Monday, December 21, 2015

How Did This Happen?

Mom! Let us out, so you can let us in, so you can let us out again.
I am of an age that people that have been in my life for decades are starting to pass. This past year has been no exception, and perhaps it is this age, or maturity, or maybe senility that just lets you accept the flow of life.

I received a reminder letter from the Hendricks Regional Women's Center in October that I was due for my annual mammogram after December 3rd. I called and received an appointment on December 4th. The images were good, I was told I would hear within a few days, and I returned home. Two days later I had a phone call, that a follow-up was needed for more studies. Made that appointment for December 14th. And I knew. I knew in my heart, I felt it in my bones, that I had cancer. I can't explain it because there is no rationale. I just knew.

December 14th I had three additional studies with this lovely little instrument of torture called a "small paddle". This is the top plexi plate that comes down to smash your boob.  I am not going to lie, it hurts like holy hell. Then it was off for an ultrasound, then a needle biopsy. Everyone was very considerate, respectful and professional. I feel for these people. They know from experience when a tumor is malignant or at the very least, suspicious, and of course are not allowed to say a word to the woman. But high fives all the way around. Good people nonetheless.

December 16th I was in my family doctor's office to hear that I have "infiltrated ducal carcinoma" of the left breast, 4.8 mm in size, which is early stage. They then process the biopsy further for receptors of progesterone, estrogen, and HER2. I tested positive for the first two hormones, negative for the HER2. You have no idea how thankful I am on that one point. It means no chemotherapy, and yes, I do know how lucky I am.

December 17th found me in a surgeon's office at St. Vincent's hospital in Indianapolis. Again, luck was with me because I drew a surgeon who offered me a mastectomy. Not every surgeon will, but mine did and I jumped with both feet. Am I emotionally attached to my left breast? Hell, no. This means that after it is removed on January 4th, I am done. DONE. Nice word, done.

I could moan, groan, rant and rave about life in general, my left breast specifically, but would it do any good? Nope. I told my family doctor, the cancer navigator assigned to me, and the surgeon, I will be fine as long as this moves right along. No hesitation, no "gee, we can't do this for a month", type of delay. The only reason we are waiting 2 weeks is the doctor has a week off for Christmas, and then is on trauma call. I can accept that. I don't do "waiting with patience" well. But two weeks over the holidays, that are already busy? I am cool with that

I am thinking I want to find a support group, and will make inquiries about that today. I have a ton of questions about after the surgery. Like what the hell makes a breast form worth $300? Yeah, I've been online. I am planning on returning to teach my aquatic and Silver Sneaker classes, so will need something to stick in the bra. The price ranges for the forms range from $28 to $300. Really???

The blog is going to become my journey record. I really want to make an effort to do this, because I need it and maybe, just maybe, there is another woman out there that needs it as well.

Come along for the ride. And thanks for stopping by.

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