Tuesday, October 25, 2011

OH NO- the turkey is dry.....

I can't sleep... This sort of thing NEVER used to happen to me before cancer... That's called B.C. in my world these days... It is so much easier not to use that word all the time.  I suppose a lot of things were easier.  Like shopping in October.  I suppose all the pink ribbons and shirts, and cups, and well...  you name it - (In support of breast cancer) were easier to look at... As if I don't think about it all the time.  There's a reminder.  And a good one.  Every time I see finding a Cure I think of Bella.  Hoping that some day she has a cure.  So if it means I have to look at pink pins, headbands, and even tennis balls... so be it! I really do still love the color pink, I suppose maybe even a bit more.   October... here we are... I remember when I was in my worst days of May thinking what a long summer it would be, and a hard fall... and I would think how much I wanted to see those trees turn colors and then... then.. I would be almost done.....Granville is absolutely beautiful in the Fall, and those early days of May I remember thinking of all my memories of Granville is the Fall...it seemed so far away...
Well, here we are... and I must say... it has been a journey, and one that has had its ups and downs.  I haven't blogged since August, and I have heard about it!  Why isn't she blogging?? Is she worse?  Is she better and busy?  What is going on??   And the answer is....... Busy and tired.    But a good tired for the most part.  Chemo has been tricky.  Tricky in the sense that originally I was scheduled to go 4 A/C treatments and then 12 Taxole treatments.  I did my 4 A/C treatments to find out that there was/is a shortage  of Taxole, and therefore my Dr. changed my treatments to Taxotere.  Only 4 Taxotere with 3 wks in between due to the harshness of the drug.  And according to my breast surgeon Dr. Lilly who might have (and I use the term might lightly) put his foot in his mouth--" Taxotere is a killer." 
I have had two treatments of Taxotere.  The first was doable- I was in bed a few days, flu like feeling, slight fever... but seriously, this is chemo... I got thru it.  The second Taxotere... was what I like to call my first scare... I had chemo on Thursday and by Monday I still couldn't get out of bed, and fever rising... I called the James, and they wanted to admit me.. ask me to pack for two nights.  By the grace of God.. when I got there my white blood counts were good (well good for a chemo chic) and they gave me IV antibiotics, and IV fluids, my fever let up and I was able to go home.  A terrible day, but over-joyed  to be spending the night back at home, with my kids and hubby.  You see, my oncologist said to me at our first meeting... Brett the only predicable thing about cancer is that it is unpredictable.   I hear this so many times running thru my head.  His version of my roller coaster ride.  Well, I am near the end of this ride... ready to enjoy so many other things at the Park so to speak!  I have chemo this Thursday again.  That means I get to start my pre-meds tomorrow and "nest" meaning try to get ready to spend the following 4 or so days in bed.  It is no party and I am so glad to be at the end of chemo.  I have one more after this Thursday.  It happens to be Nov. 17th... my last chemo. Ever.  Right before Thanksgiving.  Hard to say that sentence without tears.  I am so Thankful this year.  Brings absolute new meaning to Thanksgiving.  I mean do I care if the Turkey is dry? HELL no!  Or who brings what?  Nope.  Just happy to be here.    And in our new house-  That we moved into 2 wks. BC.... and I had visions of my family eating Thanksgiving in our new dinning room, all together.   Grateful~ absolutely grateful that vision will be reality in a month.   And Thankful.  Thankful I found that lump.  Thankful my kids love me bald.  Thankful I have an amazing family that takes care of me like no other.  Thankful I have a supportive husband, that is my best friend.  Thankful that I have friends that never leave me alone, even when I am weepy, or angry, or just me.  This is life.  And I am so Thankful. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Worth the wait.....

I admit it.  I was scared about Chemo.  I didn't like the thought of it one bit.   The stories were horrible.  The movies, worse.  My Oncologist was very clear on the side effects, and was honest.  It isn't easy to hear.  I was worried if it isn't easy to hear, how is it going to be going thru it?  But, as this road has its ups and downs, I go on (as if I have any choice), and try as hard as it might be at times to keep my head up, and my mind in the right frame of mind.  :)  It works.  I am proof it works. 

