I have five different drafts for this blog post. One draft is like a novel, the other drafts are just a few short paragraphs.
I keep trying to find just the right words.
Some really really great things have happened this year and some really really crappy things have happened as well. Moving my mom’s cousin into the nursing home in February wore on me both emotionally and physically. The moving, the decisions, the second guessing, the visiting, and the new responsibility were all things that I was never quite certain that I was taking care of in the right way. Then one day out of the blue, she became ill. Nine days later, she was gone. The responsibilities that followed her death left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. From moving her out of her apartment into the nursing home at the beginning of February to her death at the end of June was a lot emotionally and physically. While I felt like I was holding it all together on the outside, my insides were in knots. I could feel my anxiety creeping higher and higher and I just kept thinking……breathe.
Between the day that Anna Lee passed and the day that we had her service, I discovered a lump in my left breast. I was putting on lotion after a shower. The following day all I could think about was “What will I say at Anna Lee’s funeral?”, and “Should I have this lump checked out?”. Three days after the service I went to the doctor. The doctor suggested that I have a mammogram, even though my mammogram in January of this year was fine. At the mammogram they decided to also do an ultrasound. After reading the mammogram and the ultra sound the doctor came in and said that I should have a biopsy.
On Tuesday, July 18th, I had a biopsy. I spent the next three days wondering if I had breast cancer and breathing really deep to chill out.
On Friday, July 21st, the doctor called to tell me that I did in fact have breast cancer. I think I knew it when I found the lump.
I can’t believe I found the lump! I’m not great at putting lotion on after a shower, but I did that day. I felt the lump towards the top of my left breast. I knew that I hadn’t felt that lump before, and I also knew that they always say, if it feels unusual, have it checked out. I am SO glad that I did! Had I waited until my mammogram next January, this might be a whole different blog post.
I’ve had several appointments already and I have more appointments ahead before surgery. I will be having a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery before the end of this month. The date is not on the calendar yet, but should be soon.
I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage I. It is very treatable and I am going to be just fine. In the world of cancer, I’m truly one of the lucky ones.
Because I was diagnosed at the age of 50 and because my maternal grandmother had breast cancer in her 50’s, my insurance will pay a large portion of the cost for genetic testing. I should have those results in two weeks. I’ll talk about that more in a later post if necessary.
Please have your annual mammograms, and remind the other women in your lives to do the same. Pay attention to your body. If you are suspicious, take that time to check things out. It could make all of the difference in the world. I know so many people right now with different types of cancer, and this is one cancer that we can find early and treat, so please take advantage of those mammograms and take the time once in a while to do a self breast exam. I admit that I have not done them often, but I had done them just often enough that when I felt the lump in my breast, I knew that it was unusual.
I’m feeling good about things but also very anxious. Breathing really does help.
I think I’m more worried right now about Mike than I am about having breast cancer. With my news and now the kids house flooding, I know he is wondering what is next.
I did promise him that I could give a rats ass about the master bedroom remodel and if we look at the unfinished celling above the tub and shower for years, I won’t care. lol
This is why Tess came in over the weekend. She needed to see that mom is mom and I look and feel just like I always do.
I worry about getting the kids house finished from the flood before I have surgery and I will admit, I’m feeling super stressed that won’t happen. I don’t want them to feel like they have to go anywhere else while I recover before their house is ready for them to move back in. Can you imagine the stress they are feeling?
So, those are the words I’ve been struggling with, but there a few decisions I wanted to make before blogging about things.
My stress factor is obviously high these last three weeks and I’ve tried to stick to my healthy eating habits but walking has fallen to the bottom of the priority list.
I am so glad that I’ve changed so much of the foods that I eat. I feel like a strong and healthy person, and I know that will make recovery after surgery that much easier.
I would imagine that I’ll be back to blogging daily up until surgery if I can find the time. Remember we do have a houseful right now so we are just taking things one day at a time and I never really know what each day will bring. Yesterday Mike had a flat tire. Today, Kate had a flat tire. I think I’ll stick to the kayak!
I’ve had a couple of little melt downs, but I really am feeling good about things, especially when I think about how different this blog post could have been had I not found the lump.
“love the life you live, live the life you love”