Thursday, June 30, 2011

Make mine a double

I'm a Wobbly Weeble here tonight. DI and I saw my oncologist (Dr. Y), and my hunch was right: he is a mastectomy proponent. This gut's been right more than a few times in my life . . . but this afternoon I felt it drop to my knees.

Turns out there are a lot of abnormal cells throughout this right breast - a concerning number. More than one person has told me "there's a lot going on in there." Dr. Y confirmed that those cells have a much higher-than-average risk of turning into invasive breast cancer. In fact, there is a very slim chance that there is actually a small invasive cancer, right now, lurking in that breast - because the biopsies were only a small sample, they're not sure. So leaving the breast there makes me a great candidate for Cancer, Round III, which is a battle I'm not keen on fighting. Therefore, the safest, most risk-averse route is to remove the whole shebang. If I do this, barring finding anything invasive, that'd be it for "treatment."

Then yes, there is a lumpectomy + radiation + hormonal therapy option. And actually, I could do tamoxifen for hormone therapy again . . . good news? Yes and no. I felt like crap on tamoxifen and it really interfered with my quality of life. But you can take it if you're pre-menopausal. We discussed the aromatase inhibitors - the class of drugs I mentioned before that I'd need to be post-menopausal to take. The doc is not keen on shutting down my ovaries, either with drugs or by removing them - he's never been a fan of this for me - there are huge quality of life implications, and then also big-time bone-density concerns for someone who's only 42 and already has osteoporosis. So if I did the lumpectomies, it'd be 5 more years of tamoxifen.

Net-net, and I'm keeping this simple: when pushed to the wall, he recommends mastectomy. And a double, while we're there. He will, of course, support any decision I make, but he thinks that even though it's major surgery, with emotional baggage attached and risks associated, my quality of life soon afterwards and in the long run will actually be significantly better than if I go the lumpectomy + rads + hormone route.

There's more thinking, talking and research to do, but I have to say, I tend to agree.

So ended another surreal afternoon in Suite 9A. Despite the bad news, Dr. Y reminded me of why I adore him. I am so, so thankful he hasn't retired yet, so he can be my sherpa through Round II. Normally a gentleman, he admitted that when he heard the news of the new cancer, his response was "oh shit." He sat, as usual, unhurried, and hashed out all the possibilities with us. He acknowledged that this is a crummy set of choices, but also reminded me that if I have more questions, at any point, he's here for me. This is why I chose him, 10 years ago. He might run a bit late, but he's worth the wait. He saved my life once, and I'm gonna trust him to do it again.



Don't wanna get up

If you know me, you know I'm a lark. I have always been up with the sun, the birds . . . much to the dismay of my poor parents. But today, not so much. Although today's appointment with my oncologist will move the ball forward, I just don't want to go. While I'm up caffeinating now, when the alarm went off earlier I literally pulled the covers over my head.

Can't someone else just do this for me?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On circling wagons and getting older

Things have been better in the last week, especially since I found out I can see a plastic surgeon on 7/8. Just knowing that some pieces of my puzzle will be fitted within two weeks gives me comfort - even knowing the choices will still be hard, and that frankly, none of them are good.

In the last week, I've had the chance to connect with so many more fantastic folks. Received heartfelt cards and emails full of love and prayers from people I hardly know. Had the chance to gather with amazing women friends. All pick-me-ups of the first degree. Whether it was the night out on the deck with a close group of local moms enjoying drunken goat cheese and being presented with a basket brimming with Cheetos (the Official Snack of Cancer, Round II), or eating and drinking for hours at Scampo with a group of my oldest "breast friends," I came away so fired up that I literally couldn't sleep when I got home each night.

Because it's like this: I think I've mentioned it before. When you get diagnosed with anything big, or anything major is happening in the tragedy-vein, you feel so alone. Woe. Is. You. No one could ever know your pain, your frustration, your terror. But when you get with the right people? An unexpected greeting card slips through the slot? Poof. Suddenly you feel like you can handle whatever comes your way.

I am now confident in my math: all of you + my own scrappy-moxie-bulldoggedness = this is possible.