I had my first Chemotherapy treatment on Friday July 22nd., and my second this past Thursday Aug. 4th.  These are the first 2 sessions of my A/C chemo treatments.  All together I will have 4 A/C treatments, and 12 Taxol Chemo treatments.  So, basically my "heavy hitting A/C" treatments are now 1/2 done.... NOW that's not including the 12 Taxol chemo treatments that are every wk following.... but... I am just counting down here, and every single treatment I can count down is a WIN.  Especially when you feel as amazing as I do.  I am not sugar coating this one bit.  I feel empowered, I feel amazing.  Physically - I feel tired, a little off, even a little tummy ache.  BUT nothing like you see in the movies, THANK YOU GOD! 

After my first chemo, the James called me every other day to insure I was doing well.  I had a few things to tell them about, but overall... I was smiling, eating, laughing, and walking... miles... every single day!   I have completely cut out meat from my diet, most dairy, no caffeine and no alcohol.  Does it help?  Well, I figure anything they tell me to limit, I take out, and I feel amazing, so something is working.   By the time it was time to go back for chemo # 2, they had told me I would have lost my hair.... It was still on my head when I walked in on Aug. 4th.   But by the next night it was coming out in clumps.  My Oncologist asked me how I faired after the first treatment.  After my response of, well, it really wasn't that bad... he told me he had never heard that in 20 yrs.  BUT, he was glad to hear it.  All I can think of is- I suppose this toxic shit (that the nurses literally put on masks, gloves and dbl, and triple ck the amount b/4 they put the red bubbly meds into my port)  is killing any possible cancer left in my body- and hey that is GOOD enough for me.  Kill those cancer cells.  Dead.  As for me, I am happy my body seems to be living on the edge and letting that crazy stuff come inside and fight!  All the while, I feel a complete sense of peace knowing IT IS WORKING.  How can I not glow,  and feel so good?

So, #2 chemo, was supposed to be worse; they say it is cumulative.  Of course... another hurdle.  Well, I am kind of getting used to these now, and find myself rallying the days prior.  Drinking my water, long walks with friends and my hubby.   It was a good day.  I had my nurse, Katie.  She will be my nurse for every session, and that is good b/c she is a doll, and she has to be by my side for 4 hrs.  We never have a dull moment, and lots of laughs!  She is great, and I am once again, extremely blessed!  After we are done... Columbus, and Chemo = shopping to me!   Ben doesn't argue, b/c that is a lost cause after Chemo... I mean really.  :) 

So we hit a few places, and happen to be in a small shop in Gahanna Creekside,  I ran in to look at an OSU scarf that I thought might work for my soon to be balding head.... football season is almost here, just looking ahead.  And when I went in a bracelet in the case caught my eye.  It was the only one like it.  It was a cuff that had the breast cancer ribbon on one side.  (very small, and almost not noticeable  And on the other side it had  a different design.  I ask the sales gal if she could get it out, and as she did she told me that the sides were changeable, and this was the last one like this, but of course they could order more.  I ask her what the other side design was on the bracelet.  She took it out, looked it over and said, this one has the breast cancer ribbon on one side, (yes, I said, I see that...what about the other side?)  She continued, it is a letter  "J" and the symbol of a butterfly, meaning : LIFE.   I got tears in my eyes.  Ben was ready to buy.  I simple looked up at this sweet gal and said, I want this when my treatment is finished... not yet... can we order in say... February?  She now had tears in her eyes.  "My pleasure she said... Mrs... ?"     "Jump, I say, with a  "J".    Perfect.  It will be worth the wait.   I don't mind telling you that I believe those encounters are NOT by chance.  I have them all the time, and I look up to God and thank him, for helping me down this path, that has been rough, and at times unbearable.  But I have turned the corner and the light and love I have inside me beams.  It is real, and it will see me though this. 

