The Pink Sisterhood ~ Part 3
It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since I last posted about my breast cancer journey. This past month has been filled with many appointments, and lots of yard and house work. It has also allowed me some much needed time for personal reflection.
In the Pink Sisterhood Part 2, I mentioned I had an upcoming appointment with the Oncologist on May 3. This appointment went very well! He discussed all my treatment options and explained each facet to me in great detail. All of the additional statistics he provided were very informative for me as well.
I left feeling reassured about many things, especially that the breast cancer cells found in my sentinel lymph node were nothing to worry about. He explained to me that it was just the lymph node doing it’s job catching stray cells! Whew, what a relief it was to hear that!
The Radiation Oncologist appointment on May 9.
During this meeting the Radiation Oncologist went over my treatment options with me just like my Oncologist did. Patiently answering all our questions in detail and explaining what I could expect each step of the way. She was very reassuring as well about my prognosis!
I feel blessed that I am getting the best possible care from both of these highly skilled doctors and the entire staff at the cancer center. The care and concern I was shown by everyone involved with my care gave me such a sense of calm.
And as always, Elecia knew exactly which questions to ask that I wouldn’t even have thought of! 🙂
As per the recommendation of my Radiation Oncologist, I returned to the clinic on May 10 for a mammogram. This would allow her to see how I was healing from the two previous lumpectomies as well as providing her with a baseline for future reference.
She requested a mammogram to be done on the right breast as well to make sure there were no changes in some calcifications they have been following.
WHAT? Not again!
When the Radiologist on duty that day came to talk to me, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. I couldn’t believe she said that a new suspicious area was found in my left breast…How could this be happening AGAIN?! Was it more breast cancer? At least there were no changes on the right side.
Foolishly, I had assumed this appointment would be a simple visit with no issues. That said, I didn’t have anyone come with me this time as I didn’t think it was necessary. Hearing this by myself was devastating. I barely made it to my car before I started crying.
Sitting in my car, I gathered my courage and got control of myself so I could drive home. Once home I let it sink in that I had yet another biopsy to deal with the next day. Then the “why me” attitude set in and I wallowed in self-pity that entire evening.
The next day, Elecia picked me up and we headed in to the Cancer Center for yet another stereotactic biopsy on my left breast.
I was so relieved that the same wonderful Radiologist and Imaging Technologist who have done all but one of my previous biopsies were able to take care of me again. Hands down, this entire staff is the best there is!
While doing the X-rays to set up for the biopsy a second area of concern was also found. Luckily, the different angle I was in for this biopsy allowed them to find this! They decided to remove this area as well while I was there.
I realized all this was happening for a reason. Even though I didn’t see it in the beginning, here it was just as clear as could be.
I need to always remember that God is in control.
NO more wallowing in self-pity for me (at least not now).
Due to the additional area they found, the appointment that should have been 30 to 45 minutes took over 2 hours. The staff kept Elecia in the loop the whole time regarding what was going on so she would not worry.
When I viewed the final X-ray that day, I couldn’t believe how many different types of clips were now in this breast. A different clip is used each time to delineate each biopsied area. I know this sounds silly, but it sort of looked like board game pieces scattered around in there!
I was ready to head home. My body was craving rest so I laid down and napped for several hours. With all of the procedures I’ve had since February, this area was exceptionally painful the first night. Thankfully by the next morning I was feeling much better.
The waiting continues…
We had all hoped the results would come in before the weekend, but that didn’t happen. So needless to say it made my weekend feel very long at times. Normally I hope the weekends go slowly, but not this time.
Luckily though, it was Mother’s Day weekend, which greatly alleviated many of my worries! Elecia spoiled me with an amazing brunch, beautiful flowers and some much needed relaxation! All things considered, it was honestly the best Mother’s Day ever!
Thankfully, as soon as they received the results Monday morning they called me! Praise God, everything came back negative for any more malignancies! WHAT A RELIEF there was no new breast cancer found!
This time, I cried tears of joy!
