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FINAL UPDATE:  It's over!  Cancer-free!  Get your mammos!

 

UPDATE:  My final visit with oncologist is scheduled for October 25th!!  I get to wear a pink top and RING the BELL!!! After 5 long years of always wondering...finally coming to an end!  Thank you all so much for all the support and love!

 

If only mom could fix the boo-boo once again! Remember running in the house with blood running down the knee and mom wiping your tears and fixing the boo-boo? Well, this is a boring story to some, so don't feel like you have to sit here and read all this. I am writing this all down for the benefit of some friends on here that care.

I had a mammogram done on April 8th. Got a call to go have another mammogram done at the Surgical Breast Center on the 19th. After the mammogram, I had to sit and wait for a bit not having any idea of what was going on, but didn't like it one little bit. A few minutes later I was told they wanted to do an ultrasound on the right breast and a biopsy. I wasn't too overly concerned because I had this done a couple of years ago to the same breast. After that I was told someone would call me with the results. Again, nothing abnormal about that, either.

The following Monday afternoon, April 22nd, I got a call from the doctor who did the biopsy and since I had stepped outside for a bit, I missed the call. I checked the voice call and the message was to call the doctor back. What? I don't normally talk to the doctor – usually it's just the nurse and she gives me the results on voice mail. By this time I had a scary feeling as I dialed the doctor's number back. She answered and told me.. “you have cancer”. She didn't pad it with suspected malignancy or anything like that. She just blurted it out. Wow...was I shocked. I still can't remember much of the rest of the conversation from that point. She said a nurse would call me back the next day.

Now they wanted to schedule an MRI to check both breasts which this machine is not lady-friendly at all. I won't go into those details but laying face down on a hard plastic bed with your face in a hole that looks like a huge donut was not fun...and this took about an hour or so.

After the MRI, they scheduled me to go to the Regional Cancer Center for a discussion about what all was going on and my options along with what they will do. Now, my mind is still wandering around in every direction, but I showed up at the Cancer Center and had my mommy-in-law with me to take notes. I knew I couldn't have Randy with me because I would break down in tears. His mom is a caring sweetheart, but also has a way of keeping you calm. I survived that 5 hour run down on how everything will work but I couldn't repeat any of it back to you.

Now the concern is the left breast and the ultrasound and biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow. If they can't see it with the ultrasound, they will have to do the MRI biopsy next week. The doctor who does those had to leave for a few days or else it would be done right after the ultrasound on the 9th.

This is all I know as of now... will update as I find out. I've had quite a few of you asking and some that didn't know found out from others, so instead of anyone's feelings being hurt, I decided to put all this in a blog and update as I find out information.

Thank you so much for all the prayers and well wishes. You have helped me so much emotionally as well as a couple of you talking to me about your own personal war with cancer. Prayers work!

Just wish mom could make the boo-boo go away :(

UPDATE: 05/09/2013

The ultrasound didn't pick up the spot on the left breast so they are going ahead with the MRI Biopsy and bone scan.  Not sure what that date is.  I'm going to beat this - just wish they could hurry up and get all this pre-testing done and get the surgery out of the way.

UPDATE 05/13/2013

The MRI biopsy is scheduled for 5/20/2013 and bone density for 5/29/2013.  Sorry I haven't been around much last few days, but soaking in all the research I can.  Even though with the Cancer Center being supportive, they won't help me decide what to do.

UPDATE 05/21/2013

Just got the phone call from the Cancer Center.  The left breast biopsy indicates NO cancer there, so they will concentrate on the right breast and will remove a few lymph nodes to biopsy during surgery to make sure it hasn't spread to the blood stream since it is an invasive cancer.  We are all just happy it is such early detection and going for regular mammograms.  PLEASE .... go get your mammograms!! I would not wish any of this pain and fear on anyone, so get those mammograms and be relieved... yearly!! My first biopsy was in 2004 - benign, then other breast in 2007 - benign, the right breast was biopsied 2 years ago and it was benign...now 2 years later, I have cancer.  The bone density is scheduled for the 29th of May and I will meet with one of my doctors on June 11, then more blood work, then meet with head surgeon and schedule the surgery.

