Here I sit in the quiet, listening to the rain fall outside the window. It is a sweet lullaby to my ears. The day has been good. I returned to work for some sense of normal routine. I will not allow my life to be consumed by thoughts of this disease. I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for my co-workers. They have known me for only a short time yet I feel like part of the family. It is a huge blessing to walk in and be cheered on, encouraged and loved on throughout my day. I had to chuckle today as I heard, ‘I don’t know if this crosses the line’. Apparantly we were listening during “Ms. Tammy’s Storytime” a couple weeks ago during our Sexual Harrassment training. It’s funny how after a week of various doctors, nurses and technicians asking you to undress from the waist up will desensitize your modesty. Ask me, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know. We used to talk about boys and dates, now we talk about boobs and “cocktails”. Oh my, how a day can change your life.
For the real business of the day, the diagnosis. So what is this thing growing inside of me? I have part of the results from my biopsy, drum roll please….. It is “locally advanced non-inflammatory breast cancer”. Wow, that diagnosis seems as big as the tumor, so what does that mean? First, I get a grade! But of course, I did a test so I should get a grade. It is grade III, ‘poorly differentiated high grade.’ Second, I get a stage! No, really, I prefer behind the scenes. Oh no, it’s stage 3 for me. Why mess around with the small numbers when you can go straight to the top?
On a more serious note, these are all results that have a clear path of treatment. I will begin with chemotherapy, ‘Jenn’s juice’ coming right up. My port will be installed on Wednesday and it is highly likely to be followed with a ‘cocktail’ by the end of the week. This ‘cocktail’ will be slightly generic until some remaining results are back from the biopsies. Apparantly I only had to take one test and they can give multiple grades, not sure how I like that but it seems to save time and fewer pokes with those needles. After chemotherapy, I will have surgery. Yes, the big “M” word. After that is done I will move onto radiation therapy. It looks like a long road ahead and like I always say about a road trip its not how you get there its about the adventure along the way. We better get a really big bus for all those who want to come along.
Here’s the bright side: chemotherapy = no shaving, less hair maintenance and I can do my hair in the amount of time it takes to put on a wig. Long, short, red or brunette I will have many options. (Btw, I hear men like long hair so here’s my chance to try it). Surgery = it will be painful but in the end I will have a new “set” at no charge and the bonus is they’ll have to take a little fat from the tummy. New boobs and a tummy tuck, what more could a girl ask for? (sorry guys, I should have given you a warning but you should’ve known by the blog that it was coming.) Radiation = not sure of the benefits, but hey if it keeps me on the road to recovery I’m all for it. Maybe I’ll glow in the dark, oooh, I can’t wait to go on one of those rides at the amusement park with the black lights and try it.
It has been a long day and I promise I am in good spirits.
“Count it all joy, my brothers (and sisters), when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4