July 11, 2012
That's the day my new life started.
I am 48 years old.
I am married to the love of my life.
My daughter is 14 years old.
My twin sons are 10 years old.
I have breast cancer.
There I wrote it. I can say it now too. This sucks.
So many thoughts run through my head. As a scientist I want details, data, facts. I have an overwhelming need to see the mammogram, see the biopsy slides, see the MRI, not just read the reports. I am a very visual learner, I need to see things to understand them. I need to see the cells that have been mutated and now grow uncontrolled in my body. I am (was) a molecular biologist. Now I teach high school science. I want to know what made this happen. This was not supposed to happen. There is no cancer in my family. I have spent my entire life knowing how i would die. It would be my heart, in my family its always the heart. Never cancer. Not ever. So where did this come from? How did this happen? What genes ran amok and caused this to happen?
At least it's early. I had a clean mammo in October 2011, for the past 8 years in fact. The end of May I felt something odd. Reminiscent of a plugged duct back from the nursing days. Finally went to the doctor the beginning of June. The mammo and ultrasound were ordered, but couldn't get scheduled til the end of June. Something is amiss, we better take a better look. Biopsy July 10. Diagnosis July 11. Saw the surgeon July 12. Doc and Surgeon both said the same thing-its amazing I was there, that they found this so early, its microscopic. There is no lump, just "prominent ducts". Not something most people would even notice I guess. Lumpectomy scheduled-its all good.
Then the phone rings later that night. It's Dr. K-the surgeon. After reviewing the mammo he has some concerns. Needs a better idea of "involvement". Wants an MRI before we proceed with the lumpectomy. May need to be a bit more aggressive. My heart beat quickens. My blood pressure increases. I can't breathe. I can't see. I hear my kids playing in the basement. I can only focus on the sounds of their voices. My world begins to crumble. This is worse than they thought. I had plans already in place....I really hate when my plans are changed-I mean really hate it. It upsets me, even if its plans for dinner. I am an obsessive planner, its the scientist in me I think.
So now we wait for the MRI, it's in 2 days.
I have only shared this information with a few select people. The MayMoms of course. We "met" online while we were pregnant in 1997-98. While I don't post much, they are a huge source of support and consistency for me. I told my neighbor, who went through this last year herself with a lumpectomy and radiation. I told my oldest best friend, my sorority sister. And another close friend, a nurse, whose help I may need. I didn't have to tell my BFF, she's married to my doctor, so she knew before me. I have not told my family. I don't talk to them anymore. Last thing I need is toxic people back in my life. I also told a baseball mom-our sons are good friends too.
Its the uncertainty I am having a hard time with right now. I need to plan. I cannot function without a plan. I am not a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of gal. So I look forward to Friday. We will have results-I can plan. It will be better then.
In the mean time I think about all the things I have put off, and how maybe I should get them done now. Just in case there is no time later. I think about that a lot. What if.... My kids are so young, babies really. They need me. My husband is amazing, he's a phenomenal dad. But he's not a mom. They need me, all of them, my beloved husband included. My mother died when I was 32, before my children were born. They never knew the love of their grandmother. She never saw the best part of me, the best part of my life, my children. I want to know my grandchildren. I want to spoil them, the way mine never were. This is what I think about most. I need to be here for my husband, my kids, my future grand kids, and I do mean way in the future :)