June 24, 2019 - The Beginning
I find it very odd to be writing about myself. In fact, I have struggled with the decision to create this site. On one hand, it seems so gratuitous, but on the other hand, it serves a great purpose of updating loved ones. As I continue to add updates and postings, they may prove clumsy at times, but know that my intent is 1) to keep my family and friends updated 2) to provide an outlet for me to capture my thoughts and feelings.
How did I get here? On Mother's Day of this year, I felt a lump in my left breast. I knew it was not "normal", and that I needed to have it checked without delay. The next day, I called Breast Care Specialists in Atlanta for an appointment. Thankfully, they wasted little time in scheduling.
On May 21, 2019, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. For me, the diagnosis spoken was a surreal sentence with a gut punch for added measure.
For all of my family and friends, please take note. I had a clean and clear mammogram last Fall. In addition, I am BRCA 1& 2 NEGATIVE. Cancer does not care. It does not discriminate.
Breast Care Specialists do not mess around. I met with a wonderful doctor on May 21st. After a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy, we knew we were dealing with Breast Cancer, but didn't know what it meant exactly. How big was the tumor(s)? What type of cancer? Was the cancer hormone receptive? I never knew there was so much to know about breast cancer. I am learning a new language.
Those answers would come as the slooooowwww wait for results began. From the initial biopsy, they were running many tests. The results would determine if I went straight to surgery or would have to go through rounds of chemotherapy first. For me, waiting on the results was very stressful.
Over the last few weeks, I have had 2 MRI's and a second biopsy of the other breast. The biopsy results finally came and we have learned that the cancer is HR+ (positive) and HER2- (negative). The tumors in my left breast are Grade 3, which means it is an aggressive cancer. In simple terms, I will go directly to surgery.
I am scheduled to have a Double Mastectomy (DMX) and reconstruction on July 10th at Northside Hospital. During that surgery, they will be able to determine if my lymph nodes have been compromised and to what extent. After the DMX, we will understand my path for recovery and the necessity of additional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation.
As many know, we now reside in the beautiful town of Santa Rosa Beach (Seagrove Beach). However, we have elected to seek treatment in Atlanta. Jamie, Mason and I have rented a house and will be in Atlanta for the surgery and recovery period after. We expect to be in our "new home" for about a month.
Mason. Mason is a beautiful, kind, loving 9-year old. We have made the decision to be very open about what lies ahead. We are upbeat and positive. He knows that Mommy has cancer, but we are going to the best doctors who will "fix" me. Our focus is to keep his life as normal as possible and quell any fears that he may have. He is doing fine, so far. In fact, he is quite excited about the Lego/Minecraft summer camp we enrolled him in Atlanta. ?
Jamie. Jamie is doing great. He is my rock. He knows that my recovery from surgery will be very difficult, and he is prepared to make it as easy as possible for me. I am very lucky and grateful that he is my partner, husband and father to our son. I can't imaging going through this without him.
Immediate Family. Rick and Jackie (brother and sister-in-law), have been so supportive. It means the world to me to know I have their love and support. We love them very much. In addition, they have my 90 year-old mother (Miss Margaret) living with them. She has had a rough year herself, and they have provided so much love and care for her. I don't have to "thank" them, but I am eternally grateful that they are taking care of her. (Mom, I know you are reading this - I love you.)
Dear Friends. This list is hard and would forever be inaccurate. I would invariably leave someone out, which would break my heart. First and foremost, THANK YOU. We are very blessed to have such dear friends who care about us. It is humbling to see the outpouring of love and care. We treasure it.
As events, updates, or random thoughts occur, I will be posting again. Until then.....wishing everyone much love. Please don't hesitate to reach out. I love hearing from you all.