This is my new mantra...every day is a blessing! Because although I have always tried to be a positive person, those five words have an entirely new meaning to me now. Every day that I get to look into those stunning blue eyes of Mikes, every day I get to fall asleep beside him & wake up next to him, every day that I get to hear my mom tell me she loves me, and every day that I get through (whether good, or bad), is a total and complete blessing.
Before I get into the latest update, let me say THANK YOU!!! You guys are AH-MAZING! I am so happy that I started this blog because it means the world to me to read your messages. I feel the love and support pouring through and it makes me smile so big and I love you guys so much. Mike and I are so blessed to have so many people love and care about us and it really means more to me than you will ever know. So keep it comin' :)
I want to also say that I am going to be completely truthful on this blog. It makes me feel better to get it all out there, whether it's good or bad. So buckle up kids because I think it's going to be a pretty long and bumpy ride.
So, Thursday was a long day spent at the hospital & really just involved a lot of talking and getting familiar with how this whole process is going to work. We met with my surgeon, Dr. B and she explained the initial biopsy results. Although we don't know a lot yet, I'll be honest when I say that it wasn't encouraging. She said that I have Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer - I would provide a link about this but I have made an official promise to myself that I WILL NOT be searching anything on the internet. It will only freak me out and I would rather just focus on what my doctors are telling me. Anyways, this form of cancer makes up about 10% of all breast cancers and it is more common in younger women. Dr. B said it is "very sneaky and very hard to detect". My heart sank when she said she suspects it was there the entire time when I had an ultrasound and mammogram in January 2010. That was a tough pill to swallow.
The biopsy tissue is rated on a scale of grade 1, 2 or 3 from least to most aggressive. This is different than actual staging of the cancer. My cancer has been rated a 3. This lobular form of cancer, and the fact that I am so young, tends to mean this thing is going to be aggressive. I am not going to lie - it is scary. But, we will just be aggressive right back...and I am pretty sure you all know that I have no problem being aggressive:) Apparently, this cancer doesn't realize that I am a red-headed, Irish, Aries with a fiesty and stubborn spirit and I don't back down easily!
We also discussed many things such as where I should be treated...Beaumont, Karmanos, Henry Ford, U of M...so many choices and so many opinions- it can get overwhelming. The great thing is that my surgeon at Beaumont used to work at Karmanos up until 2 years ago so she has a lot of great insight. We really like her and feel comfortable with her so we have decided to stay at Beaumont's Breast Care Center with Dr. B and then my oncologist will be Dr. F from Karmanos. We have heard from numerous people that, "he is the best!" So that is very encouraging. The bad news was that he is booked solid and couldn't get me in until April 28. ugh! Heart sank again. I don't have time to wait that long. Well, my surgeon and the man upstairs pulled some strings and Dr. F is now going to squeeze me in on April 1, which is next Friday. Dr. B and Dr. F used to both work together at Karmanos and they both respect each other very much and continue to work very well together, so we feel like they will be a great team! Other members of my team are Nurse Linda- she is awesome and my mom loves her already - which says a lot since my mom has been a nurse for over 30+ years - she is a good judge of a great nurse! Heather is the nurse practitioner I first saw that referred me to get the ultrasound - she is young like me and super sweet and helpful. They have all given me their direct phone #'s and are always willing to talk and answer questions. I feel very comfortable in their hands.
The rest of the day consisted with meeting with the genetic counselors. For those of you that don't know, the cancer history on my father's side of the family is nothing short of frightening. Out of 10 children, 6 have had cancer - and all but one has had more than one bout with it. This has always been a red flag for my doctors-even before this diagnosis. So, the genetics people wanted to go over every little detail of each family member all the way back to grand parents and their siblings. To say it was exhausting and terrifying to see it all on paper is an understatement. They took 5 vials of blood and will be completing tests to see if my breast cancer is the genetic form. This is important because not only is this information vital for my other family members, but it also impacts what my treatment might look like. If I have the genetic form (which I am guessing it is), there will be a 60% chance I will eventually get breast cancer on the left side. The likely course of treatment that I have decided upon if it's the genetic form, is a double mastectomy. Get rid of everything and get me as healthy as possible, for as long as possible! I am not worried about how I will look or if I have hair...I don't care about any of it. I just want to beat this and LIVE!
This morning I had a CT scan of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis to see if this crap has spread to any of these places. If you are going to say any prayers, please direct them to this CT scan and pray that it shows NOTHING! I am so nervous about this test and I am praying so hard that this cancer has not invaded anywhere else. I should probably get the results Monday afternoon at the earliest. Monday morning I have an MRI of both breasts to see what else is going on in there, and I also have a biopsy of my right axillary (arm pit) lymph nodes. They are pretty sure the cancer has spread there already but let's hope it has stopped there. Then next Friday, I meet with Dr. F (oncologist @ Karmanos) for the first time and at that point we will have all the test results and can start figuring out a game plan. I will definitely have surgery, and definitely have chemo. Not sure which order or when but we all think things are going to be moving pretty fast from here on out. Who knows how much time we have already lost.
I am looking forward to a fun weekend with friends and going to a photography workshop on Sunday called, "Babies, Babies, Babies" where we learn how to photograph newborns:) I am sure it will be the perfect distraction. I plan on heading back to work Tues, Wed, and Thursday and Mike is planning the same. Thank God we both have such supportive work environments that are making this as easy for us as possible.
Well, I think that covers it for now! Sorry for being so long winded here but I really just want to get it all out there so everyone has all the details. Thank you again for all of your love, support and prayers. Keep us smiling and laughing - it really does help!
A few things that made me smile today: my adorable pup who is cuddling more than ever - I swear, he knows his Momma is sick. And my tulips, they are coming up strong! love it and can't wait to get out in my garden soon!
I bought this little pillow in a cute boutique while we were just visiting Seattle. "Life is Good...Enjoy the Little Things"
My blog to keep you all