Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our Little Tiger (definitely not Tiger Woods though)

Cancer really amplifies everything in life and makes you think twice about every option. One of the hard questions that was asked during my oncologist visit was how would I feel about potentially giving birth to another child that I might not be around to raise very long. It's probably the question that resounded in my head most of the time during the weeks we spent visiting specialists and gathering as much information as we could about the situation. The fact is that the rate of recurrence of cancer within the first five years of remission for triple negative breast cancer survivors is much higher than for other survivors. But once you make it past the five-year mark, the chance of recurrence plummets dramatically. I'm nearing year two. And I feel awesome. I beat the odds of not being able to conceive; who says I can't beat the odds of living a cancer-free life for the next 70 years?

One huge pro of our situation: we are here in Canada, where I receive top-notch health care from the best medical specialists. I have an art therapist, a lymphatic drainage massage therapist, another registered massage therapist (for my shoulder pain due to the lymphedema), an acupuncturist, an oncologist, a high-risk pregnancy ob-gyn, a plastic surgeon (for my breast reconstruction, who's also going to monitor my pregnancy because of the TRAM flap surgery I had), and other medical resources that ensure that I have the best possible health I can. And the beauty of it all is that I only pay a small amount for all that (mostly for the massage therapy, acupuncture, and counselling, but I get reimbursed for that too), thanks to universal health care. On the health side, I have tons of people looking out for me.

As for the "what if's" answer to those devils is that no matter what happens, Baby Worrall Soriano is going to have two parents and two siblings who will always love him/her, and an army of aunties and uncles to guide him/her through this crazy world. We are rich in friends.

We see the ob-gyn this week, and we'll be able to hear the baby's heartbeat. And the week after, it's off to the oncologist to get a check-up on the fight against Monster C. In the meantime, I'll also make appointments with my lymphatic draining massage therapist to help me with my lymphedema, and with my acupuncturist, who luckily for me, is specialized in cancer and fertility!

Happy Year of the Tiger!

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