Which brings me to the second subject tonight: aging. Today's my birthday. And trust me, I don't need a fuss made - I'm feeling self-conscious enough already about the fusses that have come before this day. But I bring it up because I just want to celebrate here that I made it to 42. And although I hear a lot of women groan about how awful it is to get older, I RELISH it. When I was first diagnosed at 32, the image that immediately came to mind was a giant marquee with "DEATH" in huge black caps, twinkling yellow lights around the edges. I was sure I was a goner. I was ready to cash in my 401K, opt out of my life insurance policies, recklessly carpe diem. And what happened instead? I lived through the horrendous. I got on with life, with living. With having a little child, with quitting a big job, with re-making a whole life. Heck, fast-forward a few and I even recently let myself dream of retirement (DI's, not mine. I'm actually celebrating my 10th year of retirement). I put cancer on the back-burner for nine and a half years and really, truly enjoyed myself.

It's been hard, then, the past month - feeling like that was all swept out from under me. But last night, one of my oldest breast cancer buddies leaned over to me and reminded me: whatever choice I make this time around, it needs to be one that I am comfortable living with for a long time. "'Cause remember", she said, "you'll be back at the place you were before . . . where this is in the past and you are enjoying your present again." She's right.

So cheers to years, people! The best just might be yet to come.



Friday, June 24, 2011

Two updates

After a pep talk from DI, I called the plastic surgeon's secretary and advocated for an earlier appointment . . . success! July 8th I'll go see her, so crisis averted on that front. Still might want to see someone else, but will probably wait 'til after I see her to decide that.

Second, got a call from genetics at MGH and I don't have the BRCA 1 or 2 mutation according to the new tests . . . so until some other genetic testing comes down the pike, there is no genetic reason for my two pre-menopausal cancers.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More waiting

So . . . the soonest I can get in to see the plastic surgeon who works with my breast surgeon is August 1st. Is that insane? Should I make a stink? This woman is at MGH and she is THE person my surgeon wants to do the reconstruction job, if I go that route. I clearly need to see her, but I do feel like a consult with someone would help me with the decision of whether or not to even go that route in the first place.

Women who've trudged down this road before me, WWYD?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Your brain on cancer

I've been feeling better the last few days. Although there's more information to collect, I have a good sense of my choices and am getting a chance to try them on for psychic size. Thank goodness our thoughts are private, no? I mean, what would that woman at Whole Foods have thought if I said out loud "now, I definitely would NOT be able to reach these crackers if I'd just had my boobs removed."

I've also learned a new, situationally-appropriate vocab word: "Froob": fake boob - like it? I kinda do.

But although things have calmed down for the moment, I'm experiencing a definite ambient mental strain. It's probably the same as for people whose ears ring - I just can't shake it. And so while I go through the happy motions of starting summer vacation (last day of school fun, an awesome Father's Day/Family Day combo, Canobie Lake Park with a bunch of great folks, etc.), I'm just beat. The last time I remember being this tired was when I was on chemo. Seriously. It's the kind of fatigue that doesn't go away with a good night's sleep. 'Cause the cancer's still there whether I've had a great 8 or not, right? I still have to decide whether I'll "treat & repeat" or "end it all" and score myself a matched set of Froobs. My mind's still not made up. Once I have my map drawn, I know it'll get better. But until then, it's buzz, buzz, buzz.

So everyone'll have to bear with me a little while longer. I'm forgetting where I put things, stumbling over my words, telling Lilah to put things in the freezer when I mean the fridge (can you say "Father's Day Monkey Bread SNAFU?"), having to think twice before operating heavy machinery. I'm crawling into bed at 8:30 more nights than I care to admit (did I just publish that to the blog?) and sleeping like a rock right straight through 'til 6.

It'll get better. I'm not whining. Really, I'm just putting you on notice that if you come here for dinner, your wine might be chilled into pops. And you might want to grant me a wide berth if you see me trolling the streets of Belmont in my big fat Mommy-Mobile.

I'm dangerous.



Monday, June 20, 2011

Baby steps

Just got lined up to see my oncologist on June 30 in the afternoon . . . so making little bits of progress here on the road to a decision. No word from plastics today, so I'll hound them tomorrow.

Tip of the day: going to Canobie Lake Park with a slew of 8-year-old girls can really take your mind off your troubles! Exhausting, but a blast. 4 stars.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Hello. Weeble here. Recently home from 5.5 hours in an 8x8 windowless room. Completely fried. Here's the quick low-down.

We know there's a malignancy in the lower part of the right breast. It's small, and it's in the duct. But there's that other spot they'd been watching in the upper outer part of the same breast - that one didn't show a malignancy, but it does show some funky cell action that needs to be investigated further - there could be a malignancy somewhere close-by. Only way to know is to get in there and get a chunk of tissue. Likely not a huge deal, but need to confirm. None of this is making anyone think of a chemo situation, which is welcome news (jeez, I JUST grew my hair out long again, people!).