The next night  I had to shave my head.  The hair was now everywhere but in my head, and I called on my great friend Beth to do the honors.  I suppose this might have been a hard thing to do - before- everything else.  But, I can honestly say it wasn't.  We were surrounded by family, friends, neighbors, and children.  We set a chair outside on the front porch.  As if to say, cancer you can take my hair, but not my heart.  Bella and Davidson got to tie ribbons and trim their own pieces.  They thought it was special, and Bella was sooo excited to trim !  We got the idea from a great book we have been reading called  " The Good Bye Cancer Garden"   This was our version of the head shaving party.  Then every other kid in the neighborhood got there chance to cut.  They were so excited, and happy.  A little cut, then off on their bike.  Simple, good, normal.  Just like summer should be.  I suppose seeing it through their little eyes and not mine looking back at me in a mirror as it might normally be was the biggest BLESSING of all.  My parents took pictures of my bald brother and me arm-in-arm.  It was good.  It was better than good.  It was done.  Beth was strong, and loving, and an angel.  I didn't shed a tear.  I had many hugs, kisses on my new head, and enough compliments to start believing I might never have long hair again.  It's just hair.  So, here I sit, looking a little GI Jane writing my overdue blog in bed.  A little tired, sure, but so happy I could jump out of my skin, b/c I know I have this beat.  I can feel it, You can see it.  Now I just need to power through the rest of this and remember who is on the journey with me.  Thank YOU GOD.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today we WON the cancer Lotto!

I loved typing that title.  A win.  Yes, it was... and here is how it goes... I start by saying... this is a TRUE story.  And what a story it is. 
Yesterday, Wednesday, June 15,  I was scheduled to have a bone scan and a CT scan to insure the cancer had not spread.  Of course to have these tests ordered it meant the possibility was there, and I hated that.  I suppose I might have been living in what I call my "ugly fog" for a few days... the unknown.  Wednesday morning, 6:45am to be exact, I was in the basement of Riverside in Nuclear Medicine to have the IV started for the bone scan.  I have had a whole lot of IVs lately.  More than I can count, but none that went quite like this.  I should have known I was in for a treat when she said "wow, this is a big needle.. are you having another scan.. we don't usually use these huge needles for bone scans. "  Humm.. big clue Brett, but I just responded in my fog, "yes, I have a CT scan after this."   Did she need to tell me it was a big/huge needle?  Um, NO.  So, I turned my head away form my right arm... hoping she got what she needed.  I would love to say it was uneventful, but that was not the case.  I don't know what happened, but the next thing I knew, I had blood all over me, and needless to say the radioactive material as well.  Apparently, the IV didn't go as planned.  She cleaned me up, and then we quickly checked to see if any of the radioactive material went into my blood stream by standing in front of the scan.  Thank God it did and all looked ok.  The hospital closed the room I was in, hazmat put a huge tape X on the door b/c of the spill.  And to let me know how bad they felt for the issue, they gave us complimentary meals at the cafeteria!  Ha, that is my first comp'd meal I have ever had.  Unreal.  I wasn't mad, see I am just in that fog.  Just kept praying the test would be ok.  The rest of Wednesday was pretty smooth... considering... and I had the CT scan and bone scan and returned home,.. exhausted.  We were planning to have the results on Thursday, and would be meeting with Dr. Lilly in the afternoon.
At 10:23pm Wednesday night Dr. Lilly called me on my cell phone.  He ask to have Ben on the phone.  He told us he had the results of the tests and the CT scan came back clear.  OH - huge breath, relief, I started to breath deeply... what about the bone scan..??? He went on to say the bone scan had shown something that needed to be ruled out- a spot- on my right femur.  SHIT.. really ... oh, I had some hip pain while doing boot camp in February... I ask Dr. Lilly -- do you think that could be related?  He said does it hurt now, and I told him no.  He said that was a good  sign, but we really needed to do an Xray tomorrow morning to see what we are dealing with.  The Xray was scheduled for 10am, I had Genetic counseling at 11, and then I would meet with Dr. Lilly at 12:noon to discuss the results of the Xray and see if an MRI was needed.  We hung up.  Not sure Ben slept a wink.  I was in my fog. 
This morning, we got our sweet kiddos off to VBS, and headed to the hospital again.  We got to drive past St. Edwards and see all the kids and the wonderful volunteers... I knew most of them ... and wanted so much to be one of them today.  I bit my check.  Enough with the waterworks.  I needed to pull it together.  Got to Riverside and saw a happy family leaving with a beautiful baby boy.  Wow, didn't see that coming... I had my moment.  I cried it out.  Pulled it together, and got my X ray out of the way.. (or so I thought) Then on to Genetic Counseling, and finally met up with Ben in Dr. Lilly's office.  They called me back quickly.  They told me that the xray I had 2hrs. prior didn't get all the info.  They didn't get the whole femur.  Good Lord!  I am so short, I don't have a long femur.. what did she miss!  So, we ran, and when I say ran... literally ran to radiology, got the new Xray and returned to Dr. Lilly's office.  (All located in Riverside Hospital, thank you God)  And by the time I got back to Dr. Lilly's he was waiting for us.  He took us back and said very calmly... The X rays are clear.
The X rays are clear..... Ben and I look at each other - OK I say, that is good right... Dr. Lilly looks puzzled.  He has had two Radiologists look at the bone scan.  There is a mass on the bone scan, and the only thing they can attribute this to is some kind of "contamination" b/c there is NOTHING on the xray.  OMG I say... I had my clothes on during the bone scan!  I looked at Dr. Lilly, and explained the spilling of the material in Nuclear Medicine.  I didn't know if would have been on my pants, but it was all over the floor.  The IV was in my right arm and the femur is the right leg.  He left the room and went to call the Xray radiologist and the bone scan radiologist.  He returned 10minutes later and said,  yes, it looks like contamination.  You had your clothes on during the scan, but not on the Xray.  The bone scan picks up the radioactive material that collects... even if it is collected on my jeans.  UNREAL!  I grabbed Ben and we held each other, my God, this is good news.  We have gone through hell thinking the unthinkable again, but I am clean, I am clear, and I am out of my FOG!    Dr. Lilly said both radiologists agreed no further testing was needed, a bone scan would be performed in 3months.  (That is normal, in this case)  I am not sure I could write how good I felt at that moment.  It was like nothing I have felt ever.  Good news.  Really good news.  What is next,... Chemo, radiation, and MY LIFE.... that is what is next... my life back.  On our ride home Ben looked at me and said, " I feel like I just won the cancer Lotto!"  Indeed. 
Thank you for all your thoughts, and prayers, but mostly, thank you for taking care of you.  Hearing all of you that have gotten your mammograms, made appointments that were overdue, or just took the time to ck out your ta tas.  We are mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and we matter.  Take care friends.  I love you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"You take the good, you take the bad, you take em both...."