UPDATE 06/01/2013

Finished with all tests now (as far as I know).  Randy and I will meet with the surgeon Monday afternoon, 6/3 - then we will meet with the onocologist.  This is so spirit-wrenching - all the waiting.... hurry up and wait! :(  But I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and so many of you are fantastic in helping me through your love and support.  Thank you so much!! Love you all dearly!

UPDATE 06/03/2013

Went to dr. today... and with all the calcifications in both breasts, we have almost 99% agreed to have both breasts removed.  I have an appt. with the plastic surgeon on 6/7... and I meet with the oncologist on 6/11, so I'll be able to feel more confident when I make a decision one way or the other.  Either way, the surgery should be about the 2nd or 3rd week in July.

UPDATE 06/07/2013

Plastic surgeon has to get with my regular dr. the cancer surgeon and my lung dr.  She does not think I'm strong enough to be able to withstand 6 to 10 hrs. of surgery to have tissue extenders put in or much more than just the mastectomy, if even that. The drs. will consult and get back with me.  They hope to schedule something for me by the end of July. I just wanted "peace of mind" and not having to have a biopsy every 2 yrs. like I've been having for the past 10 to 12 yrs.  It's like they were just waiting for it to turn into cancer... just wish I could find out if it's affected the lymph nodes yet.  If not, I would elect to possible just having the lumpectomy and chemo, radiation, and pills.  I'm just at a loss with no one able to give me any answers.  She is the first to have said I was too weak to survive this.... so we will see. Otherwise, I sit and wait some more. :(  Thank you all for your support and prayers.  Not sure which path to take or what to do at this point, so will continue praying for guidance.

UPDATE 06/19/2013

Surgery is scheduled for July 24th.  The drs. agreed I couldn't go through surgery for the double mastectomy... Thank you all again for your support and friendship! Hugs!

UPDATE 7/23/2013

Surgery is tomorrow, the 24th! Want to thank everyone for your prayers and support.  You have been fanstastic! Let the butterfly do her thing and we'll put it all in God's hands now ~

UPDATE 07/26/2013

Surgery went as planned.  Biopsy on lymph node showed negative!! So, radiation treatments for 4 1/2 to 6 weeks, then anti-hormone pills for 5 years!!  Still very sore, so will be off more than on.  Again, thanks to all who cared! Love you dearly ~

UPDATE 07/29/2013

Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement, your caring and your prayers.  These comments left by you are precious to me and I value each of you and your friendship.  I'm healing nicely with a little pain, but more peace of mind since the diagnosis, so I'll gladly accept this pain.  I go back to the doctor and the oncologist on August 6th.  We'll see what each has to say about the next step.... radiation!  Hugs to all, and again... thank you all!

UPDATE 08/13/2013

Had to go back to surgeon... had seroma infection and was put on 875 mg of Maox-Clav for 10 days.  I go back to surgeon again on Thursday, the 15th, to see if I'm better.  If not, they will have to re-open the wound (aawwkkkkk).  If all is ok, I'll meet with drs. to start on the pills and radiation on the 19th.  These antibiotics have just got to work.... I do not want to go back "under the knife"... it hurts to even think about that.  LOL... will update as I can.  Thanks again for your continued prayers and well wishes.  Love to each of you!

UPDATE 08/15/13

Went back to surgeon this morning.  He put me on another antibiotic to try for 2 weeks.  He thinks it's a reaction to the tracer used to find the sentinel lymph node since the redness is below the incision area.  I go back to see him on the 28th.  I will still go to oncologist on the 19th to start my anti-hormone pills which won't interfere.  It's amazing all this medication I'm on and it's not supposed to affect each other??? Wow!! I'm continuing to pray for this infection to clear up... get through the 6 weeks of radiation and start lving again.  I feel like I've been cast in a gloomy dark room since April and I'm trying to break through...LOL.  I have so much love and support from family and friends, but my alone times give you time to think and try to continue thinking positive, not alloweingany negativity!!  Hugs n love to all of you.  You are so precious to me.

UPDATE 08/28/13

Went back to the surgeon and he's now assured that my body had a reaction to the tracer.  I went back to the oncologist and I've got 3 tiny tattoo dots on my boobie...LOL... along with all kinds of blue circles, etc... I will start radiation on September 3rd!  I will have treatments each weekday for 6 weeks.  Again, thank you all for your prayers and your friendship.  It has helped me get through this .... and I won't ever forget you!  Love n hugs!