So two lumpectomies and then 6 weeks of full-breast radiation are an option. Downtime after a lumpectomy is maybe 2 days - easy-peasy. This would likely be followed up by hormone therapy for some number of years. This would need to be something other than tamoxifen, because I've been there, done that. That leaves a class of drugs for which one must be post-menopausal, which I'm not. So that means either my ovaries would have to be shut down w/another drug, or I'd have to have the ovaries yanked. All this is further complicated by the fact that a side effect of both the hormonal therapy and the ovary-yanking is osteoporosis. I already have osteoporosis from the LAST round of hormonal therapy. Not thrilling. Plus I pretty much felt like junk and had no short-term memory while on tamoxifen.

OR, option B exists, which is a mastectomy. I haven't consulted with a plastic surgeon yet, but my breast surgeon's confident I could do a skin/nipple-sparing mastectomy (and I'd do double, 'cause I never do anything half-way) with immediate reconstruction by way of an implant. No expanders necessary. My recovery time would be 4-6 weeks and there'd be no radiation, no hormonal therapy. Also no more mammos, MRIs, etc. Sounds EZ, but let's keep in mind it's major surgery, there are always risks of complications, and those suckers would be just for show - no feeling in 'em at all. Just squishy bra-fillers that won't fall out at cocktail parties.

I am being re-tested for the BRCA 1 and 2 mutations, too - the testing has evolved over the last 10 years and is much, much better. If I'm BRCA positive, no doubt about it, the breasts go. Huge increase in the risk of another cancer - also ovaries will go too - huge risk of ovarian cancer. But it remains HIGHLY unlikely I've got the mutation - with no family history of any cancer (confirmed again today with a whole 'nother genetic workup), no one sees that coming. We wait about 2 weeks for those results.

What's next? I need to see an oncologist or two (mine and a maybe a second opinion) and have them sell me on the benes of hormonal therapy after lumpectomy. That's what this is going to hinge on, I think. That's years of treatment with a lot of side effects. I'm more leery of that than the double mastectomy, believe it or not. I'll also see at least one plastic surgeon just to confirm we're good to go on the previously irradiated side. I'm also officially calling on all my mast. & double-mast. girls - let me hear your experiences . . . . near-term and far out . . . . let's connect by phone and email over the next few weeks.

I have the luxury of time here, thankfully. If I go the major route, I will wait 'til September. Much easier with L. in school all day and then it doesn't mess with our summer. Lumpectomy can happen any time after our vacation, and then I would wait to start rads in September - again, L. in school makes it all easier.

So there you have it. Soul-searching, here we come. This little Forrest Gump's gotta lace up her walkin' shoes and spend some time thinking about what she wants going forward. It feels good to be officially in the pipeline. I'm still ripped I have to be thinking about this crap on gorgeous June days. But as my surgeon said, this time, no one's really worried about me. My last cancer was so ugly and I was so young that they were all pretty anxious about what the next 5 years would bring. That clearly worked out well. This time, the bugger's a slow-mover. It won't get crazy, it'll continue to plod. So I can read things and interview women and torment my oncologist 'til I get good and ready to pull the trigger on something.

And then I'll get back to whatever the heck it was I was doing when this bomb dropped.



Song for today . . . .

OK, how funny is this? I'm blogging from the cancer suite at MGH. So many changes in 10 years, including my super-slim laptop and free WiFi for us frequent flyers.

A few minutes 'til showtime, friends. Had a killer workout, and a luxe lunch with the fabulous DI . . . around the corner from MGH at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. A nice way to start an afternoon, don't you think? Now I sit and wait for a parade of experts to come meet me. Got my johnny on and I'm ready for action.

And while I wait, I'll blog 4 U.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about picking an anthem for the summer - thought maybe "Firework" by Katy Perry might be it, but actually, I think this one, "Jump" by Madonna, fits better. It was part of this a.m.'s workout mix, and the lyrics struck me as being particularly appropriate:


There's only so much you can learn in one place
The more that I wait, the more time that I waste

I haven't got much time to waste
It's time to make my way
I'm not afraid of what I'll face
But I'm afraid to stay
I'm going down my road and I can make it alone
I'll work and I'll fight till I find a place of my own

Are you ready to jump
Get ready to jump
Don't ever look back oh baby
Yes, I'm ready to jump
Just take my hand
get ready to jump

We learned out lesson from the start
My sisters and me
The only thing you can depend on
Is your family
Life's gonna drop you down like the limbs from a tree
It sways and it swings and it bends until it makes you see


Are you ready?

