August 16, 2011


Yesterday I learned that I have breast cancer. Apparently having had cancer (melanoma) before does not mean squat in preparing you to hear that word again. After I finished crying and cursing, my thought was “I’m not done!” I have so much to do before I leave this mortal coil; I don’t have time for this.

I’m still in shock. I don’t know enough—does one ever?—about this most common type: invasive ductal carcinoma. I have several friends who have been through it who are helping me choose doctors and know what to expect. The Female Medical Support Network has always been far more informative for me than any doctor, and this time is no different.

This really came out of nowhere. There is no history of it in my family at all, and I can’t think of anything that would make me more at risk than anyone else. It’s just a roll of the dice. I knew something was up when an apparent “infection” did not change over four weeks. The mammogram led to an ultrasound and a biopsy, all within a 2½ hour visit last Thursday. The ultrasound showed three spots that lit up when the doctor scanned for heightened blood flow. I suspect he knew then, but they don’t say anything until the lab results come back.

I will be having an MRI this week and probably surgery next week. I don’t know what sort of follow-up treatment will be required; more tests are in order.

I have told my family and friends, and the response has been wonderful. This may sound odd for anyone who has not experienced it, but I am looking forward to the overwhelming grace which has already begun to surround me. It happened when I had melanoma, and it really helped me deal with my fears. “Cancer” is a frightening word, and, yes, I am scared. While a number of my friends are survivors of breast cancer, three were not.

I will not go gently into that good night. I’m not done. Since this is my reality right now, I will be writing about it. Bear with me, and come along on this roller coaster of a ride.


Rox said...

The natural urge is to want to swoop in and ease your pain with comfort of some sort. Imagine these words are a soft blanket, wrapping themselves around you.
We love you.
We have faith in you.
We know you are strong enough to beat this.
Don't be afraid.
You're not alone.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friend,
I have enjoyed your blog for many years. I've found your adventures to be quite interesting. This chapter in your life will be one which you handle with finesse and grace. May you always be creative in the way you conquer this disease.
Brother Bear

Java said...

Honey, I have been thinking of you ever since I heard. You are in my heart. God Bless.

Brian R said...

Be sure you are now first in my prayers and regularly in my thoughts.

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

Rox said it so well. Your corner is full of people who love and admire you. You love life. No room for cancer. Kick it to the curb!

Cubby said...

My heart fell out when I read this. I'm so sorry to read this bad news.

Jeff said...

Sending you all of my best wishes, strongest hopes, crossed fingers and positive ions for a full and speedy recovery. We, of this planet, are simply NOT done with you yet and won't be for a long time.

Much love and best wishes


Ur-spo said...

Please do keep us all posted; my experience is women who share and vent this have a better time at it all.


Anonymous said...

Dear Birdie,

Though the news is troubling, I had an immediate sense that all would be well for you.

Your note announcing the cancer diagnosis was in itself the leading indicator of a favorable outcome. Sent within hours of word from your doctor, it was upbeat, open hearted and courageous. Those words describe you perfectly and are the reason YOU are one of my heroes.

Sending good thoughts and hugs and looking forward to see you soon!

Much love,

Patrick said...

Just wanted to check in here at the blog, my Dear. Thinking of you, sending love and positive healing energy your way. I'm glad you have good sources of information as well as real live people right there with you to lean on.