• Shevelle Copeland-Kelly

Is it spreading...#4

What followed was a lifetime of drama Mamogram and another Biopsy of my armpit to see if any of my lymph nodes was compromised. Cancer usually starts its journey of spreading through this channel. I mean I was already dying, so I was just waiting on the consultant to confirm.

I tried to go about my plans and daily routines as normal. Poker face nobody was gonna know about this. I was on death row already, I would be put on suicide watch if anybody caught wind of the fact that my death was approaching.

Needless to say, I made it past my initial death date. But that didn’t take away the fact I wasn’t going to make it past the summer. We had just entered August one month to go.

Day in day out my thoughts were frantically concealed of course. But waiting for the results of my mammogram and biopsy to confirm staging was the most agonising. Two weeks ago I was in Dubai and forget this thing existed and now I was convinced it was spreading. What if it’s not primary breast cancer what if it has turned into secondary cancer. My lungs hurt! I think it’s in my lungs! Oh, wait my back hurts! Spinal! Ooh is that my big toe or baby toe. It’s definitely in the toes. I’m telling you it was everywhere. I called my friend Sunday night before I met my consultant to blow off our cinema plans and to inform her that “it was happening” I was dying as I spoke to her. My chest felt like I had a crane embedded within it. My head had pins poking all over it. My body was weak. I was oblivious to reality and had to inform someone that it was my time.

Monday morning I made it! I didn’t die! My uncle and his wife drove me and my mother and aunty to the hospital. We spoke but it was weird, everyone was scared. I could feel it, so let’s just stay silent. We all shuffled into the Breast clinic waiting room. Then I saw my other aunty hobble in she had left work to meet us. I had 5 family members with me. That bird of mine that left us 18months ago really took us all out, she raised everyone’s anxiety. We can’t lose another bird...not to cancer anyway. That would be really unfair. Another day another nurse issued us all into the room where I saw a different consultant waiting for me. Immediately I thought “oh the other one got scared and didn’t wanna tell me that today was actually death day and a lethal injection will be administered to allow cancer to spread in peace” dramatic much? But yeah why else would they change consultant.

He saw the look on my face. I was gonna pass out my head was rolling back. I saw stars! I saw my birds. I feel sick! Can I leave? There are enough people here to take the news for me. I really can’t do this. If it’s spreading I don’t wanna know. Maybe I should run out and climb the shard and give cancer the easy job. But I can’t because that would be suicide. Then my cause of death is no longer cancer it’s now death by suicide. How do we explain that? I mean it’s all getting silly now. But that’s what was happening.

The consultant took one look at me and said: “it’s good news, you have an early-stage curable breast cancer, so please stop with all the head movements and sick feeling” he was now talking to me as if I was his child. He looked me dead in the eyes and said: “ the anxiety I can see you are experiencing will make this worse, so stop!” He knew I was to watch; he had read my notes.

We were all relieved for about 3 mins until he said: “ you will need to have chemotherapy” pardon!!!!! Chemotherapy? That thing that actually kills you quicker than cancer. Shit, shit! So cancer won’t kill me the treatment will ain’t this great! If it’s an early stage why do I even need chemo, this isn’t making sense again. 20 mins before I would have given all my limbs and internal organs if it meant they could save me. But true to typical human nature, I’ve changed my mind, since finding out my sentence had been revised I was now upset at the thought of chemo. Our poor God how does he cope?

He then informed us I will need to meet:

The Oncologists in a week to discuss treatment

That he will make a referral to the fertility team to talk fertility preservation - at the time I didn’t understand why.

I would need to meet the genetics team so they could understand why I got this so early *rolls eyes*

I didn't even realise there were different types of breast cancer, I later researched that my type of cancer was invasive. It was Triple negative, grade 3. Meaning it had no receptors. Meaning they didn’t know what the hell was causing it to grow. All cancers are bastards and have the potential to spread. This breast cancer made up 15-20% of all breast cancers. There are no tablets to limit reoccurrence. No matter if it was early or late-stage chemotherapy was the only thing that could match it pound for pound or at least try. It wasn’t up for discussion chemo was a must. I had to prepare myself for possible fertility loss, hair loss, and also if genetics came back positive for BRACA genes I am at greater risk of getting breast cancer again. Ovarian cancer is thrown in too and I would almost definitely be looking at a double mastectomy. I mean Angelina Jolie did. But I am not Angelina. I don’t have money. If I am positive for the BRACA genes all females in my family need testing. Nice one Shev.

But let’s look on the bright side at least it’s not spreading.

Alexa play - I get out (Live), Lauryn Hill

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