There's only so much you can learn in one place
The more that you wait
The more time that you waste

I'll work and I'll fight till I find a place of my own

It sways and it swings and it bends until you make it your own

I can make it alone [repeat]
(my sisters and me)

[Chorus X2]

If you're a cancer patient or have every been one, you probably know there are two points in time that make you feel like you're jumping off a cliff: right before you start treatment and just after you finish treatment. These are the times when you have no flippin' clue what lies ahead for you. You're floundering, trying to make sense of your new reality - either your treatment reality or your "new normal" after treatment.

While working out this morning, I was remembering how minutes after I was definitively diagnosed 10 years ago, I said to DI "well, now I know what I want to do - help young women with breast cancer," and I did. I spent many years serving, connecting with and advocating for young women in the Boston area . . . it brought me so much joy and helped mend my very broken and disappointed heart.

What'll it be this time? I have no idea, yet. I have made so many changes in my life in the last 10 years and am so, so happy with where I stand - as I said to another dear friend this past weekend, I have no regrets. That in itself was another post-cancer goal of mine, though it took longer to gel for me. Since then, I have said over and over again - whether I have 50 days or 5,050 days left on this earth, I want to live each one to the fullest and without regret. So in that, I've succeeded.

For now, I'll just jump . . . . and see where I land. Wheeeeeeee!



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

They're here!

I was out last night, and when I returned, there was a mysterious package on my doorstep . . . inside were . . . Weebles!? Yes, one of my nutty but very lovable friends actually hunted these down. Hysterical! These two "Wegetable Pals" now have a place of honor above my kitchen sink - and when I feel like falling down, I'll rock the Weeble and remember what an awesome group you all are, and how lucky I actually am.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What I'm thankful for today

Trying to cultivate an attitude of gratitude today. Here goes:

1. Zester breast is much better;
2. Zester breast being better = I can wear my heart rate monitor again;
3. Wearing my heart rate monitor inspires me to work out harder;
4. My two-year bout of arthritis chose to clear in time for my bout of cancer so that I can walk;
5. Walking clears my head . . . I'm becoming the Forrest Gump of Belmont; and
6. Walking burns calories, which is helpful b/c I'm not completely off the junk food train.

Off to fold laundry . . . even when your whole world's been rocked, you can always count on there being dirty laundry to tend to!



Monday, June 13, 2011


Do you know me? If you do, you know I love to plan. I love lists. I love organization. Nailing things down is my cuppa tea. Yessiree, nothing tickles me more than anticipating what comes next and preparing for that.

That's why this waiting around is so tough for me. I realize my last post was a sad one. Hang with me people. I'm a tough mama. This is a marathon-length roller-coaster ride. Just 'cause I'm laughing with the wind in my hair one day, doesn't mean I'm not going to be crying in my soup the next. It's all what they call "part of the process." (Have I mentioned that I think "the process" can go to hell?)

It's been a month since I had that MRI that showed the "points of interest" in my breast. A whole month has passed already!? A month of having no flippin' idea what's next for me - first it could've been anything from "Whoops! False alarm! Carry on." to "Oy. Call your family lawyer and make sure your stuff's in order." Luckily, I'm way to the "carry on" end of the continuum, but still, there are many questions to be answered and some of the answers might have a deep impact on my summer of fun.

But luckily, Thursday's only 3 days away. I won't have all the answers Thursday, but I'll have some marching orders and next steps - I'll come away with a list of to-do's! And that'll give me comfort 1) 'cause as aforementioned, I'm a list lovah and 2) it'll make me feel like I'm taking an active part in kicking this cancer and moving forward.

That's right - I was emailing a dear friend last night and remembering how great I felt the last time around when I had my surgery, chemo, radiation and hormone therapy plan all laid out. I felt even better when I started chemo - even though before that, just the thought of chemo made me sick. I was working toward an end point. For better or for worse, whatever happened, I had my sights set on the goal (no cancer) and a plan for how best to get there. Don't get me wrong. It was scary. This bulldog litigator even learned to MEDITATE to calm herself. But I was finally moving that ball forward.

Stay tuned for kickoff!



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Forgetting about cancer

If you've had cancer, you know how this goes. When you're first diagnosed, it's EPIC. You are all.about.cancer. 24/7, it rules your life. You are alternately devastated, scared, angry, manic and exhausted. It's with you all the time, everywhere you go. It's sitting on your shoulder or just behind your sunglasses, so that every interaction, everything you see is somehow colored by cancer. It's big. No, it's GIANT.

