your Dr have to accept it.

  45. Pingback: Weekly Round Up – The Valuing Time Edition | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  46. Catherine, I’m so terribly sorry about your news. You don’t know me, but I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now since I recently became a blogger myself. I’ve been keeping you close in my prayers, and my heart broke when I learned about your news. I also was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 years and also had cancer (Hodgkin’s lymphoma) 20 years earlier when I was 22 yo. At that age, like so many, I felt invulnerable and couldn’t believe that cancer was happening to me. I quickly learned that the unthinkable can and does happen. But it’s all horribly unfair–I’m so sorry that your cancer has returned, and in my small way, I want to do anything that I can to help. Catherine, I’m also an active cancer research advocate, and I recently met an absolutely wonderful fellow advocate who is the president and CEO of the International Cancer Advocacy Network (ICAN). She focuses her efforts on advocating for people with stage IV cancers to ensure that they receive the best personalized treatment. Here’s a quick description: “Working in tandem with Chairman of the Board Sherry Weinstein, Marcia and her team are recognized and respected for the unique and tenacious patient advocacy offered by ICAN in its Personalized Medicine Cancer Case Navigation Programs, which cover every cancer and cancer subtype and emphasize molecular diagnostics and gene expression profiling.” Here’s more information about their mission:

    “Experienced, creative, and tenacious direct patient navigation and information services with the goal of extending life with the highest achievable quality of life. ICAN has a small staff and over 1100 volunteers in 30 areas of ICAN, with our volunteer leadership representing 17 different time zones. We literally work around the clock focusing on our Personalized Medicine Cancer Case Navigation Programs, health information technology issues, and research initiatives. We aim to provide you with the best patient advocates and the most effective cancer patient advocacy in the business, and to extend your life with high quality of life. ICAN advocates only for you–the patient–or for the patient’s spouse or family member who wants to manage with us the details of their loved one’s cancer case. We are beholden to no one – no oncology practice, no medical center, no clinical trial, and no biotech or pharmaceutical company. Your case is unique, and in our many years of nonstop advocacy services, we’ve never seen two patient cases remotely similar to the other. ICAN empowers you to navigate rapidly expanding diagnostic and personalized treatment options. This information will assist you in informed discussions with family and providers.”

    http://www.askican.org/
    (602) 618-0183

    Catherine, I’m so concerned that your doctor painted such a bleak picture, when there are surely options. I know that the last thing you may feel like doing now is to see another doctor, but have you considered seeing another oncologist for his or her second opinion regarding treatment options? I know a number of women who were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer several years ago who are now living with no evidence of disease (NED), including Shirley Mertz, who is the president of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. She talks about her diagnosis at the link below. Their website is located at: http://mbcn.org/.

    http://www.uchospitals.edu/specialties/cancer/patient-stories/shirley-breast-cancer.html

    Please consider contacting ICAN and asking to speak with Marcia on options concerning your case: she is an amazing advocate, and I know that she will move heaven and earth to help you receive personalized cancer treatment that is the right treatment for you. My understanding is that they work with patients’ oncologists, so whether you continue with your currrent oncologist or bring another on board, they’ll work with them concerning your treatment.

    Know that I’m continuing to keep you close in my prayers.

    My best,

    Debra

    blog: “Musings of a Cancer Research Advocate”: http://draemadden.wordpress.com
    twitter: @AdvocateDebM

  47. Like lots of others who have commented, I’m finding it hard to have words to do justice to your situation. Sounds like these two months could be really precious to you. I hope your natural optimism enables you to enjoy the good bits till you go back to see the oncologist. There is an evidence base for mindfulness being very beneficial to support you at this time if that’s something you haven’t tried.
    But so does love. Wishing you lots of that. Audrey

  48. “Get up, get going, keep pushing back.” Great advice, my dear, and I know that you will do just that. We’re all behind you, cheering for you, sending healing vibes, and knowing you have the strength to slay this beast. xo

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