Preparations

And it’s me this time.

List of movies and TV shows to watch while I’m down – check.
Trip to Target for snacks and other supplies – check.
4 books downloaded to my Kindle and iPod – check.
Emails sent to family and friends – check.
Manicure/Pedicure done – check.
Extra housecleaning scheduled – check.
Time off requested – check.
Up Next:  Posting the announcement to Facebook…

One Week

I’m a week away.  Glad it’s happening so quickly so that I don’t have time to stew about it, but sometimes I feel panicky that it’s coming so soon!

I told Tina that I think my left breast wants to go to Disneyland just ONE MORE TIME, but alas, it’s not going to happen this weekend…

My pre-op is at 1:45pm next Friday in Nuclear Medicine, where they will inject a dye that goes to the sentinel lymph nodes so that they can test and/or remove those to see if the cancer has spread beyond the breast.  That’s my biggest fear.  Strangely, though I know the recovery is going to be a bitch, I’m not that worried about the surgery itself; it’s the question of “did it spread?”  So, in an effort not to borrow trouble from tomorrow, I can’t dwell on that, I know, but every once in a while I get a panicky feeling and a little teary-eyed over that fear.

Thank you to my friend, Cindy Love, with Albie Aware, for sending me a book and a “drain pouch” that are both apparently loved by breast cancer patients.  I did, however, tear up upon receiving them because: 1) it was incredibly sweet for Cindy to mail them to me and write a personal note, and 2) I had no idea I would need a drain pouch – WTH is that?  My life (or at least my circumstances) are changing so fast!

Surgery Date

Looking forward to this (sarcasm)!

I have a surgery date scheduled for Friday, March 18.  It’s all happening so soon, but I’m thankful to be able to get in quickly, plus Tina has the following week off for Spring Break, which is great timing.

I’m still in the process of trying to tell folks before they hear through the grapevine, but the outpouring of support I’ve received just from the few I’ve told is amazing!  So many asking how they can help, and honestly, I don’t even know yet, so I say “please pray.”  I have, however, started an email list of those who have made that offer so that when I DO need something like an item picked up at the grocery store, a ride somewhere, or someone to keep me company for an afternoon because I’m feeling down, I can send out my request!

If you’re reading this, I know you care about me, and I am so grateful for that – thank you!

First blog entry – Diagnosis

My diagnosis.

Well…here’s my first journal entry.  Thanks for caring about me enough to be concerned! I decided to start a blog to record my journey – mostly for myself, but also as a way to keep everyone updated on how I’m doing since I get many inquiries these days and I’m not always in a mood to describe my feelings, how I’m doing, etc. Especially when I’m down or have just gotten some negative information. So here goes!*

It started with my routine mammogram in January, followed up by a request for a second mammogram and ultrasound, which happened about a week later.  These images showed a mass and some calcifications in my left breast that would need to be biopsied.  The biopsy happened about a week later, which included 4 sites – the mass, 2 calcification areas and a lymph node.  The lymph node was negative, which is good, but the tests revealed that the calcifications were DCIS (non-invasive, stage 0 cancer) and the mass was invasive (invasive ductal carcinoma).  Because the areas are relatively far apart, a complete mastectomy is recommended, which should happen within a couple of weeks.

I’ll be taking at least a week off work to recover, and then hopefully working from home until I’m able to drive and be out long enough to return to work.

Pre-Cancer
Me, pre-diagnosis

I am overwhelmed, as you can imagine, but being more of a glass-is-half-full kind of gal and having faith in God for whatever my future will bring, I am able to focus more on the things I’m thankful for than the fear-inducing what-ifs.

I treasure your thoughts, prayers, words, and support during this time, and I would also encourage the same support for Tina as she manages life with both a partner and best friend/co-worker (Carrie) experiencing cancer!

Here we go…

 

*This entry and the following were originally posted in the CaringBridge forum, which required a login and asked for donations, which I wasn’t crazy about, so I’m transferring them here so I have a little more control (yes, I AM a control freak) over the experience.

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