Monday, August 9, 2010

Email to Coworker Family: Updates and Attitude

Wednesday, August 4
Dear Walker and Shaw families and my fellow art teachers,

I saw Dr. Cross yesterday and felt it was a good meeting. What I have is very serious...a fast growing and aggressive type of cancer, but also the most common type of breast cancer - invasive ductal carcinoma. So, yes, that sounds (and is) very bad. But here is the good: The MRI and any other sort of test they've done on the surrounding lymph nodes (all visual tests - so not conclusive) have shown they are clear. Also, the type of tumor I have is hormone receptive (ER+/PR+), which, according to Cross is very unusual with this type of fast growing tumor. But ER/PR positive cancers are the easiest to treat! They have chemo drugs that should kill those cells. As you may have guessed from this, these cells love guess who will never be able to take them again...ever. Hello hot flashes and lots and lots of face cream.

They want me to do what is called preadjuvant chemotherapy, which means I will undergo several months of chemo treatments first, and then follow with surgery, rather than the other way around. This way they can shrink the tumor first before the mastectomy (which will be bilateral). I haven't seen the oncologist, Dr. Beck, yet. They are to call me today with an appt. I see Dr. Bell on Friday to discuss getting a port placed under my collarbone for the chemo treatments (and any other needle related procedure).

Thank you ALL for your email and facebook messages, calls, concern, love and prayers. I keep saying this, but I really do feel the love. I can testify to the difference your prayers have made in my spirit and peacefulness. I could not do this without you least not as well.I am feeling so much better. It's wonderful to feel like I may get to meet my future grandchildren after all! I'm not looking forward to a year of feeling weak, missing school, and losing my hair, but I AM looking forward to LIVING, which easily trumps all! In a weird way, I think I am reaching a point where I am actually looking forward to the journey, because I know this journey is going to change me for the better.

This was on the cover of our church bulletin on Sunday:
"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But, pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Eccl. 4:10

Love to you all,

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