Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just a Word

Jan 9, 2009

Today was suppose to be my appointment with the surgeon. I figured that today I would have my answers, today would be the day we could finally breathe, today would be the day that I could sit down with my children (at least the older ones) and explain what I have and how we are going to fix it....

Instead, I was fighting traffic at 8am trying to get to an ultrasound to see if it would save me from a more horrible test. My appointment was actually at 9am, but I wanted to get there early since they were trying to fit me in. I got there at about 8:55 (so much for being early). The front desk clerk asked me for my physicians order and I told them that my Midwife faxed it the day before. They didn't have it, but she knew that calls were made late last night to get me in early this morning. So they called my Midwife's office and have them fax it again.

"I remember you,"she said, "you were here on Christmas Eve with your Midwife and best friend."
"Yup, that was me."
"No entourage today?"
"Nope," I said, "just an ultrasound today, no need for the back-ups."
"Well, have a seat, Mr.s N___ and you will be called soon."
"Thank you."

About 15 minutes later (if that) the tech who saw me at both my mammogram and my biopsy opened the door and called for me.
"Hi," I said like greeting a friend, then felt awkward realizing that maybe she didn't remember me," I was here a couple times and always get you."
"Yes, I remember. I expected you to have your Midwife with you."
"Oh no, she knows her limits now."
"No more floor time for her, huh?"
I laughed,"Nope."
She brought me to the changing room.
"I know the drill," I said," everything off the top, gown opens in the front."
"You got it." She smiled.

She brought me into the ultrasound room and talked with me for a little bit and we both looked through my mammograms to see if we could see anything on the scan of my right breast. Not a thing.

The radiologist came in (a different one) and he got ready with the ultrasound wand. We started and he looked everywhere. At first he saw a circular mass (it looked as nonthreatening as Bob had originally) and said that that might be some of what they were talking about, but he couldn't be for sure. Then continued around the 10:00 position on my right breast and found..... nothing. Not a dang thing.

"I'm going to have to have the MRI biopsy huh?" I asked.
"I'm afraid so." He said and generally sounded sorry, "They need to find out all they can on this because it would completely change the therapy."
"How would it completely change it." I asked.
"Well, if it is cancer and still contained, "in-situ" they would need to take it out. And then you are not looking at one breast with cancer, there is two. That changes the therapy and your chances of it reoccurring."

He left me to get dressed. I wiped off the ultrasound goop, got dressed, left and on my way to my car I called my husband. "They couldn't see anything, I am going to have to have the MRI biopsy done."
"I'll bring you and be there for you. You need to call for drugs."
"Thanks, I will. I love you." Then I hung up the phone.

I had a few calls to make. I called my Midwife to let her know my news and request drugs. I called my 13 year olds orthodontist, she had her first consultation for braces on January 14th, and we needed to reschedule that, and I needed to call Anne, the surgeon's P.A. and let her know that we are on for the MRI on the 14th.

I was mentally ready for the MRI biopsy now. I just wanted to make sure that we try every opportunity that I had before we do it. But we have to do it, so we will do it. But my day was pretty much blah at work. I didn't want to be there, I felt antsy, my head hurt. I just felt like every time we thought we might catch a break, the rug gets pulled out from under us again. Already I can understand why people just say, "Screw it!" and give up. Of course I can't do that, but I can see why they do and I haven't even seen the surgeon yet! Maybe I am suppose to go through these test so I can do this and tell everyone what it is like as real as I could.

I got home and there was another package from my Bountiful Babies Mommies. I opened it and it was a pretty pink scrapbook and on every page was a picture of one of my Mommies with their little ones, donning pink clothes and holding a sign in support of me. "We love LJ" "We support LJ" with "Cancer sucks!!" underneath it, or one mommy coloring and styling her son's hair into a pink mo-hawk!! With every page there were quotes on cancer, fighting it, and supporting it. I cried as my husband sat next to me looking through the pages. Through my tears I told him who everyone was and shared some of their stories. He sat dumbfounded. All he could say was, "Wow, where did they find to do all this?"

There was one quote, I don't know why it hit me so hard, but it was...

Cancer is a word, not a sentence. - John Diamond

He is right, it isn't a sentence, it is just a word... A plain Jane word. I will not longer treat it like it is a sentence. I will NOT capitalise it in these blogs anymore, cause it is not worthy of capitalization. I will beat this and it will understand that in my whole life of adventures, loves and laughter it is just one little word.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. LJ,
    You don't know me, but I am friends with your sister; we work together. She told me about your blog and I've been checking it nearly every day. I wanted to let you know that even though we've never met, I'm out here listening, pulling for you, thinking about you and your family. I know that when people talk about cancer they throw around words like "brave" so much that they start to sound meaningless, but I really do think your blog is brave. I think that it's meaningful and could be really profound for others going through something similar. I particularly appreciate how straight forward and open you are about the procedures you're going through. When most people talk about stuff like this it's like half of what's going on is behind some secret curtain that no one talks about. Like the practical,physical aspects are somehow unmentionable, which just makes everything all that much scarier, in my inexperienced opinion.

    I imagine there will be times when you feel like you're talking to yourself, and I just wanted to let you know that I'm out here, listening. My best wishes to you and your family.