Category Archives: Mammogram

T-396 days Lumpectomy

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My alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m.  I’m not nervous.  I’m eagerly calm.  I want this cancer out of me, all of it.  I put on my comfy clothes and get ready for the long drive to Chelsea.  I can’t imagine going here without Travis, my mom and dad are meeting us.

It’s still dark when we arrive.  I head back for the first step of the surgery.  Before the surgery, they put a guide wire in me to lead my surgeon right to where the tumor is located.  I go into my most favorite machine nowadays; the mammogram machine, and they take many pictures marking me with markers so they know where the radiologist should insert the wire.  The radiologist walks in, we both say a warm hello and are surprised we already know one another.  It is the same radiologist that spoke to me on the day of my ultrasound.  It was comforting to have the same person; another sign that God was working his wonder.  She numbs my breast and then inserts a thin silver wire into my breast, more pictures are taken to verify it is in the correct position.  It is, I look down and see what looks like a thin antenna coming out of my breast.  I feel like something out of Star Trek.  They then cover it up with gauze and tape me so that I don’t knock it out of position.

Now I am transported into a van to the hospital for the surgery and I see all of the people I love sitting in the lobby.  They ensure that they will be able to visit me soon.  I get wheeled back to the surgery room where I begin to see familiar face; Gabriella’s ENT surgeon, my anethsiologist from my hernia surgery, seeing people I somewhat knew was nice.  I laid there answering questions, getting prepped up; feeling incredibly calm. Travis and the pastor came back first.  A prayer was said; it was wonderful to have that moment before my surgery.  Next, my parents came back.  I could tell they were all nervous, I think they were all more nervous then me.  We all  just sat and talked about this and that, things were delayed for awhile.  Finally, my surgeon came back and said hello to everyone and reviewed what was going to be done.  It was time to say goodbye to everyone, many kisses and tears.  Not one part of me was nervous, I could feel everyone’s prayers and thoughts lifting me up, I could feel the presence of God, I could feel the love of my family and ALL of it gave me tremendous comfort and peace……then I drifted off to sleep.

I hear voices and beeps, I open my eyes and see a nurse.  She says “How are you feeling?”  I ask if I am all done and if everything went well and she said yes.  Tears started pouring down my face. Tears of joy and relief. Travis comes back with the nurse.  We both start crying together.  He tells me that my surgeon thinks that my lymph nodes were healthy and that she got all of the cancer out.  I keep crying.  I hope, I believe, I think that all of the cancer is out of my breast.  I want to find my surgeon and give her a huge hug and tell her how much I appreciate her amazing work.

Eventually we head home and I am comforted with a incredibly special night with all of my family, my sister Alethea and Isla, my mom and dad, Julie, my kids, Travis, Travis’ kids. My kids come in with bouquets of flowers and kit kats and cards.  I can see the relief on their faces knowing that I am ok.  So many people that I love were all in my house  together, making dinner, eating together, laughing, talking; the sounds of family. I just sat there and smiled thinking that I would have many more years of those special moments.

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T-417 days of breast cancer ride 9/26/12 Genetics

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About to walk into the Cancer Center for the second time; my phone rings.  It is my surgeon’s assistant.  They don’t like the image on the right breast of the MRI.  They want me to make an appointment for an ultrasound.  NO!!! Has this cancer overtaken both of my breasts?  I can’t believe this.  Will this tests ever stop?  I walk into the cancer center and there she is my Nurse Angel Karen; I tell her about the call.  She can tell that I’m ready to lose it.  She says I will try to get you in today to get the ultrasound let me find out what I can do.  Gosh, I love her, she just takes away the frivolous stuff and makes it happen.

I then go into meet with Genetics Counselor, Kristin.  I filled out a 20 page document before this appointment of all family history; births,deaths, what they died of.  She then took all of this information and created a genetic map of my family and what it meant for me.  I wasn’t scared at this appointment but rather curious.  Genetics is quite fascinating.  What is even more amazing is that this wasn’t even available when my mom had cancer and by the time my kids are grown it will probably be standard practice to do genetic mapping.  The good news is that she stated that based on family history and such that I would have a 5% chance of carrying the gene.  That means I have a 95% chance of not having the gene.  95%–those are good odds.  BUT, again another waiting period. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

I’m done with Kristin and go into another room with Karen.  I ask a lot of questions about this ultrasound, what they saw in the MRI.  She tries to reassure me that she doesn’t think it is anything.  I desperately want to believe her.  I want to grab onto her words and hold on tight, but I don’t, I can’t.  I’m nervous.  I’m worried. I don’t trust my body anymore–has the other breast betrayed me too?