Monday, November 28, 2011

and the results are in...

Before most of you hear about this through Facebook, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on my recent breast cancer diagnosis.

I have cancer. I am not cancer. And, I hope to only have cancer for a little while longer.

It's completely natural for you to be curious, to wonder how I found it, what is my treatment plan going to look like, etc. I only ask that you give me and my family the privacy that we need. When we want to talk about it, we will. I do not mean that in a rude way, AT ALL. We've only had about a week to process, so we still have so much to work through. Like, how to tell the kids. Without freaking them out.

I so appreciate all your offers of help, prayers, support. They mean more to me than you could ever know. This is the very beginning of a very long process. Unfortunately, it's not a case of having surgery and you're done. I'll still be going on the cancer train this time next year.

In the meantime, I'll post here any thoughts, struggles, victories I have during this journey. Believing God for greater things!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

and the saga continues...

Well, I'm no further than I was a few weeks ago...just more worried and more scared. I met with the specialist for the 'drain' and scheduled it for this past Friday. As I'm laying there on the table, waiting for the numbing, the doc says, "well, if it ruptures, we'll drain it and you'll be on your way, but if it doesn't, then we'll have to do the biopsy."

Ummmmm...WHAT?!?! Three days ago, I was told me it was a cyst. What's changed?

"Well, it looks more like a mass than a cyst."

This was not going well. Not what I was expecting to hear.

Needless to say, there was nothing rupturing that day. So my biopsy has been sent to pathology and I'm waiting. I have an appointment this Friday to find out what this thing growing in my chest is.

It's a very unsettling, scary feeling. I don't feel like I can vocalize what is really going through my mind. People don't want to hear that you imagine the doctor telling you that you only have months to live. Or, that you've already thought about how you will tell your children goodbye.

And, while I'm obviously praying that this is just some sort of fibroid/benign tumor, I need to prepare myself on the off-chance that it actually is something to be worried about.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

think pink...

No, not preggers, although at least at the end of that ordeal, you have something wonderful to take home with you. No, I'm talking about something we, as women, are all scared of, something every time we feel a twinge in our chest, or feel something odd in the shower, or visit the gynecologist - we start to worry. At least I do. Did.

About two weeks ago, while watching TV, I laid my hand on my chest and felt something hard. My husband was out of town, it was almost midnight and I did what most normal people would do - I panicked! I called my mom, crying, not sure what I expected her to tell me...but just needed someone to tell me, right then, that it's probably nothing and not to worry. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I'm a bit over-dramatic (surprise!) and as I tried to will myself to sleep, my brain was being bombarded with horrible thoughts...all the 'what-ifs' that you really shouldn't think about at one in the morning. Alone.

My doctor was able to get me in the very next morning and sure enough, it wasn't my imagination. There was a large lump sticking out of my chest. He immediately, but calmly, called for a mammogram and ultrasound. He told me that I appeared very calm and commended me on that (being cool in tough situations is not my strong suit)...but what else can you do? He can't tell me what, if anything is actually wrong with me. So I decided to not invite worry into my life.

I went for the mammogram/ultrasound and was so nervous. I'd only heard horror story, after horror story about how it felt like your boob is being smashed by the garage door. Well, girls, I gotta say - it was NOT BAD AT ALL! Sure, it's awkward - but it doesn't even come close to what I had imagined it was going to be like.

The worst part of the testing is that no one can tell you you lay there on table looking for clues in the ultrasound technician's eyes...wondering if they're seeing anything. Then you wait for a couple of days. The doctor called me, and of course, I missed the call. When he didn't just leave a message saying "hey, everything's fine," I knew that I wasn't yet finished. When we finally connected, his voice was normal and he simply said, "good news, bad news."

"The good news is that it's a cyst and we want to have it drained/biopsied. The bad news is that there is a spot on the other breast that we want better pictures of."

Again...that 'spot' could be a myriad of, he tells me to go back, do a spot compression and another ultrasound and then take all my images to a breast specialist (didn't know there was such a thing).

So, that brings us to today...had the 2nd round of mammogram and ultrasound this afternoon. The mammogram technician commented that it didn't look as bad as she initially thought (the films from last week show a fairly large and what I would call 'organized' mass), so, I'm taking that as good news.

In the meantime, I'm not going to worry. I'm not going to think about the 'what ifs' - or at least TRY not to and I'm going to encourage all my girlfriends to get to their doctors and if they suggest you go have a mammogram...don't argue with them, don't sulk...JUST DO IT!