A Beautiful Day

Today I decided to go to Cabrillo National Monument.  I dropped Charlie off at the groomer and headed to Point Loma.  The weather has been perfect the past few days so I knew it would be pretty on the coast.

When I got to the top of the hill, you have to go through Fort Rosecrans.  Even though it’s a cemetery, it’s very peaceful and a beautiful view.

I began by going up to the lighthouse.

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When you go inside, it’s so small.  It’s hard to believe a family of 5 lived in there.

I walked around and went over to the overlook area.  Here you can see where the lookouts were during  World War II.  The views today were incredible.

I then drove down to the tide pool area.  When I first arrived, it was low tide but as I stayed there longer, the tide was coming in.  Even though there was quite a few people down there, it was still very peaceful.

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As I mentioned before, I don’t feel it necessary to go to a building to talk with God.  It was out there sitting on the rocks and watching the waves and the birds that I had my own conversation with him.  It felt so nice just “being”.  It was a beautiful day and I’m starting to really appreciate those days more and more and how lucky I am.

Just when I thought things were moving forward…….

Today was my follow up appointment with Dr. Wilde.  She was running late from surgery so my 2:15 appointment became 3:00.  As I played my Ruzzle Game and Fruit Ninja, she finally came in.  It turns out the MRI found 3 more “abnormalities”.  Two more in my left breast and now one in my right.  These kind of abnormalities can only be found with an MRI so God knows how long I have had them.  So instead of scheduling my lump/mastectomy we now had to schedule an MRI Biopsy of all three.

I was very fortunate that they were able to move another person around to get me in this Thursday morning.  I have to be there at 6:45 am and plan to be there for about 2 hours.  This will be a MRI guided biopsy.  I guess I’ll get to spend time with my new best friend, Xanax again.  They are calling in another prescription for me.   After the biopsy I have to go see Dr. Wilde, yet again, for the results.

Here’s what I know:

  • I definitely have DCIS in my left breast
  • I have two clumped non mass-like abnormalities in my left breast
  • I have one clumped non mass-like abnormality in my right breast

Here’s what I don’t know:

  • Are the 3 new items cancer as well?
  • Am I having a lumpectomy or now radical mastectomy?
  • If the 3 new items are cancer, do I now have to have chemo?
  • When the hell is all of this going to come out of my body?

I was really doing well with all this until today.  The minute I say it out loud to my mom, that’s when I lose it.

I’m not a religious person, I never have been.  I do believe in God but I don’t think it’s necessary to go to a building to speak with him.  He’s where ever you find peace within yourself.  He and I have been talking a lot lately.  I’ve been told we’re never given anymore than we can handle and we find strength around us and within us.  I am very lucky to have the best supportive and loving parents, friends I work with or have worked with and even new friends that I have yet to meet, that are there for me.  I want you to know, that from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful that you are in my life and for all your prayers.  It is giving me so much strength.

I will post more on Thursday, after me and my friend Xanax have parted ways.

The three dreaded words…..”You have Cancer”.

Today, the wait was over.  I finally heard from the doctor.

I had been waiting since Monday to learn what the results of the biopsy was but Monday was a holiday and I learned the doctor wouldn’t be back in the office until Wednesday.  So at 1:30 I got the call.  You know the conversation isn’t going to be good when the doctor starts off, “I wish I had better news for you”.  She proceeded to tell me I have Ductal Carcinoma In Situ.  According to the Susan G. Komen Website:  “Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive breast cancer. In DCIS, abnormal cells are contained in the milk ducts. It is called “in situ” (which means “in place”) because the cells have not left the milk ducts to invade nearby breast tissue. DCIS is also called intraductal (within the milk ducts) carcinoma. You may also hear the term “pre-invasive breast carcinoma” to describe DCIS.  Surgery (with or without radiation therapy) is recommended for the treatment of all DCIS. Prognosis is usually excellent.”

