Saturday, June 22, 2013

When Life Hands You Lemons...

Recently I found a lump in one of my breasts.  I just happened to brush that area with my hand, and noticed that something was not right.  I had been sick with a sore throat and a few things, and my first reaction was that maybe it was related to that.  I told my mom about the lump and she told me to immediately drive to my doctor's office and demand to be seen.  Such a sweet over-protective mom.

 Last Thursday I had an appointment with an OBGYN to have a routine check up, and also have her check the lump. She didn't act totally alarmed, more concerned about the lump, and told me to make an appointment for a mammogram.  I left the office and immediately made an appointment.

I was scheduled to be seen on Monday the 17th.  When my friend Britnee found out that I would be waiting over the weekend to be seen, she called her boss at the hospital and asked if they could squeeze me in. What a great friend!

So, I went in the next day for my first mammogram. First they did a mammogram, and then an ultrasound. After a few minutes of getting an ultrasound, the girl went and got the Radiologist.  He came in to also do an ultrasound.  I watched both of their faces very carefully to see if I could read what they were thinking.  I could see looks of concern on both of their faces.  The Radiologist then told me that I needed to have a biopsy on the lump.  He asked me how soon I would like to have it done, and I asked him if I could do it right then.  I was SO nervous for the biopsy.  I am NOT a fan of needles, blood, cuts, scrapes, ETC., and I was so afraid of what they would find.  First they gave me several shots to numb that location, and then put a long needle in the lump to take several different samples of the tissue.  I kept my eyes closed tight the entire time.  They then sent me on my way, telling me that I would receive a call probably Tuesday, maybe Monday with the results of the biopsy.

 THEN THERE WAS THE WAIT.....Saturdayyyyyy, Sundayyyyyy, Mondayyyyyy (I called them 3 times on Monday--what a bugger I was), and then Tuesday (called again and they told me it would be the afternoon)....

 Tuesday I knew that I would be receiving a call. Every time the phone rang, my heart skipped a beat. Every call, every text, just about everything would just about send me to the ceiling.  I tried everything to keep my mind occupied, but that was ALL I could think of.  I knew they were doing to tell me that it was cancer.  I wasn't trying to be negative, my gut was telling me that it was probably true.

 I was at Haley's baseball game Tuesday afternoon when my cell phone rang and I saw the doctor's number. I tossed everything in my hands to Riley and jumped off the bleachers and went away from everyone. Dr. H told me that it was cancer. I was immediately joined by John, my kids, my sister Monica, and my Mother-in-law. I almost felt like I was spinning. I asked Dr. H if she would talk to John and explain more to him, because I just simply couldn't process what she was saying to me. I think I was in shock.

Dr. H set up an appointment for us to meet with a surgeon the next day.  We spent about 2 hours in her office.  She kept telling me that I looked overwhelmed.  Words like oncologist, radiation, surgery...I was still trying to process that I had breast cancer.  Now were discussing my options.  Days later I am still trying to figure out what I am going to do.  I think I have a couple of options...

1- Lumpectomy, remove some lymph nodes, and radiation for 6 weeks 5 times a week.  PROS and CONS have been weighed.  My friends mom had a lumpectomy and the lump showed signs of protein---so then she had to do chemotherapy.  We looked at pictures today of ladies that have had a lumpectomy and radiation.  It ain't pretty.  So, do I have one crazy boob and one normal?  I think the lump is big enough that it will be noticeable.

2- Mastectomy.  SO final.  Cut of my breast or breasts.  Those babies just don't grow back ya know!  Do I cut off one?  How do they match a fake breast (all firm and perky), with an old worn out tired saggy one?
Do I cut them both off?  Oh the pain!  I will do WHATEVER it takes to get rid of it.  I just hope and pray that it is not moving to other parts of my body.

I meet with my oncologist on Monday for blood work and hopefully more answers.  Then surgery, maybe as early as Wednesday.  What a difference a week can make.

I have had so many sleepless nights this past week.  It finally caught up with me.  This morning, I didn't wake up until 10:00.  Oh my!

A lot of the time, I have a knot in my stomach and feel like I am full of anxiety--an anxiety like I have NEVER felt before.  I simply feel like I cannot breathe!  I have also felt times that I am calm and not as worried.  I know that the times I feel calm, people are praying for me.  I have felt the prayers.  What a blessing to have some many family members and friends.  I have received many kind notes, calls, and gifts.  I feel loved.  I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of me and will continue to help me through this trial.

Please keep the prayers coming!

 “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."  -Jenkin Lloyd Jones

2 comments:

Sus said...

Heidi, ever since you first posted this on FB I have had you in my thoughts. This must be an incredibly stressful time, especially considering what you've gone through with your dad. (I'm glad you listen to your mama!!!)

I know I have no special knowledge to say this and I'm not a member of your family, even, nevertheless I feel prompted to be optimistic for you! Breast cancer is one of the most treatable cancers, especially if it's caught early.

I am praying that your surgeon will be blessed to know the best way to treat your illness and that her hands will be guided to clear it completely from your body.

You will be the one to wake up all the girls in your family to this reality. Perhaps what you're going through will be the way you save one of them . . .

I don't have answers; I can offer this comfort . . . You are a beloved daughter of your Heavenly Father, as well as your earthly father, both of whom will be there with you, watching over and helping you through this challenge.

I know you already know this. I hope it will bring you peace and comfort during the difficult days ahead. God bless.

Par 5 said...

Heidi, one thing I learned while going through our most recent trial, was that we can choose who we trust and what kind of attitude we are going to have. I toured both ways, and believe me when I say, trusting Heavenly Father and having total faith in Him, is the harder of the two routes, but the peace and comfort of that path far outweighs the easiness of being angry, and asking "why me?" etc. I know this is not news to you, but I really just wanted to have a really long comment on your blog and sound really preachy and intelligent. So, how'd I do? Are you impressed? ;) We're praying for you. We really are.