All that goes thru my head as I write this post is that silly, (rather catchy) theme song to the Facts of Life TV show that used to be on... "You take the good, you take the bad, you take em both and there have the Facts of Life, the Facts of Life!"  You know the show, Blair, Tutie, Jo... it was a good one back in the day.  Well, the song sums it up for me.  I wish I could only blog good news... but when I started this I promised to share all details... and so, you take the good, you take the bad.  And as I have said WAY too many times this past month.  It is what it is.  I suppose that is why it is a bit hard to blog today, there is good, and there is bad.  I hope as you read this you feel the good.  And know the good will prevail.  I truly feel that way. 
Friday June 3rd came and went as a beautiful day.  The village of Granville was filled, and I mean filled with pink balloons and signs.  It still makes me cry as I write this.  It was the most amazing, unreal, lift to my spirit and I am still taken back by my ride into Riverside on that sunny afternoon.  I told everyone I had the pleasure to see about it.  My nurse, the drs., even Chase the attending who got to wheel me to the OR.  It moved everyone.  My favorite sign read " Hey Cancer, you picked the wrong Chick!"   It was one of the last things I said as I went under.   The surgery was 4 hrs.  It was a successful surgery as they removed the tumor with clear margins.  And more importantly, I got to wake up and see my beautiful family once again.  That is success for me.  I awoke asking the questions I had wanted to know now since they diagnosed me... Was it in my lymph nodes?  Dr. Lilly explained it was.  The sentinel node biopsy came back positive for cancer, meaning it had spread to my nodes.  I was shocked.   But, we would have to wait until Wed. for the full pathology report to know more.  How many? I thought... but again, I was so happy to have the surgery behind me... I started to actually do what I had been telling myself to do... LIVE TODAY... so June 3rd.  I started to work on my LIVE today, one step at a time.  It worked.  I felt remarkable well.  A mastectomy is no walk in the park, but I really was feeling better every day.  By the time I returned home Sunday I was able to take walks around the neighborhood, and sleep in my own bed.  I was and still am amazed at the healing process.  Tuesday night Dr. Lilly called, pathology was back and he ask to speak to Ben and I both on the phone.  I can't say I was happy with the news.  But, it is, what it is.  He explained that what they had originally thought were two tumors, were instead one.  It was larger than they had thought at 3.2 cm.  Basically the two were connected if that gives you a better visual.  It was good to hear it was removed with clear margins, meaning healthy breast tissue around the tumor.  The right breast had no cancer, this is what we knew, but it was still good to hear.  Now the lymph node news...Dr. Lilly took 30 from my left arm pit area, out of those 5 tested positive for Cancer.  This is the news I didn't want to hear.  So, I say this is why Cancer is a ride you never want to get on.  You think you know what is going on, then it changes.  It plays on your weakest emotions, and for that I hate it.  But, it is, what it is.  So, it puts me at Stage 3a.   Don't start looking up the statistics... don't put yourself in a state of anger I tell myself.    I have to admit, I am not sure I even cried.  Until much later.  We hung up the phone and prayed.  And I felt an amazing sense of peace.   Ben looked at me and said, it is all out.  They got it.  Now we just move forward and do the chemo, and now radiation.  You can do this.    You bet I can, and I will.  I feel great.  I am amazed at how great I feel.  My drains (all 4 of them) look good.  I need to Live today. 
On Thursday we drove into Columbus for my post opp apt. with Dr. Treece, my plastic surgeon.   He was so pleased with my recovery.  He said I looked great, and then much to our surprise he removed all 4 drains.  I was so happy.  We knew I might have these up to a month... so to have them out so soon was just amazing.  It hadn't even been a wk.  I have an amazing HEALTHY body and it is working!  I was so happy leaving his office (and my 4 drains behind) that I think I could have walked home!   I had won.  Even if it was my drains... I won.  Moving forward... getting healthy.  That was a great feeling. 
There are a lot of little wins along the way.  I think it is a win every morning I get to wake up and see my family.  We are blessed.  I went to Church on Sunday.  It was just what I needed.   As I start this week I think of my additional testing and bone scans I have scheduled on Wednesday.  I feel so angry I have to do these tests now.  I hate thinking it could be somewhere else.  But, on the flip side I feel so happy with my body, seems so ironic, I am doing so well, and feeling so well.  How could anything really be there.  I pray all the Cancer is gone from my body.  And so, I need to LIVE today.  And guess what... so do YOU! :) Love you all so very, very much. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Please pass the mustard!