And then if you've survived cancer, you know how this goes, too. It gets smaller and smaller as the days, months and years pass. You go about your days, and hopefully celebrate milestones - the end of chemo! A declaration of "no evidence of disease!" 5 years! Etc. etc. (God willing). It always remains a part of who you are, but it's not defining you anymore.

So here I sit, back at stage one. I pulled the shitty Candyland card. Jerked back by the collar from almost never thinking about my own cancer on a daily basis to devastated/scared/angry/manic & exhausted. Yanked back from sometimes having to remind myself "hey, oh yeah, I had that, and boy, did it suck." I'm mired in suck. I'm in suck quicksand.

There are moments these days when I feel like I'm treading water, and if I don't kick fast enough, I'll be drowned by bad feelings. I have to give myself a little slap now and then: this is not metastatic disease. This doesn't even look like a big-deal second primary tumor. Buck up, wimp. Look on the bright side, you idiot. Don't wallow.

Last night, I was rolling in the wallow. Most of it had to do with the fact I got 4 hours of sleep the night before - I was out with my Brownie Troop on a camping overnight. Reading magazines, I saw ads for fun summery clothes and bathing suits, and instead of reveling in frills and fun, I was flummoxed. Will I have breasts to fill out those swimsuits? Will I be enjoying unscheduled time in the lazy, hazy days of summer, or shuttling my mama-mobile back and forth to MGH for daily radiation treatments? I need to get through this anger. The anger that the damn cancer's going to ruin what was supposed to be the "summer of fun." While intellectually I know I'll get to the post-cancer state-of-mind again, I'm so not there, yet. I'm deeply, deeply disappointed in my current reality.

Bright spot: This morning is better. Going to bed at 8:30 p.m. and sleeping well for 10 hours can give a girl much-needed perspective on things. But I have miles to go before I'm back to that luscious 9.5-years of survivorship mindset. I worked so hard for that. And I'll work for it this time, too. I'm just so damn tired of it all right now.



Friday, June 10, 2011

You can't hurry, love.

When you tell people you have cancer (again), you get all sorts of reactions. Some start to cry, some immediately move to hug you (I'm a hugger, so I kinda dig this one), some start to talk really fast and ask lots of random questions, some have a mini-nervous-breakdown and have to be managed by you (this is a most undesirable outcome) and some swing into "action mode." These are the people who urge you to "get it out immediately!" or "get rid of them!" (the breasts). They want to know, 3 days after your diagnosis, what your plan is.

Well folks, in the world of breast cancer, nothing moves that fast. Because unless you have inflammatory breast cancer or some other unusual case, breast cancer moves pretty slowly, so you can take your time figuring out your plan of attack. For example. Last time around with this, I took time to assemble and meet with a team at MGH (and that included a surgeon, a radiation oncologist, a medical oncologist and a social worker), get a second opinion on my pathology at a different hospital, and interview a corresponding team at Dana Farber. I knew I was going to be seeing these folks for years, and I wanted to love them. I was diagnosed on November 5, 2001 and I didn't start chemo until the second week of December. And I didn't finish up radiation until the end of July. We won't even get into how long it took to grow my hair back.

So let's take a deep breath, shall we? This go-round, it took 10 days just for the first pathology report to come in. And the only reason I had the MR-guided core needle biopsy a week after the suspicious MRI was because they want to time it with your menstrual cycle, and I was still in the zone. Now I wait 'til the 16th to meet with my dream team again - a 5 hour meeting where we'll merely skim the surface of pathology and options and next steps. My oncologist won't even be there that day. So that'll leave seeing a plastic surgeon, my oncologist and who knows who else before we move forward in any meaningful way.

I predict nothing too exciting's going to happen before latter part of July. So for all you slice 'em, dice 'em folks, you're going to need a hobby to keep you busy, 'cause quarterbacking my case is going to be dull for the moment. Get that bag of kettle corn/Cheetos/baby carrots and sit back and watch the (freak) show.

These are tough decisions. There are lots of factors to weigh, both short- and long-term. The benefit of experience in these matters is that I know that taking time and weighing options tends to lead to happiness in ultimate decisions. As in most life matters, really. And that's my most "simple" ultimate goal. To be happy and cancer-free, again.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Are you trying to tell me something?

