Learning

March 31, 2010

The thing about cancer is that nobody is ever prepared to hear the diagnosis.

As far as I know, nobody responds, after waiting on the cold hard chairs in an oncologist’s office, or on the paper-covered exam table, rustling as they shift their weight, exactly the way they wish they had. No one says, “Oh, fantastic! I was hoping that my work would be interrupted with a few rounds of chemo!” Or, “Oh, invasive ductal carcinoma? Great! I can squeeze the surgery in between the preschool benefit and the kids’ soccer tournement.” Or, “Six months of chemo, double mastetomy, bilateral oopherectomy, and 7 weeks of radiation? Awesome! I wasn’t really looking forward to BlogHer, swimming lessons and preschool for the kids, and catching up on my sleep.”

instead, we gasp, we sigh, we crumple into the arms of the one we love.

and then, we lft our eyes and ask, “How do we fight?”

The other thing about cancer is that nobody is ever prepared to make the decision about treatment. If it’s anything but clear-cut, we stand, looking out into the void of options, teetering on the precipice of treatment,

and we gulp, feeling woefully unprepared to know how to fight the cancer.


Cancer.

March 26, 2010

It’s cancer — a local regional recurrence of breast cancer, in the lymph nodes under my armpit. We’ll fight it with surgery in early April and 7 weeks of radiation after that. For now, that’s all we know.

There is a twist. There’s a node that will be difficult to reach with surgery. if the surgeon can’t get it, there it will sit, rendered hopefully impotent by the aromasin I take each morning with my orange juice. There isn’t enough research to show conclusively whether I’ll need chemo too if she can’t reach that node, but my oncologists are both leaning against it.

Once again, I’m amazed at how much we don’t know about diseases that occur in our own bodies. We need the research.

I need the research.

We all need the research — for cancer affects us all.


No news yet.

March 24, 2010

But thank you for coming by!  I’ll let you know when I do.  In the meantime, have you heard about the Army of Women project?  I’ve been reading more about them while I wait, and they’re very, very cool.  Right now they’re looking for women with or without breast cancer in a variety of cities — or online — to participate in surveys or studies about risk factors for developing or new ideas for treating breast cancer.  To read more, or to sign up and receive emails about studies that you might qualify for, visit the Army of Women website.

I’ve got a special twitter list for those of you who have joined the Army of Women — let  me know if I can add you!

[If you’re new here, I’m waiting to hear whether my inflammatory breast cancer is back, or if my lymph nodes are just acting up.  Thanks for visiting.]


A very mad libs thank you note

March 23, 2010

Dear Kristen and Kristen / Jennifer and Lara / Linda and Jessica / The Moms,

Thank you SO much for inviting me to your book party / blogging party / trunk show / moms night in!

It was such a great time!  It was wonderful to see you all again and to relax with friends that I blog with / have just met / pal around town with / see mostly on the playground.

Going out this week was a really good idea!  We had so much fun dancing / networking / playing / chatting.

I had to rest the whole day before and day after, but it was SO worth it!  It meant so much to me to be able to relax and not think about cancer / cancer / cancer /cancer for a little while.

I’m writing this note online to publicly thank you and your sponsors, who provided such lovely refreshments and door prizes.  Thank you, Wine Sisterhood / Monogamy Wines / Chocolate Fountain Fairy Godmother (Capitol Chocolate Fountains) / Port Discovery /Maryland Ensemble Theatre / Tarara Winery / e.l.f. cosmetics / La Papillion Spa / Polarn O. Pyret / The Playseum / Stromboli / Lisa!  (Hey, that’s a lot of wine — and I haven’t been able to have a drop in ages!)

I especially loved the chocolate fountain / forty kinds of cookies / banana pudding / toll house pie that you brought to the party.  Oh, my word, but they were good.  I hardly mind at all that I no longer fit into my skinny jeans / fat jeans / yoga pants / pajamas.

I am so incredibly lucky that you all are my friends.

Love,

Susan