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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Can this breast be saved?

I was listening to someone (a doctor) talk about Julia Louis-Dreyfus' breast cancer diagnosis.  He (of course it was a "he") said that depending on the type of breast cancer she had, it could be an opportunity to show women that the most drastic treatment (double mastectomy) doesn't have to be the always treatment.  He also said that breast surgery has come a long, long way in the past few years, and in some cases, after healing, you might be unable to tell which breast had the cancer.  While I think some might be doubtful, the message was a good one.  A message that, today, I know is a truthful one.

When I was diagnosed, and before meeting with my oncologist, I had no idea what type of breast cancer I had. I wasn't actually aware there were different types of breast cancer. There are. During the long-long wait to see the oncologist (it seemed long, long to me!), my Ricky and I, had the opportunity to have some serious talks on what to do "if".  I knew my cancer tumor was small, so my best case scenario (in my less than knowledgeable mind) was a lumpectomy, aka partial mastectomy.  My worse case scenario was, of course, the dreaded double mastectomy.  I've often said of the former, that I would definately go for reconstruction.  I mean... I kinda like my breasts.

I was very lucky, if one diagnosed with breast cancer can be called "lucky".  I got the best case scenario, along with getting a wonderful oncologist, who directed me to an equally wonderful surgeon.  Both of them women, and both considered outstanding in their chosen medical field, breast cancer treatment.  My surgeon, during my pre-surgery appointment, asked me: "do you like the way your breasts look now?"  Uh, yes.  (Though I was a bit bewildered by her question.) Then she promised to do her best to make me like them post surgery. (What a great concept!)

Today, 3-months post surgery and 1-month post radiation therapy, I can say she did her job well.  It's not always possible to "save this breast", but sometimes, if you're lucky....

Feeling pretty lucky, Down Here in French Lique.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

OMG! Cancer 2

i suppose if you can get a minor cancer... that's the one I got.  Girlfriends that have had stage 2,3,4... tell me that there IS NO MINOR CANCER. Maybe not. Those girlfriends, that have had radical mastectomy and months of chemo... they say, cancer is cancer... I love those girlfriends. I have 2, very close to me, both with much more serious breast cancers than me... but somehow... we have had much the same experience... and here's why...

Step 1 diagnosis. No matter which stage... this is your "oh shit" moment.

Step 2 reality. "I have CANCER!" We all thought about what surgery would mean.. talked to those closest to us... husbands, children, siblings, best friends. We made up our minds that if we had to go radical, that's what we would do.

Step 3 really reality.  Our oncologist told us what we had to do,...

Step 4 Just do it.  The choice is, just move forward. What else can you do? Give up? Oh hell no.

That damn cancer diagnosis is a funny thing. Not haha funny... just oddly funny.  I think you become more of who you are.  Cancer makes you realize that, life is a short and finite thing.  It makes you examine every aspect of your life in the most condensed way you can imagine.  It makes you "more".

Cancer sucks in the worst way imaginable; and then somehow, on the other side... it becomes a gift.

Just surviving, Down here in French Lique.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

OMG Cancer

wow. I haven't blogged in a very long time. Life kinda grabs you... snd then time goes by so quickly, doesn't it.  I'm going to share some stuff here... don't know if anyone will read it... and that's okay. I'm just putting it into words...

In May this year... 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It sucks. CANCER! My mind screamed that at me, every day around 5 in the morning.  Between my PCP telling me I had breast cancer, and me seeing the oncologist, was about 2-weeks.  To me, it seemed like a long time to have to wait. I mean, I had this cancer in my breast, eating away at me (she envisions pacman), and why in the hell was everyone else so cavalier? "I have freakin' cancer!"

I won't go into all the torrid details... at least not yet...but the upshot is... stage 1 of a slow growing, estrogen fed (yes, I'm 62 and I still apparently produce estrogen), malignant tumor 9 mm.. a scant 1/4".

Diagnosis... good.  Treatment... worse than the cancer itself.  Partial mastectomy and 6-weeks of radiation treatments.. 5-days a week.. for 6-weeks.  Radiation sucks, but it's better than chemo.

Cancer. It scares the hell out of you. It makes you take stock of your life.

I'm fine now, and awaiting knee replacement surgery (which is what started all this cancer stuff in the first place)... scheduled for December 4th... prayers and sweet comments accepted.. Down Here in French Lique.