Yes, I know there are a lot of sad letters in a breast cancer patient's world. A lot of sad initials like HER2, scary enough to get the pharma world spewing out a fountain of new drugs. Good new drugs that would seem like the solution. And of course, it's not the end of the story.
That recent luncheon talk by the oncological pharmacist was not all about cure. A lot of it was about treatment for side effects--about anti-nausea medicine, for instance. Give your husband or your doctor, or a pharmaceutical scientist a few months of nausea at the very mention of food, and even for no visible reason. See if he would feel cured.
Doing more research for this blog, I blundered into several websites that were actually support chat rooms for women with BC. I kept seeing an acronym I'd never seen before. Is this some new kind of cancer? Some rare kind? "SE." "SE."
Finally, I get it. They weren't talking about cancer. They were talking about "cures" and adjuvant and preventive medicine. And the acronym I had been lucky enough to avoid until Tamoxifen, was:
SE and SEs. The women were comparing and comforting each other about side effects. Not very long ago, I read a blog by a woman doctor with terminal cancer who said what is often not said - the treatment is what causes the pain and misery.
And so we get this inadequate acronym for what some of us never heard of before in our lives. Two initials to speed talking with each other and any doctor who will listen, about fear and pain, nausea and depression, and sleeplessness--about Side Effects from a cure.