I guess if you have to get breast cancer, that’s the one to get.  I have an appointment with a breast surgeon next Thursday to see what the next course of action will be.  From what I have read (thank God for the internet!), the following are recommended treatments:

  • Lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy: This is the most common treatment for DCIS. Lumpectomy is sometimes called breast-conserving treatment because most of the breast is saved.
  • Mastectomy: Mastectomy, or removal of the breast, is recommended in some cases.
  • Lumpectomy alone
  • Hormonal therapy after surgery: These treatments, which block or lower the amount of estrogen in the body, are typically used if the DCIS tests positive for hormone receptors.

I’m still absorbing a lot right now.  I do know that due to my rigid and obsessive control of my annual exams, this was caught early.  Yes, the “Panini Press” is not an enjoyable experience but thank God I go every year.  GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS!!!  I can’t stress that enough. 

Now to wait another week to see what is next.

Waiting is the hardest part

Yesterday was the day I had been dreading.  Waking up in the morning, I had the worse headache and was unable to take anything for it.  As usual my imagination was so much worse than the actual biopsy.  I just wish I had had someone to talk to that had gone through the same thing to ease my fears.   Going in, I was terrified; I don’t do well with “procedures”.

Now that it’s over, I can talk about it without making myself ill.  I thought I would share my experience in case anyone else going in for the same thing will know what to expect.  Even though Rebekha, the nurse who I spoke to the day before, told me the process, it’s not the same unless you go through it for yourself.

When I got into the room, they had me take off my top and put on the infamous gown that opens in the front.  The radiologist that was scheduled to do my procedure was running behind so I had to wait for another one.  Of course they had me wait alone in the room for 15 minutes.  Not the best idea to leave me alone with my thoughts just waiting…..

Finally, he came in and explained to me what he was going to do.  He showed me the multiple spots they found on my last mammogram and that when they were in there doing the biopsy, they would try to get the majority of them out.  Once they were done removing them, they would then insert a clip to mark where they been removed.  My first question was, “Would I set off metal detectors?”  He said that’s the same question all women ask and the answer was no.   He then began to say that as they were going through the process he would keep me fully informed.  I turned to him and said, “Ah, please don’t.  It will only make me ill”.  We did agree that he would tell me when the needles would go in and that would be it.  Rebeckha gave me the Zanax I asked for and it began.  I was hoping the Zanax would help my headache.

They had me hop on this odd table, face down so my left breast falls into this hole.  They then compressed it between these two metal pieces to hold it in place.  In my mind I’m thinking, “Oh great they’re going to squeeze the hell out of it like a mammogram”, but it was fine.  She did say that once I’m in that position,  I can’t move.  Trying to find a comfortable position on my stomach and placing my arms just right was the worst part of the whole procedure.

Next they swabbed me with Betadine.  He then announces the needle with Lidocaine would be inserted.  Well, I thought for sure this was going to hurt; not at all.  Not even the infamous burning you’re supposed to feel.  As he’s inserting it, Rebeckha had a hand on the small of my back and was holding my other hand.  I can’t tell you how comforting that was.  I think she knew from the moment I went into the room how scared I was.   Then the needle biopsy went in, just slight pressure but still no pain.  Popping and vacuuming sounds continue in the background and the doctor says, “We’re half way done”.  Geez can’t you just say we’re done?!  Before I knew it, we were done.   I had to rest there for a few minutes while they bandaged me up but at least I could finally move my arms.

I then had to go and have a follow up mammogram so they have on record where the clip was placed.

I found this video on YouTube that shows what I went through.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOJahVP0qCo

Once it was all over, my whole body was shaking but it was over.  Now comes the wait.  They told me the results were going to one of the faster labs and I should hear at the earliest on Monday or the latest Tuesday or Wednesday.

Waking up this morning, I had the pain they warned me about.  And I still can only take Tylenol.  Please, that does nothing for me.  I guess I’ll keep icing that sucker down and hope the pain subsides.  It’s going to be a long weekend.

Why is it that every commercial I see on TV right now is either for Cancer Treatments Centers or the Breast Cancer 3-Day.

Positive thoughts.