UPDATE: Saw medical oncologist, he said I am stage 2. It will now be 2 more weeks before he knows if I need chemo or not. I did finish physical therapy yesterday. My arm is still numb in places and only hurts occasionally, just working on getting my strength back for the next phase and not thinking about chemo!!!
I can't thank everyone enough for the support and prayers you have given me. Merry Christmas!!
I am the 3rd person in my immediate family diagnosed with cancer and the 4th in my extended family diagnosed with breast cancer. My father died at 50 of lung cancer and my sister at 55 from breast cancer. In September I was diagnosed with breast cancer as well. I knew in the back of my mind it would be a fight, but I always go with hope for the best.
I wasn't worried, until I had something to worry about. Now I need help with expenses.
The biopsy wasn't that bad, (I was fascinated with that sewing machine like contraption actually) , the waiting for an answer was BAD and there was more waiting for further answers. Figuring out the medical system was quite a learning curve. The MRI was frightening, I've had many MRI's with no difficulty, but I wasn't prepared for this one. The position was painful and made me feel extremely claustrophobic. I tried to tap out of it but the nurse wouldn't let me, kudos to her. Then the 7 radioactive ion injections, which were very painful. Next was surgery, which I thought I would recover from in 1-2 weeks. However, I required a 2nd surgery, 2 weeks after the first one, because they didn't get all the cancer. Both surgeries were painful, and the recovery continues to be painful. Think of having an incision and it constantly being pulled on by the force of gravity. My arm as been bent for 5 weeks carrying the weight of my breast. Now I am experiencing a new issue; I am unable to straighten my arm because muscle and tendon tightness prevent it. I started physical therapy this week.
I went to a radiation Oncologist consult today only to find out that I have to see the medical Oncologist first to get a
plan formed with him. Now medical oncologist has ordered more tests before I know if chemo is necessary..... more waiting.
I have had an extremely difficult year. Three of my dogs died, Mom's cat died, they are my children. My boyfriend died after a battle with West Nile virus. My best friend and also my business partner, Janet, who was one of the greatest people that has ever walked the planet, died. I gave her CPR but I couldn't save her from the COPD and pnuemonia that killed her. I tell you these things to demonstrate that I am not fragile; I have been through and dealt with some shit in my life and still am.
Before all this I cared for my mother with Alzheimers until she died. I lost my mortgage business, and my home and had to start from scratch because she required constant care. After that, I managed to build a thriving cleaning business. A year after Mom passed, my sister Mindy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. My sister Lea Anne and I were
with her when she collapsed and died at a chemo appointment a year later. It is ever on my mind, how bad Mindy felt and the brave fighting face she put on--the same one I am trying to wear now. And then there is my other sister, Lea Anne, who cared for Mom, Mindy too, and is now in this with me. I just can't imagine how she must feel. She has dropped her life to be with me; she even flew halfway home and turned around mid trip to come back when I found out the first surgery did not result in clean margins. She is the most caring and giving person I know, the best person I've ever known in this world. My point is, none of my family are fragile flowers, but even we can only take so much.
I find great wonder and beauty in the world. I am an advocate for all things natural, the environment, all animals, especially those in need. I worked in non-profit animal rescue for 5 years while watching over Mom, it was my respite. I continue to support animal well being and spay/neuter programs. I have helped a few people get back on their feet with financial support or in sharing my roof with them. I am a worker bee and a boss at the same time, a listener, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a gardener and a lover of all animals--dogs, wolves, bears and old horses especially.
Right now I need your help because this is the time of year when my job is the most physically challenging. Because of my cancer and the effects of treatment, I have not able to work for five weeks. I am extremely concerned about
keeping my business afloat because I have many people depending on me. I need help with expenses.
Please don't assume in all this sadness that I don't see how beautiful the glass is; you see it's not whether the glass is half empty or half full, it's finding something special about the glass itself . . . MINE HAS BEEN AN AMAZING LIFE FULL OF BEAUTY, WONDER AND LOVE!