Tick Tock

Surgery day is coming quickly. I’m stressed and anxious. I am stressed because there is so much to do before I’m out-of-commission for the next 7 to 10 days. I’m anxious about the surgery and the permanent change to my body. The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning. I don’t find out what time I need to be there until Monday, late afternoon.

What I’ve learned so far? Be grateful for what you have. You never know when it will be taken away from you.

Also…I need to lighten up. So, I guess there are at least two things I’ve learned so far. 🙂

Here’s hoping I get everything done tomorrow.

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The New Plan

Ok, so it’s a short term plan, but it’s a plan none-the-less and will get me through the next week or so.

Today, I met with the plastic surgeon who will be doing the reconstructive portion of my surgery. He was very patient with me even after I interrupted him a couple of times. (I really hate it when I do that.) He explained my options which included the option of deciding which option to pick until after the radiation treatments.  After briefly speaking with both surgeons this morning, I now feel confident in the direction I am going in this process.

My new surgery date is Tuesday, March 4th. I like this date for several reasons. One reason is that I have some time to mentally prepare for what I am about to face. Another is that this is my birthday week and I don’t want to remember this birthday as being just about major surgery.

Today was a good day.

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One Crazy Week

It has been one crazy week…to be followed by an even crazier one, I’m sure.

On Wednesday, I had two additional biopsies on the same breast due to the results of the MRI. These resulted in a different kind of cancer: Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. What the crap!! Two different kinds of cancer in one breast. So not fair. Unfortunately, this confirms that I will have a mastectomy.

When I met with the surgeon on Thursday, he didn’t have the results from the biopsies yet. He said he wouldn’t call me until Monday with the results. I started to have anxiety Friday morning so I called my Care Coordinator to see if she would be able to provide the results, which she did…thankfully. I mostly just heard “cancer” and knew right away what that would mean surgically.

My surgery is currently scheduled for Friday, February 28th. However, I meet with the plastic surgeon on Monday…so plans may change. Quite frankly, I like the sound of March 7th better. I’m not sure why. [shrug]

Onward and upward, as they say.

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Summing Up the Weekend

Valentine’s Day 2014

This year we celebrated Valentine’s Day with an MRI. Super special, right? At least I went in feet first, laying on my stomach. I just closed my eyes and pretended that I was at a beach somewhere enjoying the sun. The scan lasted about 20 minutes which wouldn’t have been too bad except that we waited in the lobby for over an hour to get to that point. It’s now Tuesday, February 18th and I’m still waiting for the results.

I have the best family ever. Two of my siblings had called me and joked with me for a while which really helped lighten the mood. It’s great to know that they are there for me and will support me. I just need to ask…which I’m not very good at doing.

My husband gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s Day which was very nice. I love flowers. We had made plans, including hiring a babysitter, to go out that night but then changed our minds when we got home. We decided to be lazy and just hang out.

I’m trying to maintain as much of the normal routine as possible for the kids…and for myself. On Saturday mornings, we usually go to Michaels for the arts and crafts activity, to Target for some shopping and finally to the library for new books to read and new movies to watch. In case you are wondering, I have a seven-year-old daughter, a five-year-old son and an almost three-year-old little guy. The only thing we plan to tell them about the cancer is that mommy is sick.

The rest of Saturday was filled with house work, preschool stuff with my five-year-old and periodic Google searches of Mucinous Carcinoma.

Sunday was quiet, just the way I like it. It gives me time to think about the week just completed and mentally prepare for the upcoming week.

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February 13, 2014

Ugh!! Now I have to tell my boss. Awkward!! I never thought I would have to say the word “breast” to my boss. I had communicated to him that I was going to doctor appointments but now I needed to let him know why because I would need more time for more appointments. I told myself I wouldn’t cry when I went into his office…managed to start crying before I even had the door closed.

I told him that I had bad news. “I have cancer”. He asked what kind. I said, “breast cancer. I don’t know how big it is or how far it has spread. I’m still in denial…and obviously crying a lot. But they tell me it’s cancer.” He said his mom had had cancer too and that he would be praying for me. He said to do what I need to do and don’t worry about work. It’s just a job. He choked up a couple of times while talking to me. I kept the conversation short and went into the bathroom to finish crying and make myself presentable. Emotions are soooo exhausting.

My OB/GYN called after my conversation with my boss and restated what he had told me the night before. He had done more research on the kind of cancer I have and had confirmed the prognosis is very good. He had made an appointment for me with a general surgeon at 12:30…just a couple of hours away.

The radiologist called soon after that and restated what my OB/GYN had told me the night before. I held it together until the end of that conversation…and then I lost it when she said, “I’m so sorry that this happened to you.”  She recommended an MRI and a biopsy of the other breast. Her receptionist (I think) set those up for me and sent me something called Emmi via email.

The visit with the  general surgeon: I must have still been in shock. I hadn’t thought of any questions yet and I’m usually really good at asking tons of questions. Usually I just needed one or two to get the ball rolling and additional question would just pop into my head as we’re talking. But, not a chance this time.  I couldn’t come up with any questions. I mentioned the MRI and biopsy. Luckily we rescheduled to meet again the following week once the results of the biopsy and MRI are in.

I told the gal that sits in the cube by me at work…mostly because she asked. It was hard to miss the conversation I had with my boss…plus all the phone calls I was receiving. I hadn’t really decided who to tell yet because I’m still hoping that someone made a mistake.

This was a bit of a foggy day for me.

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Telling my Husband

Wednesday, February 12 (part 2)

I Googled the new disease I have and then called my husband to give him the news. He works a swing shift and we only see each other on the weekends. We talked about how we had both been optimistic that it was just a benign tumor; both of us were sad that it was not. We made initial plans of what we would do next.

I cried a little but was still in denial that it was true. I thought that we would wait and see what the doctors say in the morning. Perhaps there was a mistake. I’m an auditor. I see mistakes all the time. I wondered if they would let me review everything and talk to the pathologist to make sure he/she triple checked their work. Doubtful

Mucinous (colloid) carcinoma is a rare invasive breast cancer (3% of invasive breast cancers) in which the cancer cells are surrounded by mucous. It’s basically a jelly tumor. Apparently it’s easy to identify once it’s under a microscope, so I suppose I should trust the pathologist to do their job correctly. 🙂 The good news is that it rarely spreads to the lymph nodes. The prognosis is good.

After some minor research and an emotionally exhausting day (mostly from trying not to cry), I went to bed.

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Apparently, I have cancer…the big C

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 (part 1)

I knew it was going to be bad news when the doctor, who delivered my babies, left me a voice mail asking me to call him on his cell phone. I called him as soon as I could get to a quiet spot. I was home from work and my boys were a bit rambunctious that night.

“Well, it’s not good news,” my doctor said once we had completed the pleasantries. I responded that I thought it might not be good. “You have Mucinous Carcinoma.” I couldn’t quite hear him. Did he say mucinous? What is that? How do you spell it? He said words like: invasive, rare, 3%, colloid. I was trying not to cry. I was trying to take notes. This wasn’t supposed to happen. It was supposed to be the Syringomatous Adenoma I had in my twenties. Just a quick surgery and I was on my merry way. What was I supposed to do now?

After talking with my doctor for about 10 minutes, he agreed to help me find a general surgeon that he trusted and call me by 10 the next morning. I quickly put myself back together and jumped in the car with the boys to go pick up my daughter from her dance and tumbling classes. We made it just as her tumbling class was ending. I picked up McDonald’s for the kids which kept them busy while I Googled my new words: Mucinous (Colloid) Carcinoma of the Breast.

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