I wasn't going to start a "cancer blog". I am a mixed media artist, an art journaler. But I've found cancer gives me no art to work with, at least nothing I can put into images right now. I started a journal, but find it a chore to write in it, my fingers can type much faster, my thoughts can pour out quicker than the hand can write with a pen. This blog is mostly for me right now. I find the need to keep records. To document my life. Right now it's for me, but maybe someday I can help someone get through what I must go through and then it will have some worth.
I have Breast Cancer. (Never in my life did I think I would ever say those words.) The past few months have been a blur, a roller coaster of emotions, the highest highs and the lowest lows. I wrote about it on my Artist blog HERE. Sometimes I stop in my tracks and it hits me- "how the hell did I get here?"
- October 19th-routine mammogram during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
- October 28th-Another mammo and ultrasound. I knew by the way the nurses treated me that it wasn't good.
- November 3rd-Biopsy with Advanced Breast Care Specialists
- November 8th-The phone call "I have bad news. It's cancer."
- Tears, depression, anger, fear, disbelief, sadness, UNREAL.
Here's the medical speak, a previously unknown foreign language: It's a 2 cm tumor, grade 3, ER+, PR+ and HER2+. A node biopsy was clear. But it's fast growing and "triple positive" and "worrisome" whatever the hell that means. We do surgery, radiation, chemotherapy.
I've had an MRI to make sure it hadn't spread (it hadn't), a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, a re-excision because some margins weren't clear, a high density radiation treatment for five days called brachytherapy... and here I am today, almost ready to start chemotherapy on January 10th. I say almost because my port placement was a failure on Friday so tomorrow I have another surgery where the radiation department will try to place it.
I am completely freaked out about chemotherapy. All my life I've been terrified of the whole concept of putting toxic chemicals in the body to kill both good and bad cells. Of course I never thought it would happen to me. I'm the healthy one, remember? I don't even like to take tylenol for a headache!
So here we go. This is the story of my journey through Cancer-land.