Monday, November 22, 2010

AN ADVERSARY RETURNS

AN ADVERSARY RETURNS

It’s been approximately three years and seven months since I was diagnosed with breast cancer and just over three years since the removal of my left breast. I had my first colonoscopy in October, a mammogram and my first bone density scan a couple of weeks ago, all with positive results. I have been seeing my oncologist and surgeon on the every 6-month plan and my radiation oncologist and general practitioner at least annually, always with good results. So imagine my surprise when during my latest visit with my surgeon on Tuesday November 16 when during the exam she “felt something”. She continued the exam and decided to check more thoroughly via ultrasound and then thought it prudent to perform a biopsy. This was a lot more than I had bargained for going into this appointment.

I had never thought much about how I might feel or react at learning that the cancer might return. Well, now I know. As I left the exam room, my whole body was shaking and by the time I got into the car, I was sobbing uncontrollably. I called Dan to fill him in, called my manager, as I had gone during my lunch time for the appointment, to let her know and then I went home; however, I didn’t go straight home. I made a detour through the McDonald’s drive-through for a Big Mac and fries; something I hadn’t done for a very long time.

I was told I could get the biopsy results on Friday November 19. In an effort not to alarm my family, I chose not to mention the biopsy until knowing the results. My hope was to be able to announce at Thanksgiving, “Yeah, we had a bit of scare last week…”. Well I got the biopsy results Friday and heard the words once more, “You have cancer.” I’d pretty much already resigned myself to the news being the worst and remained composed throughout the day; however, by the time I got home I was very tired; it had been a rough week physically and emotionally. The cancer is in the opposite breast and is lobular, the same kind I had before, which is why it wasn’t detected by my recent mammogram. (Dan did a great job of explaining all this in one of the earliest posts to this blog, so I won’t get into it here, but feel free to go back and read the earlier posts, especially those of you who are new to this blog.) I called my immediate family (for me the hardest part of the ordeal) to inform them and Dan let the girls (Kathi, Krista & Erin) know. We also met with our small group from The Chapel last night, a group of folks we are very thankful for.

Dan and I met with my surgeon this afternoon. She examined the biopsy site and did some more poking and prodding. We discussed my cancer history, agreed an MRI was needed to get a better handle on the size and placement of the tumor and discussed possible treatment plans, but could not decide on a definite path until we get the results of the MRI and my oncologist provides his thoughts. We left feeling encouraged, but not overly optimistic. My MRI is scheduled for tomorrow. I’ll meet with my surgeon Tuesday November 30 to review the MRI results and discuss a feasible treatment plan.

As most of you reading this know, Dan was the author of all the posts last time around and because he has a way with words, will be picking up this one after this initial post of mine. I may still jump in from time to time.

I want to thank all of my family and friends for their unconditional love and support that is already being conveyed. You are very special to me. We believe that God has a plan for this and we are content to remain faithful and as calm as possible. Keep praying!

Deb
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