So, tomorrow is the big day, I am not going to candy-coat that...it has been a tough couple wks. ...of waiting..  Some days I almost pretend I don't have cancer.  Last Sunday Ben and I went out together, and had a "no cancer" day shopping.  It worked...most the time.  Except for that pit in my stomach, or the look I get from friends we run into.  I finally said to someone the other day.  I sware... I am going to be ok!!!  I am sure I know how they feel... I recall being on the other side of this... not knowing what to say, crying like a baby b/c it was just heartbreaking.  Now, it is me. So, I get it, I have been you... and I frankly wish I was you... holding my hand, sending me cards, praying, loving, laughing... being a friend.  There are no words that can express how blessed I feel to have so many many people who care soo stinking much!  It is overwhelming, and makes me ... well, cry like a baby.  And that is just fine. 
Most of you that know me know- I am a mom, first and foremost.  It defines me.  It always has.  In college, I was voted most likely to be the best mom.  You know why I remember that... b/c even back then I was proud of it.  So, you can only imagine how it feels to answer the Doctors and Nurses when they ask me "Do you have any children?  How old are they?"   I normally take a slow breath, then answer..." seven and four."  And no matter how many times I have answered this question ... I just can't make it to " four" without my voice cracking and a tear.  I noticed at my latest visit- pre-admission testing... I saw where  they were going with the questions, and I started to tear b/4 they ask.  I can take the Cancer. (I didn't say I wanted it, I said I could take it... meaning I am going to kick the shit out of it.)  I can take the mastectomy... the chemo, loosing my hair... (again, didn't say I wanted it... but it gives me my life back)  But,  what is the hardest.. it is the kids.   We talked to the kids to let them know I was having surgery.  The Cancer word was NOT part of the conversation.  Our seven yr old is wise beyond his years, and of course is my sensitive one.  Again, worry, concern for mom is NOT anything I want for him.  I want him to run in the slip and slide, and have fun with his buddies.  Our four yr old is silly, and sweet, she is young, and carefree.   We explained Mommy wouldn't be able to do some of the things they are used too.  I can't hug, I can't drive for a while, I will need their help.  And I can't lift them.   Bella our four year old looked stunned... "can't pick me up" she said?  No, I explained... I can't lift much at all... it has to be really light.  She looked at me confused?  What about the mustard she said..... What?  Is she for-real I am thinking... Mustard?  Yes, she said, mustard.  I reassured her that mustard was on the yes list, and I could lift the mustard.  But Ben and I looked at each other and laughed.  Even my sensitive 7 yr old shook his head and giggled at her.  Kids are great.  Tonight, Davidson our 7 yr old ask me if I will be able to go to the store after the surgery.  I ask him why?  He said, well, to get the things that we need.  And I said, well, not right away.  Then he went on to tell me, well, if you go, I will go with you and carry your purse, b/c mom, your purse is heavy and you shouldn't lift it.  Very touching.  Of course before the Chemo we will dive into the Cancer word with them both.  But, if there is anything I have learned from this past month... it is one step at a time.  Feels like I have traveled and taken many, many steps already with this disease, but tomorrow really is my first step in fighting it.  I feel blessed, I feel loved, I feel amazed, and lifted up.  Ben will post tomorrow- good news after surgery.  Until then my friends hold each other, love each other, and keep praying.  xoxoxo (and go get your mammogram)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

