2007 Breast Cancer 3 Day

Friday, September 05, 2008

Deja Vu

**Disclaimer: The following are a series of posts that I had written but not published. I want to post them now to document that they happened, but hopefully not send my family into a panic. I am OK!! We got the test results back and it wasn't cancer!! Praise the Lord!

The dictionary defines deja vu as:

1. the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.
2. disagreeable familiarity or sameness

We are going to use definition number 2 for this blog entry--a disagreeable familiarity.

I found a lump. A small, pea-sized lump in the same breast practically in the same spot as my original tumor. This is definitely "disagreeable familiarity".

I went to see my oncologist on Sept. 4th. His PA examined me first, but she didn't feel it. I showed her where it was located and she said "maybe it's just an old stitch". Ok, so I had surgery 2 years ago...I probably would have noticed this before now if it was a stitch. Cross her off the list of people I trust with my life.

Dr. H came in and examined me. He couldn't find the lump either. I pointed it out and he seemed concerned. He said, "Yes, that is new. I think I would have felt that before." I'm thinking: Why do you say that? You didn't feel it right now! This is not building my confidence in breast exams by "professionals". He made a phone call to the one MD Anderson trained breast/surgical oncologist in the Louisville area. She agreed to see me if we could get to her office immediately. (She was leaving to catch a plane somewhere.) We zipped across town to her office and were ushered right in. I like this kind of service, but it makes me nervous too. This seems serious.

She examined me and didn't find the lump either!! So all you ladies that are reading this--YOU need to check your breasts and not rely on the doctor's expertise. After I pointed out the lump, she tried to encourage me by saying it didn't feel like a typical chest wall recurrence (that is what a tumor in the breast after mastectomy is called). I know though that there is nothing "typical" about me when it comes to cancer, so this didn't really give me much peace. She decided to biopsy it right there in her office! She numbed me up and went in after it. I think she removed most of the lump for pathology, but I can't tell due to swelling. She sewed me up and made me an appointment to come back next week, Sept. 11th, for my pathology results.

This entire week and process has been a complete DEJA VU experience. It is happening almost to the letter like it did last time. My gut feeling---it's cancer. I'm prepared to go down this road again. My big fear though is whether or not it's localized in the breast or has it moved elsewhere in my body. I'm sure if my pathology comes back positive there will be some sort of body scan in my immediate future to determine my status.

So we wait...we pray...we go on living because that's all we can do.

September 9, 2008

I am keeping this as all one post in order to get down what I am thinking as I am thinking it.

We have opted not to post this or notify family of this latest development until we know there is something worth reporting or if it's just a false alarm. I don't see any value in getting everyone upset until we know for sure. However, I am still wanting to keep this blog accurate for those that are reading this that aren't family but may be following my journey.

I get my results in 2 days. I am ok one minute and terrified the next. I am prepared to hear that it is cancer. I will be thrilled and shocked if it isn't. I really don't want to do this all over again. I just got my hair back to a length I'm happy with. I just got to a place where I was living my life each day without thinking about cancer. The thought of starting the entire process over again makes my stomach upset. The real worry though is metastasis. If it is cancer then I am sure I will have a scan or two and at that point we will find out if it has spread. This terrifies me to my very core. I am not ready to have Stage 4 cancer. I am not ready to think about a limited life expectancy. There are so many overwhelming thoughts....I'm just not ready.

I know that you aren't supposed to worry until you know for sure, but that's easier said then done if you've already walked this road once. I don't even begin to know how to tell my family if it's cancer. I definitely don't know what to say if it has metastasized. For now we just continue to pray and rest in the knowledge that the Lord is in control. He is faithful.

September 11, 2008
This morning I went in for my test results. I don't think I have ever been so terrified in my life. I just knew that the words "it's cancer" were going to be uttered from her lips. Instead she showed me the pathology report....NO CANCER. She didn't really indicate what the lump was, but reassured us that it wasn't cancer.

We cried the biggest tears of joy that I think are humanly possible. I can't express the joy and relief that washed over my body. Thank you Lord! I am confident that He healed me.

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