Sorry gang, I know it’s Christmas but I finally have the gumption to write a post. I’ve been sleeping a lot and just laying really low as I process the last week. It’s been intense. Come back and read later if you don’t want sad news.
Well friends, the jury is in. Breast cancer that has spread to a lymph node. The good news about that is that it is non-metastatic. But boy howdy.
I went in for the biopsy and got a bit of a surprise. They weren’t looking at my big lump at all. There were two areas that looked like they might be DCIS and the lymph node wasn’t looking good. They had a terrible time getting a sample of the suspected DCIS because my lumpy friend was in the way. She said it was like trying to get through a brick wall and in 20 years she’d never experienced anything like it. Evidently I’m a Trooper. We started laughing about super heroes and she said maybe my lump was kryptonite.
She managed to get a decent sample of the suspected DCIS by coming at it from another angle. Yay? I insisted that I had the stamina for a biopsy of the lymph node. Told them that no way could I go home worrying about it not being tested.
These two procedures are not for the meek or shy. I won’t go into the details but jeebuz.
So I got the results Friday just as I was leaving work for the long weekend. The Winter Solstice. *sigh* CANCER. Big time but survivable. She assured me I would definitely survive this. I don’t even know what the results of the suspected DCIS is yet or what stage etc. What I know is that in their attempts to scale that brick wall, somehow, they got just enough cells to show that my lump is definitely cancer and it has taken over my axillary lymph node. Did you know that there are probably a dozen lymph nodes related to each breast? I didn’t know that so whew, this one is so close it’s considered breast cancer too.
Thursday I go to meet with my surgeon and to get an MRI. I really hope that they check my left breast with the MRI. Honestly, she has lumps too. The reason I’m concerned about this is that my big lump didn’t actually show up on my mammogram or ultrasound as anything more than a shadow that they didn’t seem all that concerned about. It’s possible they didn’t tell me but… This FREAKS ME OUT!!! Thank Goddess for the biopsy.
I will be having a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Don’t know if insurance will pay for my left breast but I’m going to insist that it be done. There is a 25% chance of cancer showing up in the healthy breast in the five years after treatment. Not a chance I’m willing to take given the fact that a mammogram might not have shown this. I sure don’t want to go through this twice and hey, I would prefer a matched set you know?
I am facing a couple months of treatment, radiation looks probable and possibly chemo and/or hormones. We shall see. I’ll know much more after the surgery appointment. I’ll have a date scheduled which will help me prepare. The doctor assured me that any time in the next month is fine but frankly, I think I’ll scream if I have to wait a whole month. OMG.
Initially I thought I would write about the journey but we shall see. I don’t know. There are a lot of cancer blogs out there. But I’ll have to get some of it out of my system so there will probably be sporadic posts.
I’m working on a Tree of Life embroidery piece. I’ve decided I want to create this in honor of my defiance to kryptonite and my insistence on living a long and joyful life. When I’m not too tired I’ll probably post photos… I won’t be around much but I will survive as soon as this Kryptonite is out of my system.
Mr. Furnace has really stepped up to the plate and I feel very loved and supported right now. He’s been a rock and so sweet and yet so matter of fact about. He’s loving without too much sympathy and no pity, just the right amount. He’s coming over soon to hang a bit, open presents, and drink hot cocoa before we go have dinner with his family.
My boss is just really gobsmacked and has given his unswerving support. I have great disability insurance at work and I’m certain they will be able to hold my job. They were going to hire a new producer in a couple months as we expect to get slammed in the spring. I’m going to suggest that they hire them now to fill in while I’m gone (he might have thought of this over the weekend his own self) and get up to speed and then I’ll be back just about the time they planned on bringing the new one in. That is my hope, that we can time this so that it will work for all concerned. This would give me some wiggle room. The Family Medical Leave Act says they have to keep my job if I’m gone up to 12 weeks. If it takes longer, this plan will make it possible to be gone a little longer and still have a job to come back to. They love me there so I’m not worried but you never know…
As Arnold said in The Terminator, I’ll be back. I wish you the best and thank you so very much for your support and love.