God has a plan... didn't know my plan included implants!

Yesterday was my apt. at the Plastic Surgeon.  Wow, another sentence I never thought  I would write.  I was a bit relieved I have to admit because it was our first apt. that was NOT  located in the Hospital.  And because I knew they wouldn't have any bad news to report.  We walked in and they had creams and makeup on glass shelves.  The ladies at the desk walked over to me to fill out some info.  (she had 4inch heals on I am not kidding).  I felt like I should be shopping.  I started to feel kind of normal... until I got to the part on the info sheet where you ck off what you have or had in the past.... I am so used to just barely reading it, since I have had no surgeries, no medical problems, etc.  Then I saw it said Cancer.  Shit.  I have to ck that box.  Shit.  I think I almost broke the pen as I ck'd the box.  That is the first time since I have been diagnosed that I had to write I have cancer.  It is reality.  I handed in my Info sheets, and was called back to discuss (as Ben refers to it)  "my new rack".   He cracks me up, and frankly in this reality we wake up to every morning I need a little laughter.  So, they ask me to put on a gown.  It is so not a gown.  I start laughing.  It is like a crop top.  Now I know I am in a Plastics office.  Not like any gown I have ever been offered.  This is made from that paper stuff at your Gyno's office, but I sware it is a crop top.  I laughed so hard.  Ben took a picture of me in it, just so we could laugh about it later.  I am sitting down in the picture, b/c if I stood up it would be like a half shirt.  But, Pink is my favorite color, so I was happy.  It's the little things.
Dr. Treece is my plastic surgeon.  He is wonderful.  He has been working with Dr. Lilly for 19yrs.  So once Dr. Lilly is finished with the mastectomy, Dr. Treece inserts these expander things.  They are like boobs that don't have anything in them yet.  Each month Dr. Treece inserts saline in them through a needle.  Crazy.  Like "blossoming" over the summer.   Kind of reminds me of my 8th grade year.  Bad joke. Sorry.  Dr. Treece then sees me later in the fall and does the final implants.  Who knew? Me implants!  Everyone says God has a plan... didn't know my plan included implants!
I wake up every morning thankful that I am here on this earth.  I can't help but look at things differently.  I feel like each person in my life is reaching out to me and holding me up.  At every turn, I feel it.  So, the office visit was different, new, scary.  But with the support and love of everyone I can laugh, cry and push through this.  Thank you.  Doesn't seem enough to say those two little words. But for now... Thank you. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

June 3, 2011- date set! Let's do this!

So the date is set- June 3rd, 2011- I am scheduled for Bilateral Mastectomy surgery.  That is a sentence I never thought I would write.  Or feel like I do about writing it.  The date is one we had on our calendar to leave for our annual Family (extended family, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.) vacation.  My favorite  vacation, it consists of beach, sun, relaxing, laughing and basically enjoying the most important things in life- family.  I told the doctor's office this was a good date. It made sense.  We already had schedules cleared, vacation off work, etc.  For everyone in the family, not just Ben.  It was a perfect date.  She said "perfect? really? instead of vacation"  And I then I told her I want MANY, MANY more years at 'our beach' so I think this is the perfect date.  And so it is.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Today was a win for me!

