I started walking almost 3 years ago in our neighborhood and met a wonderful woman who was fighting breast cancer and I don't think I even considered that I might one day be fighting a similar beast. Her beast is much worse. It is angrier. Deadlier. Just plain evil. She has inflammatory breast cancer and it is truly what I feared when they said the results showed cancer present. I spoke to the doctor from the radiology office not long after my doctor had called and asked him point blank if it was inflammatory breast cancer because I knew that I didn't want IT. I don't want cancer at all, but I was full of fear thinking of this particular version.
What I did learn was that I have invasive mammary carcinoma. Typically with invasive breast cancers, you get either ductal or lobular, but for some reason I got the combo package (the link above takes you to the Johns Hopkins definition). Either way, it says invasive and that means that the cancer has spread from the original layer of cells and it has moved into the nearby fatty breast tissue (yup, I've got some of that). And yes, I've been doing A LOT of reading.
We had an initial appointment with Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center where they did a general overview of my current physical condition and then sent me to get an MRI of my breasts. Now THAT was an experience. I tried to avoid noticing the giant tube where I would soon be rolled, feet first. Once the IV was ready, I got started. The ear plugs and head phones were helpful and I was able to keep myself from dwelling on my current location. There was a moment or two when I would begin to recognize that I was in a very confined place but I kept my eyes shut and just talked myself out of the panic. The news from the doctor afterwards was good as there were no surprises lurking in either breast, beyond the original lump that had already been biopsied. [Note: I intend to name said "original lump" but I just haven't come up with anything yet. Feel free to make suggestions.]
While I was busy in the giant machine that felt like a cocoon (or worse, a coffin), the hubs and the sister were at work scheduling appointments to take over my Thursday. I was scheduled for a chest and abdomen CT scan and also a bone scan. I'll just skip to the good part and say that I survived drinking the two 450mL containers of citrus-flavored Barium Sulfate goodness and was happy that I stayed fully-clothed while getting all of the scans. Later that afternoon, I accidentally hit "ignore" when trying to answer my phone. It, of course, was the doctor's office just calling to give me the results of those tests. I hit redial and it went to their answering service. But the good news was that the nurse DID leave me a voicemail and all of the scans were clean! Praise God!
I'm thinking it is time to take another breather, get some sleep and tackle the last appointment (to date) in another post. People, I am working on finding some comic relief here, but I'm just not coming up with anything yet. And when I think of some little funny, I do actually try to maintain the filter between my head and my fingers on the keyboard because I don't want to offend anyone. I have a feeling that these concerns just might not be an issue for me later, but for now, I'm trying to watch what I say...type...you get the idea.
I was directed to this verse by a friend who posted on my FB wall and I wanted to share it here:
"In 2 Corinthians chapter 12 it says "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness"
Ok God, I am DEFINITELY feeling weak now. I. Am. There. Just sayin'.....................
"Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes. Jesus loves me. Yes. Jesus loves me."