Hey Peeps - random mid-day post here to ask if some of you have been having trouble commenting . . . a good buddy sent me an email saying that she is not allowed to comment. I'm not sure what's going on (this is my first foray into Blogger) but what I see is that anyone should be able to comment - I just have moderation turned on . . . . if you're having issues, email me at saoisenberg at gmail dot com, ASAP, OK?

That said, if you are able to comment but are hanging back b/c you're SHY or something, get over yourself and comment, dammit! How will I know you're out there and what's on your mind, otherwise?



Be the girl you wanna be . . . .

So yesterday, I set out on a mission to impersonate a woman without problems - just another mother, working out, doing errands, paying bills. And you know what? Up until I had to go to the Cancer Center to get my en-fuego breast checked out, it worked great. (BTW, it's "normal" - dirty little secret of all these procedures is that the continuum of normal is wide and it can range from nothing to feeling as if someone's using a Microplane zester on your nipple. That latter description would be me. That's normal, too.).

But I digress. There are behavioral psychologists who'll back me up on this - if you smile and act happy, you can actually boost your happiness. I do this often, cancer or no cancer. And I swear to you, it works. It's also called "getting over yourself," or "sucking it up."

Today, Day 4 of the new, new normal, I am off to Costco to fill a basket with fun food for 18 2nd grade Brownie Girl Scouts to eat on a lodge-camping overnight in the woods on Friday. Hot dogs and s'mores and cereal, oh my! And guess what? It's making me smile already.



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In some ways, this is like riding a bike . . . .

Only without the wind in your hair. And the scenery sucks.

I guess the great thing about Cancer Round II is that I am remembering all the stages one goes through when newly diagnosed. It's pretty much the same for me this time around:

1) Get the news, stay steady on the phone and ask good questions;
2) Whimper a little bit when telling The Husband;
3) Have a complete sobbing nervous breakdown for approximately 5 minutes;
4) Deep breath;
5) Plan and attend a rockin' pity party (this involves food and retail therapy); then
6) Move forward.

Don't get me wrong, "Moving forward" still involves a bit of crying, more retail and food therapy and some pity. But moving forward and planning next steps feels so much better than the sobbing nervous breakdown.

What's different this time? Well, I have an almost 8-year-old on the scene - so life REALLY goes on. L. doesn't care that my right breast is on fire. She wants peanut butter toast and a television show. She needs a ride to soccer and is pumped up to show me her artwork from the school year. She, as usual, is keeping me in the moment and is cutting me no slack. And for that (and so many other things), I love her.

This time, I also have more awesome friends than ever. There're old friends (who went 'round this merry-go-round w/me the last time - hello wig shopping, head shaving and meal-prepping!) and new friends, which include lots and lots of breast cancer friends. I'm already "in the club" - so I've got instant backstage VIP access to women who have "been there, done that" - who can provide support in a way that only one who's faced this junk can, and who also can give perspective on what, I'm sure, will be some difficult treatment decisions. What do all these people have in common? They're wonderful, genuine, supportive folks who've already rallied to say "you are not alone" - and if you've been through this before (or any semi-tragic life situation, for that matter) you understand the value of those 4 simple words.

So day 3 of my "new, new normal" is today - already feeling better able to cope and am psyched to impersonate a person without problems (this is easier when you have hair on your head, but not impossible if you don't): I'll go to my fav spin class this a.m., work on decorating the house, pay the bills, go to soccer practice, make a family meal. In other words, I am going to revel in the mundane.

Off to make toast!



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Have you heard the news? Woo woo! Back on the cancer train.

I thought I was going to be "that girl." The one who fought cancer valiantly and won. For good. Who "paid her dues" and changed her life and moved far away from Cancerland. But guess what? Not so lucky. After almost 10 years of cancer-freedom, I've been diagnosed with a new, different cancer. Different breast. Whole new ballgame.

Not all the data's in - I've just had a small biopsy and those results indicate that this is tiny and low-grade. I'll have to have more surgery to confirm this - I'm scheduled to meet with my surgeon on June 16th. After we have more pathology, my team (and boy, do I love my team) and I will decide which way to go from here.

How am I feeling? A whole lotta pissed off. And a little sorry for myself, frankly. Yesterday, my diagnosis day, I had a great pity party for myself . . . those always make me feel better. Today's better. A Cheeto/chocolate/vodka care package has appeared. I've connected with more of the awesome people in my life. Gotten more support from my most amazing husband, and enjoyed more laughs with my spunky daughter.

I'm gonna get through this, again. Would love it if you'd join me on this journey!