PANIC

December 8, 2016

Didn’t sleep well.  Questions swirl in my head like winds around the eye of a hurricane.  Would I have to stop hormone replacement therapy and go back to hot flash hell?   Would I need chemo?  Radiation? Lose my hair?  My breasts?  (Why did that scare me less than losing my hair?)  Could I still work out?

Would I be dead by Tuesday?

In the morning I’m able to book appointments with both the surgeon and oncologist, near the end of the month, right before Christmas.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

At least we’d have a plan.  The most stressful part of this whole thing, for me, is not knowing what to expect.

Meanwhile I read everything I can find on my new friend, invasive lobular carcinoma.  It accounts for 5-10% of invasive breast cancer and begins in the milk-producing lobules of the breast.  It’s termed “invasive” because it has broken out of the lobe into the surrounding breast tissue and possibly nearby lymph nodes.

Oh, Goody.

I learn that HRT might have had something to do with the development of my disease, but, if I had to do it over again, I’m not sure I’d skip that part.  Menopausal symptoms had me to the point where I didn’t care if I lived or died.  That is so not me!  At least for the duration of hormone replacement therapy I wasn’t suicidal and hot flashes simmered down to warm spells.  Sweaters were admitted back into my winter wardrobe!

It’s also common to not feel a distinct lump  (AHA! I knew that!)  because of the way it spreads in a finger-like pattern and it’s very difficult to spot on a mammogram.  Had that particular radiologist not been on duty the day of my screening, it may have been missed.  I’m thankful for his skills.

I don’t FEEL like I have cancer.  I feel healthy and strong, energetic and alive, ready to take on the world.

I am now armed, though, with this bit of information that just might save my life.

For more information on this, or other breast cancers, Moose & Doc Breast Cancer is an easily readable site with fun graphics.

The American Cancer Society also has a very informative site with articles on breast and other cancers, as well as available programs for survivors and caregivers.

You are a survivor from day of diagnosis.

Am I scared?  Sure, sometimes to the point of panic.  Would treatments work?  What if they don’t?  Will I be disfigured?  Have I passed this on to my kids?  What if it comes back?

Today I gave the whole mess to God to handle for me.  I’d go down the path, wherever it led.  I just refused to worry anymore.  Though I shouldn’t have been the least bit surprised, I felt a huge load lifted from me, replaced by a peaceful calm.

From this point on, I know I’ll fight my best fight, trust my medical team and leave the rest in Divine hands.

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