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am NOT generally a crier and haven’t been for quite a few years now. Usually I am very stoic about stuff. In fact, some of my family and friends jokingly refer to me as a “Bad A$$”. I’m not sure about that title at times, but it does make me smile! 🙂
May 16, the CT scan and a radiation simulation.
My sister, Vicki, was kind enough to meet me for my CT scan and the radiation simulation. Thanks, Sis for being there for me!
Upon arrival I was given a tour of the facility and shown the different areas I will be using during my treatment.
Once this was done, I had the necessary CT scan and then started the radiation simulation. I was taught a special breathing technique to hold my breath which will keep my heart muscle away from radiation during treatment. I’m not used to holding my breath!
Practice makes perfect (I hope). I have been doing my homework as instructed and have been practicing how to hold my breath like they taught me.
I can now honestly say what it must be like to be a shirt pattern. 😉 My chest, sides and stomach have all been marked with a Sharpie and tape in numerous areas. This will allow them to set up the machine for my radiation when I return next week.
To be truthful with you, I was a bit depressed when I left this appointment. I had hoped my radiation treatments would start this week. So finding out that I would have to wait another week before radiation would start was certainly not what I wanted to hear.
I think the Radiation Oncologist wanted this area to heal a bit more from the recent biopsies. My fingers are crossed that the bruising, etc. will be gone before my appointment next week. So hopefully my treatments can finally begin!
It’s amazing what a good nights sleep can do!
Thankfully with a new plan of action in place to treat my breast cancer, I finally slept well again. So when I woke up I had a new sense of determination!!!
From the stress of everything that has been going on I haven’t been doing what I should. My blogging has suffered this past month. So it’s time for me to get back into learning new skills and finishing a few online courses about blogging.
I pray that once my radiation has started I can focus once again on making this blog the absolute best that I can.
Just so you know, I haven’t been completely slacking!
Over the last month I’ve been visiting my favorite resale shops gathering many new “goodies” to redo and then hopefully resell! There will be more about these treasures soon!
My yard and gardens have also been a great distraction for me. I enjoyed the beautiful spring weather we had and took advantage of being able to go out and get my hands dirty. The yard and gardens have never looked more beautiful, if I do say so myself!
The time I’ve had to personally reflect this month has opened my eyes to how very kind everyone is and how much they truly do care! I wish there was a way to show to my appreciation to everyone who has reached out to me. I hope that if they need me someday I can be there for them.
This past weekend, my two sisters presented me with a basket FULL of goodies. For each day I have a radiation treatment there is one wrapped gift for me to open! How absolutely fun and thoughtful of them! I am totally looking forward to this each day! I love you two ladies more than you will ever know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
In closing, I would like to suggest something to all of you.
Ladies, PLEASE, DO NOT carry your cell phone in your bra or near your breasts. Gentleman the article below also pertains to you and where you carry your electronic devices as well.
I am not trying to scare anyone, but there are some studies that suggest that where you carry your cell phone might contribute to your chances of getting cancer. There are also studies that suggest there is no correlation between radio frequencies and cancer. Personally I plan on erring on the side of caution for safety sake.
I suggest you look into this further if you have questions. Here is a link to an interesting article with lots of details to get you started.
Personally, I have made it my mission to explain this to women that I’ve seen carrying their cell phone like this. I started this several years ago when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The way I look at it, this is worth my time, even if it is proved later that there is no correlation to breast cancer. I would rather say something now than regret it later that I didn’t say anything. So far everyone I have talked to about this has been very receptive!
Thank you for following along with me on this journey, even with all of it’s ups and downs. Your prayers and positive thoughts have sustained me.
Please do not hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below if you have any questions. I promise I will respond!
So what’s next on the blog?
Creating inexpensive garden planters out of old baskets. You will love this easy project! See you then!
I’ve had a few people ask if I painted the pictures in this post, I did not. I sure wish I did though! I did however take the photos that I used to create these watercolors with. Apple has an app By Tinrocket, LLC that you can purchased called, Waterlogue that allow you to turn your photos into watercolors!
I have not received any compensation from them for this info. This is just my personal opinion.