August 20, 2011

Diagnosis And Treatment

I had my MRI on Wednesday, and Abe and I met with my surgeon on Friday. She took us through the steps of Cancer 101 and explained the findings of the tests.

I have a fast-growing type of cancer that has spread to my skin and lymph nodes. At this point the plan is to have me start an aggressive program of chemotherapy followed by a complete mastectomy and radiation. There may be more. She sent me stat to Radiology for a bone scan and CT scan to see if it has spread further. While only the tests can tell us for certain, she used language in our meeting to indicate there is a real possibility of that.

The results of those scans might be with my oncologist when I meet with her Monday morning. I can’t help but notice all the lead times for results are being expedited and I’m being rushed to tests that normally take many days to get appointments and a week or more to get results.

Abe held off leaving for his national meeting, but he left today. He can’t do much here but hold me, and I love being in his arms. But now he’s turning his energy to what he CAN do, and that is his job. If he stays in the top ten nationally, as he has for over two decades, we might have the money to pay for all this. He will be on a plane in minutes if I ask him to be.

Meanwhile, my network of breast cancer survivors is kicking into gear. I’ve never seen anything like it. One survivor owns a day spa nearby, and on Mondays when all the other spas are closed, she opens for women fighting breast cancer and offers all services for free. That’s just a tip of the iceberg. Let me tell you, some women really know how to nurture. They are closing in around me in a warm circle of hope. I have to be honest: I need it.

I’m scared. Maybe Monday’s appointment will help me be less apprehensive about the future. A friend—one of many who are breast cancer survivors—will be with me. She had a double mastectomy a few years ago and is doing fine. She will be able to ask the questions I can’t think of yet. My head is spinning and all I know to do right now is stay busy with my work.

Shit. Pray for me, please.

7 comments:

Rox said...

Although I'm not a "praying to God" person, I'm a "pray to whatever strength you need" person, and I've been praying constantly for you.

I'm scared for you, but I know that you have incredible amounts of Grace and whatever you are led to, you will face it with courage and with spunk. Put some Michael Franti on your headphones girl, and know that you are loved.

I wish I was closer because I'd wrap my arms around you and hug you until we both had snot headaches.

MartininBroda said...

Shit, not you! I'm praying of course already, was nearly in bed, had a last look at my reader & shit shit. I will pray for you every day from now on. *Hugs

Ur-spo said...

awful news, indeed.
I am saddened to know you are scared. I am glad you have people around you.

Anonymous said...

Birdie,
I can not think of another person better suited than you who could ride out a storm such as this.

Much love,
Jay

Cubby said...

You're fortunate to have so many friends around you to support you. I am most definitely thinking of you. Good luck with the oncologist today.

Patrick said...

I can see how the expedited tests would be a frightening sign, but I'm very glad you're finding a supportive circle right there, in the flesh. Sending you my love and prayers through the interwebs and ether, but there's nothing like people there in the room with you. And for so many of them to be able to say "yes I've been through this" must be encouraging. I hope so. Being scared is normal, I'm sure you realize, Honey. It sounds like you know to ask for help, so, keep it up. Lots of love to you.

Jeff said...

Note sure whether to be frightened or relieved by the speed at which they are moving, so I'll go with both. Fingers crossed and best wishes sent, give yourself a BIG hug from all of us and please keep us posted.

Jeff