Mastectomy — Do It? Or Too Drastic?

I’ve had breast cancer. I’ve had a lumpectomy (tumor was taken, but breast was not). I’ve had chemo, radiation, and more drug therapy. I’ve survived for seven years. You’d think I’d be fine for the long haul. But last Thursday — a suspicious MRI, a report that read “malignancy considered,” and a three-day wait for […]

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Does Cancer Cancel School?

Gotta love how kids keep things light. Ten-year-old Joey asked me the other day, “If you have cancer, do I have to go to school?” “Yes,” I told him. He continued: “If you have a really big surgery, do I have to go to school?” “Yes,” I told him. This went on for a few […]

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Benign

Docs have talked, and the call at this time is “benign.” No need for biopsy right now. Follow-up MRI at end of month, and, if it shows concerns, we’ll take it from there. <sigh>.

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Ultrasound Not Alarming

Initial news is good: no mass, tumor, lump — ultrasound showed a bunch of dense and enhanced tissue + a lot of shadows. What does that mean? Not sure, so ultrasound doc will follow up with doc who read MRI, and she will compare with my previous MRIs to determine what exactly has changed and […]

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Suspended State

“I’m sure you’ll be in a suspended state until you know.” Suspended state. That’s it. Exactly. Credit for these words, which are so fitting for my situation, goes to Anna. She’s my boss, a faraway friend, someone I’ve never even seen in person — that is so strange, isn’t it? The virtual world makes it […]

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Quick MRI Results Not a Good Sign

1. Incomplete MRI of right breast with new conglomerate of small enhancing foci in the retroareolar region and non-mass-like enhancement of posterior breast as detailed above. Malignant and infectious/inflammatory etiologies are considered. A second look with ultrasound is recommended to evaluate for discreet lesion that would be amenable to biopsy. If ultrasound in unsuccessful, MRI-guided […]

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MRI No. 5

I had my fifth post-cancer MRI today. I get one every year, right at this time. It’s just a routine thing, a method of peeking at the insides of my breasts to determine if cancer is coming back or not. I don’t know what today’s results will reveal — gotta wait for my oncologist to […]

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50/50 Does Cancer Good

I don’t watch movies with a very critical eye, and mostly, I don’t really care much if what I see on the big screen matches reality. I’m just happy if films make me think, laugh, learn, and sometimes cry. Tonight, though, I saw 50/50 (about a young man who is diagnosed with cancer and must endure […]

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October. Over.

October is almost over, which means (a) my house is filled with candy, and the ultimate challenge is upon me: to eat or not to eat, (b) the time will soon change, and I will begin hating how it gets dark so early, (c) the onslaught of pink that has probably been gagging you for […]

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Survivor’s Guilt

Sometimes, I feel guilty for surviving cancer because some people are not so lucky. Why did I get a break when so many, like Amy, did not? There’s nothing fair about the way it happened, the way Amy died just 15 months after a breast cancer diagnosis seemingly similar to mine. She heard the same […]

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1 in 8 Is Not Every Woman’s Risk

I’m not sure why I didn’t fully understand the whole 1 in 8 thing before this week, but, clearly, I did not. Because when my friend who happens to spend his days hunting down a cure for cancer told me that the 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer is a lifetime risk and […]

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The First Two Months

This is pretty much what happens in the two months following a breast cancer diagnosis: Mammogram. Ultrasound. Needle-guided biopsy. Echo heart scan. Full-body PET scan. MRI. Muga heart scan. BRCA genetic testing. Numerous blood tests. Portacath inserted in my chest. 3 rounds of chemo. 2 bone marrow generating Neulasta injections. Hair loss. Insomnia. Exhaustion. Nausea/vomiting. […]

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The Dad

When my hair was growing back after cancer treatment and I had just teeny tiny little bits of fuzz covering my head, 4-year-old Joey said, “People might think you’re the dad!” Same guy who told me while I was hospitalized for chemo complications and was wearing a mask and a hat, “You look like an […]

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Snapfish PinkGives Gift Card Giveaway

Snapfish says you can create personalized gifts for your family and friends while you raise breast cancer awareness. It’s simple. Just visit www.snapfish.com/PinkGives, and for every PinkGives product you purchase, Snapfish will donate 30 percent of the proceeds (up to $25,000) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Also, Snapfish members can showcase their support by sending […]

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Bald Isn’t Bad Forever

If cancer ever forces you to lose your hair, you will probably be devastated, like I was. But, in time, you might like the benefits of bald. Like no shampoo; no hair drying, curling, flattening; and no time at all to get ready in the morning. (No shaving or eyebrow tweezing either.) Not that you […]

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