Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nip It - My Breast Cancer Journey

So I here I am - 38, with a diagnosis of breast cancer. My life was much different two weeks ago, prior to my visit to Kaiser's Women's Clinic for my required check-up. I was glad to be there, do not get me wrong, as I had felt a strange tightness in my right breast when I was home sick a couple of weeks prior. I was so sick at the time that I really shrugged it off, considering a weird form of chest congestion. In the back of my mind, I think I knew something just was not right; hence, not postponing my scheduled appointment.

Then, reality hit. I have a tumor the size of a golf ball in my right breast. About 3.5-4 cm., to be exact. They biopsied the tumor and it came back malignant. They also found that at least two lymphnodes are enlarged. They did not biopsy those - they were planning to remove them - cancer or no, just based on their looks.

So, check out this time line:
Thursday 11/5 - Women's Clinic, referral to Breast Clinic
Friday, 11/6 - Breast Clinic calls me
Monday, 11/9 - My visit to the Breast Clinic, where they kept me for the mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. At this point we knew it was not a cyst.
Thursday, 11/12 - Test results come back on biopsy - I have cancer. Kaiser Surgery calls for an appointment that afternoon.
Friday, 11/13 - Kaiser Surgery appointment - tumor is not operable.
Tuesday, 11/17 - First Oncology appointment. Whew!

Mind you, there is no cancer in my family medical history - that is genetically tied to me, anyway. So, you can see where this has totally hit me out of left field.

What I can tell you is that the kindness of others has completely blown me away. From the awesome goody basket from my "Green Elementary Family" to my flowers from Carrie and Randy to my fellow soccer mom Charleen, who is scheduling dinner delivery for us for December to mine and Steve's colleagues and my boss and of course, my family - mom, dad, Darin, Kelly and the fabulous Ward women (and Tom, too)! And there are many, many more. Please know how much I appreciate each and every contribution, thought and/or kind word. I may not respond - but I do see them all, and they all give me strength!

Steve has been awesome - as Jan says, "he is a saint." My kids know, of course, and have assured me, in their own words, "its ok, mommy, not everyone dies of cancer." Not to worry all - I am going to "nip it" in the bud!

1 comment:

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