Well, today was a good day.  But since this is my first blog, I will start from the beginning....
It all started a couple wks ago when I felt a small (0.5 cm) "bump" in my breast.  I called it a bump from the beginning b/c I was sure that if I used the word lump it might actually be something bad, or even something like Cancer.  So, I called my dr's office... FYI, even if you call it a bump, they refer to it as a lump, and they get you in the next day.  My dr. couldn't feel it.  She sent me for an ultrasound.  The first ultrasound showed nothing in my right breast.  But, it did show the mass I was feeling in my left, and they then scheduled a biopsy for the next day.  I knew right then and there that was not a good sign.  So, I called my OBGYN from Riverside that delivered both my sweet babies, and talked to her.  She immediately called the hospital where I had the ultrasound and got my results.  That night after hours she contacted Dr. Larry Lilly at Riverside Hospital and got my in to see him the next morning.  This was my turning point.  Dr. Lilly is amazing.  He saw me in the morning, sent me for an ultrasound, mammogram, and core biopsy.  He also could not feel my "bump" but, he said we needed all the info.  That day we left Riverside with the news I had Breast Cancer.  Here Ben and I sat holding hands listening to the Radiologist tell us I had two masses they took cells from.  One was the one I had felt and another one deeper in the same spot.  But not connected.  The right breast looked fine.  It was devastating.  We cried, we prayed.  I got dressed and we drove home.    That night we had calling hours for Ben's Grandma.  
At that time, we were still awaiting the final biopsy report.  This was key in knowing if both masses were cancer, what kind, what grade?  The news came the next day Friday May 13.  Dr. Lilly called and told us yes, both masses were cancer.  Of course with this came the grade, and the hormone information, and our news that treatment would include mastectomy and chemo.  I call this the moment I lost it.   How could this be happening  to me?  Are you kidding me?  when am I going to wake up?  I am a good girl, don't smoke, don't drink (well, not a lot) , work out, HAVE NO FAMILY HISTORY, and am 35 yrs young! WTF? !!! 
Didn't sleep that night.  At all.  He scheduled my MRI for Saturday.   MRI to insure we know everything we are dealing with, no more surprises.   My Angel, Dr. Vicki Miller (that's my OB) met me at the apt.  at Riverside.  She didn't need to, but she knew I needed the support.  Stayed with me for 2 hrs.  She walked me through the whole thing, sat there, smiling.  
They don't read MRIs over the weekend.  I would wait until today. 
We went to church on Sunday.  It was hard.  It was worth it.  What amazing support. 
So today... My win... We were praying the lymph nodes were not involved.  If they were they would stage the cancer to stage 2.  The ultrasound and the mammogram showed that they were not enlarged, so we were encouraged, but still worried.  I got the phone call this morning from Dr. Lilly.  They had found two additional areas of concern.  I couldn't breath.  They wanted me to come ASAP to have the one biopsied b/c it was on the right breast.  I had a core biopsy on the right breast this morning.  The good news is Dr. Lilly and the radiologist believes these to be small, and doesn't change my treatment.  He also told us today that he thinks it be only a 10% chance that the nodes are involved, and that means ..... it is only in the breasts.  That puts me at a Stage 1.  He won't know for sure until the surgery, but I was happy for that news.  The prayers are working.  This is a win. 
We are scheduling the surgery and looking at the first wk of June.  Chemo will start 6 wks after surgery and will go on for 5 months.  Long road.  But I can take it.  I will be happy to, as long as I am still on this earth!  God Bless all my friends and family for lifting me up at this time of need.  It is really the unthinkable.  I feel blessed to find my bump.  If it would have not been found until my mammogram in 5 yrs, I would have been looking at a very different prognosis.  That is unthinkable.  I am blessed to find this.  I am blessed to be with Dr.s that have put my case as their priority.  I feel like an angel is watching over me.  
Many of you are my age... have you had a mammogram, if not, call today, schedule -- pay for it if you have to, the simple fact is it is worth it. Don't put it off one day.  I know you are busy, not too busy to save your life.
I am exhausted today, and need to turn in, but I just want you all to know you are keeping me going.  You are keeping my family going.  My parents set their laptop out y'day all day and watched and cried together reading all your wonderful words.  From laughs to cries, aren't we lucky our paths crossed.  I think so.  I think we are incredibly lucky. Keep praying., love each other, and get your tatas checked! xoxxox