UPDATE 09/05/13

Just got back from my 3rd visit to radiation.  They won't let me drive now, so someone takes me and picks me up.  The treatments are not bad, but the results are just being tired.  I slept over 12 hrs. Tuesday night, and 10 hrs. Wednesday night.  This is soooooooo not like me.  I usually do fine on 6 to 7 hours of sleep.  So something is doing something to me...LOL... Once this 6 weeks is up, I should not need to have chemo.  Just taking the pills for the next 5 yrs. ... whewww... would never wish any of this on anyone.  So, ladies...please go have your mammograms done!!   Your love and prayers has gotten me through all this.  Thank you all... so much!!

UPDATE 09/26/13

About halfway through my radiation treatments but still on antibiotics.  I should be pretty cleared of the infection in the next day or so and radiation treatments will probably end on October 14th.  And boy, do they drain you.  I'm still trying to drive to the Cancer Center each day since it's only about 15 miles away.  But ...some days are diamonds...some days are stones!! We "journey on".... again, I do want to thank you all for your prayers, your support, and sticking through this with me.  Just be sure to get your mammograms done each year!  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month... and the word needs to get out to all these beautiful women to take care of inside...as well as outside!  Love you all so much!

UPDATE 10/15/13

Finished up radiation treatments and will start on the anti-hormone pills for 5 yrs.... ugh!! I go back to surgeon, and both oncologists in about a month.  Thank you all for standing by me during this horror.  I am very tired and so glad that most of this 6 months is behind me and I can move on with my life with a bit of normalcy (if that's a word).  Your prayers and love have carried me through all this and I can't thank you enough.  IF you ever need me, let me know - support for one another brings about a lot of peace of mind.  

I do want to mention a few of you that really went that extra mile to try to keep me calm during all this.  And I know I'll be leaving out a couple, but I have to add them later.  

Special, special... love, appreciation, and thanks go to LovesASimpleMan... she has put up with me through all of this and never gave up on me.  Also, I truly appreciate Daves Not Here for bringing me and Anita together.  Others facing breast cancer have also given me quite a bit of support and information..thank you!!  Sunshine Dixie Darling... almost impossible to describe all she has done.  She's been there for me daily to encourage me.  Same for Karen... oops, it's McKaren now! She's been great about keeping my spirits up and we have had some funny times together.  And poor Maestro...we have certainly picked on him and he's been a trooper.  I poke him several times a day just to let him know I'm watching him!!  Leeeeeza has been going through her own healing process over a long period of time so we have been encouraging each other.  Thank you so much for the cancer anklet you sent me, Leeeeeza.  I wear it 24/7!!   Brown Eyes has been fantastic...she has shared her "special butterfly" with me throughout all of this! This butterfly has a very special meaning that she has so graciously shared with me.  And if you need a happy face, Satin Cupcake was always ready with a smile and sincere caring! She's one of the best!   DeeLove has been keeping a strick eye on me throughout...and thank you so much for your love!  Kentucky Woman knows a lot of what I went through firsthand also.  There are so many more... Jerry, Jeannie, FlyBoy, Spunk, Dragon Slayer, Blondie, and so many others who said.. "I'm here if you need to talk".  And if you've never talked to Bobby, he's an inspiration to anyone!! Truly a great friend.  And I do want to thank my Lil Chiquita - she's such a sweetheart!! Thank you all...even CanadianBratt who has so much going on in her own personal life has sent me several encouraging messages.  Also, Temp, Loadbreaker, Smoke, Drew, Make My Day, Goober... (my special kitty kat..LOL)... and so many more.  OK, maybe trying to mention you all was not the best idea, and I know I've left some of you off, but I know you know how much I appreciate you being here for me.  If I have, I apologize.  We can all read the comments you all have left and know how much you genuinely care for one another.  Fubar has certainly given me a chance to meet up with so many on here!  Again, thank you all!!  Lots of love to each of you ~

and special thanks to my real life husband and best friend for being there for me through it all... through all the tears, the heartaches, and the "why me's"... without him, I could not have done this! It would have been too easy to give up... but he wouldn't let me!! I love you, Randy!!

