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


  1. Bravo on your first post, Brett! This is going to be such an important outlet and support for you. Lots of love and prayers to you.

  2. I am so proud of you my friend. We are all listening and learning from you. Thank you for doing this blog.
    Oh, how I miss Dr. Miller. I am so happy she is with you.
    I know you will continue to show us all your amazing strength and love of God. This world is such a happier place with you in it.
    Love you lots...
    Carrie Messner

  3. Strong positive thoughts coming your way, Brett. Gwen had a bump of her own a few months back. We got lucky and it was nothing, but it still scared the crap out of us.

    Stay strong. Best to the BOTH of you.


  4. What an amazing writer you are!!!! Thank you for pouring out your heart and sharing. We love you so much, and will be lifting you up in prayer, constantly. You are amazing...and I'm calling my OB/GYN to schedule an over-due annual TODAY!! Thank you, my dear friend!

  5. Brett, you are an amazingly positive & wonderful person and I'm so glad I've gotten to know you. You have been on my mind non stop since I found out what you are dealing with. We are praying for you and your wonderful family. I've had a scare similar to yours recently. My mammogram in Dec. showed a small mass and it came back as calcifications on my left breast....I have a follow up in June to check it once again to make sure it's not growing!! You will kick this thing because as I said before, you are an amazing person!!!

  6. Thinking of you, Brett and all that you are going through. Your positive outlook on life and amazing energy and attitude will get you through this! My family has you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help! I am not too far away and all you have to do is let me know when and I will be there! XOXO

  7. Brett Ann...."unthinkable" is right...I am sitting here reading this with tears running down my face. I am so glad you are having such a positive attitude about this because all I want to do is scream. Scream that this is happening to you. Someone who is so loving, caring, full of energy and life. I know you will beat this, all the while with a smile on your face. You are amazing and I wish you nothing but the best. My family will continue to keep you in our prayers!
    Hugs from afar- Heather Kotula

  8. Brett, your message of early detection will save lives and your strength will inspire others to stand up to Cancer. We are all with you & your family!!! You are amazing!!! XOXOXO Alex

  9. Amazing Brett! You are reminding SO MANY people (myself included) to do self breast exams regularly! This is something I rarely do, but am reminded that I should do it often! You are such a GOOD GIRL for finding this yourself! What a blessing! You are in my thoughts and prayers daily! I hope you can find some peace tonight and get a good nights rest...
    Remember, FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!

  10. Brett and Ben,

    I am thinking of you. You are a beautiful and courageous person. I will pray for you. Your attitude is amazing and you have a wonderful, loving family who will be at your side the whole way. Gail Craig

  11. Brett,

    What a way to show us how to fight obstacles in our lives!!
    You are an inspiration!

    What a relief to read you found this early and you feel surrounded by a dedicated medical team. You'll beat this!

    You are in my thoughts.
    Keep going forward, one step at a time, with your amazing energy and beautiful smile, and don't let this stand in your way!


  12. Great idea to do a blog, Brett! We prayed for you this morning in my bible study, and I know that so many others are as well. We will continue to lift you up again and again! Jesus loves you and so do the Erhards!!! :)

  13. Keep writing and thanks for being so open and sharing this with us. You and yours will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

  14. You are such an inspiration! Your strong positive attitude is going to get you through this...along with all your fabulous family and friends. Thank you for sharing your journey. I can't wait to read about more "wins" along the way.
    By the way... I have my annual apt on Monday, and I am going to request to have a mammogram scheduled. Thank you for encouraging all of us to do that. :)
    Big hugs to you and Ben! XOXO

  15. Dr. Lilly is a butt-kicking breast cancer warrior! I'm so glad he is your doctor. He has helped several friends kick breast cancer's ass, so he is the right doctor for you!
    Lots of prayers and good wishes for you and your whole family.

  16. Brett & Ben
    My thoughts are with you and your beautiful children as you venture on this rough road. Your strength and positive attitude will serve you well as you fight this devil disease. You have already won a few battles by finding the "bump" and hopefully not moved out of the breast. With the support of all your family and friends I believe you will win this war!
    Hugs from the Marty Family

  17. You are showing such strength! God doesn't lead us to what you cannot walk through. You've got this!

    The Oprandi family prays for you!
    Jeff,Christy,Michael,Annie,Olivia,Luke, &Ashley

  18. Brett, I love the blog. What a wonderful tool to keep your friends and family up to date on how we can be praying for you! Keep posting! We'll keep praying!

  19. Hi Brett,My name is Artee & I'm a patient of Dr.Jump. As sad as I was to read the e-mail, the fact that you found that sucker on your own (not a mammogram 5 years down the road) and are stage 1 is a blessing in itself.

    I found a 'bump' in my left breast at 15. Had biopsy and found out it was benign. Got it operated and it was the size of a medium lime! I'm thirty now, but that memory and a stiff possibility of it being worse the second time around is not lost on me.

    So Bravo! For finding it yourself and hopefully making countless other women take care of their tatas! Our family will be praying for you and yours. Much Love

  20. Brett you are an amazing women and I hate for you to have to go through this. However I know you are a fighter and you will beat this! I will pray daily for you and if there is anything you need just ask. We all love you and keep on smiling. Attitude is everything so stay positive!

    Love, The Brooks Family

  21. we are praying. we love you. I am so amazed by your strength and attitude. Every day we are praying. You know if you need ANYTHING you just ask. I'm just 2 seconds away. thank goodness for that! :) love you dearly.

  22. Wow. Tears rolling down my cheek as I read this but realize how strong you are. I always thought you were an amazingly strong woman but you have given the rest of those in fear of calling the doctor a voice. You are an angel to me. Thanks, Brett. Love you and constantly thinking and praying for you....keep strong.

  23. They say attitude is half the battle and you have nail that part. You are amazing. Stay strong :)