Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the blog. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to write about what is going on here…but I really haven’t wanted to write about what is going on here either. The blog has been such a source of fun for me and I’ve loved sharing our lives as we travel across the country, play in the band, hang out at the lake with our family and friends, and cook up a storm.
You’ve even put up with quilting news and secondhand shopping descriptions, along with pictures of tablecloths and Banjo Man’s always funny expressions.
I confess, I don’t really know how to handle this. Blogging walks a fine line between writing about my life and protecting my privacy. And yet…everyone deserves to know what’s going on because you have been such loyal and wonderful readers of the blog. And I can’t thank you enough. I don’t want to quit blogging. I really don’t.
So enough drama. I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. I had some suspicions on Easter Sunday and was diagnosed a couple of weeks later. At first we thought the tumor was “small”, 2.1 cm, and my treatment would consist of a “simple” lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation.
I was devastated to not be able to get on the plane to Idaho on June 1st as planned, but I figured I could get through radiation and spend part of August and all of September by the lake. No big deal, right?
Those plans were dashed during a meeting with my “cancer team” (yes, a team–my uncoordinated self has never been on a team) which revealed the results from an MRI: the tumor was actually 5.6 cm and there was a suspicious lymph node. All bets were off. The lymph node turned out to be malignant. I now had to have a cat scan and bone scan to make sure the cancer hadn’t spread.
Let me tell you, those were bad days.
May 30th ended with the news that the scans were clear. It was now an official Stage 3A cancer, with ER+, PR+ and HER2- (all good signs for future treatment). But I am looking at a Modified Radical mastectomy, five months of chemo, radiation and medication.
Okay, bring it on. I can do this. I can do this because the cancer hasn’t spread.
My mastectomy was scheduled for last Friday, but something went wrong during the anesthesia process in the operating room (yes, you read that right–scary stuff). The surgery has been rescheduled for this coming Thursday–as long as everyone involved can explain to me today why the problems won’t happen again. I am very much looking forward to those phone calls.
So let’s get to the good news in all of this. There are reasons why I feel so lucky and so loved and here they are:
Remember Sammy, my little friend who comes over to hang out with me?
His mom, Angela, is a dear friend…and an oncologist. She has helped us navigate this new and terrifying world of cancer. I cannot even describe what she has done for us–guiding, explaining, scheduling tests faster, getting results without having to wait, etc. She’s our angel in all of this and we are so grateful.
I haven’t known what to do to thank her, so I made her a pan of chicken enchiladas. Lame, I know, but it was the only thing I could think of at the time. I know that will make Jeff happy, too.
The Funny Grandson saw no reason to go to Idaho without his grandparents there, so Ben, Amber and the FG are coming to RI for their summer vacation. I’ll probably be starting chemo while they are here, but having them around will be so wonderful. I hated to think of missing a summer with the FG and now I won’t have to.
I have two pans of enchiladas and three pans of shepherd’s pie in the freezer. Some things never change.
Son Will is also coming, but a bit later in the summer so we can spread out the visits. I am so happy about that. He gets one of the shepherd’s pies.
Our daughter NancyK lives right in town, so she stands by for transportation assistance and help around the house, plus she is dealing with my mother as I cannot.
I am lucky.
And Banjo Man? Well, he is my hero. And he deserves his own blog post tomorrow. We are stuck together like glue, more than ever. Because of the pain I’ve been in since this first started (they say cancer doesn’t hurt? Wrong!) Banjo Man has worried about me driving. So he takes me everywhere, to doctors and hospitals and Walmart and even to a fabric store so I could stock up before chemo starts.
My friends here in RI have supplied food and flowers and cards and love and encouragement. My family all over the country has been so supportive and loving. My brother sent me a dvd of four seasons of THE TUDORS. Oh, how I love wild historical dramas! And my dear Idaho and Montana friends are sending so much love and so many prayers that I can actually feel them, no lie.
It’s wonderful to “feel” a prayer, especially during the silence of a bone scan machine.
Another reason to be thankful? Well, the kitchen project finished up just a few days before the cancer drama began. So the house is beautiful and each day we comment on how wonderful it is to have everything look so pretty.
And we love our new gas stove, which deserves its own blog post, too. Banjo Man has bought a wok. I haven’t decided if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll keep you posted.