So, here it is. The news I have been waiting the last 3 months and 6 days to hear.
The question arose on December 18th: What is that lump in my left breast?
Today March 27th after the removal of 3 lumps, 17 lymph nodes and 1 left breast I have the answer.
I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal carcinoma with some potential lymph node involvement. Then the lumps, nodes and all the surrounding bits were taken away.
I successfully came through the long boring and painful portion of the recovery from mastectomy surgery. Now all the important body parts have been tested and we know most of the answers.
1) The lumps came out not attached to each other or to anywhere else = Good News!
2) Of the nodes removed 1 had a teeny tiny bit of cancer = Medium to Good News!
3) The tests on the lumps said they are ER negative = Good News! This meant no hormone treatments +Bad News! This meant chemotherapy was likely
4) The lumps found produce a protein that makes my type of cancer very aggressive = Bad News!
5) The tests we got today on all the other parts said there is no cancer anywhere else= Good News!
So, if you weigh the bad over the good, then things don’t seem so bad.
Altogether the simple answer is that I have to have chemotherapy for 4 months and a special antibody shot for a year after that and then my chances of having the cancer return are low. Given all the strife of the last 3 months (and 6 days) I don’t like the answer but I will take it over a harder answer. I saw a lot of people in the waiting room in the cancer clinic today that have had to take a harder answer.
I can drive now. I am awake and active all day. I will be at the store more in the next few weeks and once the chemo starts I will be there as often as I am up to it. I will likely be mostly tired and will lose my hair.
I would like to say a HUGE thanks to everyone who helped me and Luke get through the surgery and recovery process. The flowers, notes, cards, gifts and offerings were plentiful and I am very lucky to have you all in my life. Help, care, love and prayers showed themselves in many forms, all of them beautiful and some of them surprising and unexpected!
The honourable mentions go to:
-Tim who was here every night for weeks making sure Luke and I were ok
- The neighbours and friends who dutifully kept us fed with delicious food dropped off (often silently on the porch) each day
-The Harris’s fuzzy little stuffed Koala that traveled all the way from
Thanks to everyone!
P.S. Luke knows all the details about the surgery and the cancer now, and seems to be ok. Thanks to all who respected my choice to keep the C-word secret from him until the time was right to tell him.