"The doctor wants to see you in his office" the nurse said as I sat looking at a ludicrous display of fashion in an Elle magazine in the little side-bar waiting room with the little tight dressing rooms for the oversized cropped pink bib "gowns", for lack of a better word. A gown should at least go to your knees in a medical setting. I do not care how easy it makes a technicians job these things are a disaster and I would not doubt they are part of the whole sorted picture that turns women off from coming in let alone getting their boobs pressed down like a pancake in a freezing cold room because "the machine needs it to be cold." Yeah? Well I say the machine needs to grow a pair. But anyway, there I am, and I was hoping that this would be my last appointment again for a whole year and I would be "in the clear". In January 2010 I was diagnosed, thanks to the icy cold machines, with breast cancer. There was the needle biopsy, the surgery and six weeks of radiation. So, the icy machine and the amazing staff of doctors and technicians who treated me 100% of the time with appreciated dignity and respect, saved my life. 5% chance it was to come back. I heard stories...women like me. They had it at the earliest stage, and it never came back. They were fine.
But there I stood in the doctor’s office staring at three very large computer monitors of every mammogram picture that had been taken of my innards since 2009. The doctor started to talk but all I could hear was "See this one? It looks good." "Ok, now see this one?..." I started to shake. I can tell you that I shook like that for a whole week before it went away. I heard him say "recommend another needle biopsy", "we cannot tell the difference between normal calcification or if it the cancer has returned"...I remember being escorted into the once again kindly woman's office who set up the needle biopsy last time and the amazing nurse technician that told me to take deep breaths and drive carefully home. I also remember the doctor saying a few stupid things...bless his heart...one of them being "Now do not let this ruin your weekend or anything."
Thus followed the appointments and the blood tests and the needle biopsy... and the weekend where I basically turned into a mad woman just wanting to get "the phone call" over with one way or the other. I tried with all my might to think positive. "It is just normal calcification."
The next morning my surgeon phoned and reluctantly said, "It is cancer." News I am sure that is never easy to deliver, and never easy to receive. Diagnosed again the morning of October 3, 2011. At the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Most of you familiar with my blog know that that since September it has focused primarily on my autoimmune condition as a way to reach out and help others as well as help myself. And I had actually planned on blogging a few times for breast cancer this month to tell my story from 2010 as well as my Nana's. But alas my adventure continues. And so the fact is when something "extra" in the health department like this comes along it can feel like trying to move mountains. Surgeries that take what us spoonies call a "normal" to recover from could take four to five times longer for someone like myself. And I have had quite a few surgeries and hospitalizations the past four and a half years. Set back after set back after set back. I was just getting to a nice point where things were a bit more managed. Enjoying my part-time job, spending more time in my studio creating for my business and so on. So this time, I am pretty grumpy. Oh I know that there are blue skies ahead and "this too will pass" and "stay strong" all of that good stuff. That I am lucky they caught it early and there is so much they can do now, etc. etc. But I was thankful to find that this was exactly another woman's reaction in one of the brochures the doctor gave me which included some personal stories of women and how they felt. "This cancer is just a nuisance." she states. Because just how many time-consuming, energy draining nuisances can you put up with before you cannot help but say really? Seriously? Now??
BUT....cancer made a mistake knocking on my knockers again I tell you. Thus the photo. Because I have been knocked down plenty of times. If this sucker thinks it is going to win, it has another thing coming. I may lose a lot of time to surgery, recovery and possibly even treatment but letting it win is not an option. I know this deep inside, although I tell my husband I am tempted to cancel my surgery, max out my credit card and go to Hawaii with him. But you cannot run away from something dangerous inside you. The ticking time bomb needs to have the right wires cut. Oh but goodness lets not use the word "cut". The surgeries will be tough. The recovery will not be fun. But I plan on winning. And if even one person is helped by this blog, or one person can help me who has been there, I am grateful. This disease touches so many people that is why we are bombarded with pink stuff now. I have always been a great supporter for the cure. In the past I did a breast cancer walk to honor my Nana. Now I look forward to another t-shirt in my future.. "Survivor". After all, I am small but mighty.
More to come....♥