On the way to my first chemo appointment in May 2006, following my first breast cancer diagnosis, I was trying to figure out how to get out of it. My husband, Don, was driving. I sat passenger seat, jittery, my eyes searching for an escape hatch, eject button, anything to get me out of the four rounds of A/C chemo I was about to start. I even contemplated — during a moment of temporary insanity — if I could open the car door, duck and roll…
How things change.
Fast-forward almost five years to January 26, 2010. I’m in the car with my friend Elaine, heading for the pet store to replace Mr. Green Jeans — our Monkey Tiger-legged Tree Frog — who I’d found lying lifeless in the cage that morning. We were racing against the clock to get the Mr. Green Jeans Body-Double home and in place before Theo came racing in the door from school. That’s when the phone rang.
It was Claire from Royal Oak Beaumont, calling to share what ranks up there as perhaps the very best news of my whole life — my name had been selected from the National Pool of breast cancer patients waiting for the PARP Inhibitor. I was in.
I cheered. Elaine gave me a high-five. You have thought I’d won the lotto. And in a way, I had.
Claire asked me if I’d be willing to start chemo Friday. Without hesitation I said, “I’d LOVE to!” Imagine that counter-intuitiveness of such a statement, at least, on its face.
So, here I am, almost five years later, on the eve of hard-core chemo treatments two times a week for two weeks, repeat, keep going. This isn’t a scenario of four rounds of chemo, done. This is four-rounds-of-chemo every two weeks. And I can’t get there fast enough.
In May 2006, the soles of my shoes must have left skid marks in the parking lot of the Rose Cancer Center as Don dragged me in. Tomorrow morning, I’ll only be leaving skid marks if someone tries to take me out before I get what I’ve come for — that magic elixir called BSI-201.
How things change.
I don’t care what I have to do to get to the other side of this.
I’m. All. In.
— Amy Rauch Neilson