I’m All In

31 01 2011

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




9 responses

31 01 2011
brian Murphy

Yea, Amy!!!! Good news, beautifully written up! All. In! Love, Brian

31 01 2011

And speaking for everyone… We are all in too…for you!

31 01 2011
Buffy Kahl

Your courage and strength is amazing! What an inspiration you are. We are sending lots of prayers for you and your family during this trying time.

31 01 2011
Bob Adams

Has there ever been in an activity when you haven’t “been all in”?

31 01 2011

We expect nothing less! ‘Natch.

31 01 2011
Jacquelyn Salva

My sister had Breast cancer stage 3 , and has been cancer free for 5 yrs. You have a great attitude ,and that alone will fight it 🙂

31 01 2011
Therese Becker

Have you ever read anything by Byron Katie? Her first book is Loving What Is. She’s astonishing. Truly. I just read her book, A Thousand Names for Joy. I think she could help you through this very difficult, challenging time. Best to you, Therese

1 02 2011

My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family, and for your continued, amazing strength.

1 02 2011
Marcia L.

Keep your wonderful spirits up. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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