 UPDATE January 25, 2014

I know I haven't updated in a while and had several asking me, so thought I would drop a note to say I'm on the meds now and they do give you mood swings and hot flashes...LOL... but looking beyond that, most of the soreness has subsided and getting my strength back in my right arm now.  Randy gave me some 3 lb. weights to use to help with this. I still have a couple of concerns I will discuss with my dr. on my next visit because right now, even though I'm happy just to be alive, I still have to cope with cosmetic changes that worry me a bit.  But all in time... I am trying to be patient.  Thank you all for your continued prayers and well wishes.  Love you all dearly,.

UPDATE JUNE 17, 2014

Got to meet with the plastic surgeon on the 24th of this month to discuss how to proportion everything since all the healing time is over for the most part.  Lot of dimple fill ins, whatever that is.  But will update as I find out.

UPDATE JULY 8, 2014

Surgeon says I still have a lot of damaged areas that need to heal further.  There is also still a lot of soreness around the lymph node area, too.  So again, we wait....

UPDATE OCTOBER 1, 2014

Talked to dr. yesterday afternoon and my mammo that was done on 9/22 came back with no signs of the cancer remaining! So... so chemo, no more radiation... but I have to remain on the meds for another 4 years!  I'm just so glad to have this major part behind me.  Reconstruction might start as early as the first part of 2015... updates later on.

Once again...and I can not say this enough... thank you all...each one of you who has been through this entire oreal with me and followed me day by day, week by week... it has been a tremendous struggle and burden and so hard to keep a happy face.  These meds have me in all kinds of mood swings - some that last for a few hours..and others that will last for a day or more.  So thank you to all that understood what I was going through and stuck by me.... I love you!

UPDATE OCTOBER 6, 2014

Received written notification that no cancer cells appeared on last test so considered in REMISSION.  I have an appointment with a surgeon on the 29th to go over the reconstruction options.  I will still visit the oncologist every 6 months, get my yearly mammos, and stay on the medication for 4 more years!  I am so excited...and so glad this was caught in time!  Please encourage your mom, sister, aunt, girlfriend, wife... to go have their mammos done!  It only takes a few minutes and now with the cancer rate at 1 in every 3 people will get cancer, it's certainly worth taking seriously!  Again, thank you all for putting up with me... and thank you for all the support and love! I love you all!

 

UPDATE 10/29/14

Just got back from surgeon's office.  It appears the only solution is to reduce the size of my undiseased breast.... so I might just have to learn to live with what I have now.  I really can't see cutting on a good breast.

 

UPDATE 02/09/15

Made my final decision yesterday to not go through with reduction of the undamaged breast.  Randy and I both agree that since I'm still having pain and problems with the damaged breast and lymph node removal site, that I will just stay with how I am now.  It's a decision we both feel is right at this time.  I simply cannot believe they can't repair the damaged breast, but will hold off for another year to see what lies ahead... thank you everyone... each one of you.. for all the support and love shown to me.  

UPDATE 9/28/15

Had my 2 yr. check up... still all clear, but they are keeping an eye on a small mass on my left breast but it is still benign.  Just 3 more years of the pills... then I can say I am cancer-free!

 

UPDATE 7/07/16

Had my 3 yr. checkup but have to remain on pills til September of 2018, because that's when the radiation treatments started.  Otherwise dr. says everything seems to be fine.  Thank you all so much for all the well wishes and positive thoughts!  You've helped me through this .... and I hope that anyone who reads this will reach out to someone with cancer and show them the love that I've received.

 

UPDATE 4/6/17

I'm so saddened by those who exploit and use their cancer or disease as a ways of asking for bling.  This is so embarrassing to me and I'm sure anyone else who has had cancer or any kind of disease.  I have kept everything quiet and kept most of mine in this blog just to keep those who care updated.  Never once did I ask anyone for any type of favor or funds because I have breast cancer.  What a slap in the face this is.

UPDATE 7/17/17

Went to see oncologist today for my 4 yr. checkup.  He has changed the date for my final labwork and exam io August 13th of 2018! If blood work is still negative, I will be considered cancer-free after 5 years!! He told me to be sure to wear PINK! Woohoo!!! No more treatments, meds, feeling sick to my tummy, or the day to day fear of this dreaded disease!  I will be so relieved.  Thanks to all of you who are standing by me during this 5 "hell" years!


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