Saturday, May 26, 2018

Keeping busy



I'm sure a lot of folks are like me and need to have a project or task to keep the mind engaged to prevent worrying about other life issues.  One fun project was to crochet a dinosaur (link) for my first great nephew who was born less than a week after my lumpectomy.


Connor lives in Florida so it won't be until early July before I get to hold him... but looking at his photo makes me smile while I wait.




Sunday, May 20, 2018

Still researching online and otherwise keeping busy



Well, it seems that nothing about breast cancer is cut and dried so the roller coaster continues even though the downhill parts aren't as frightening.


My doctor presented my case to a group of physicians who deal with breast cancer on a full-time basis and there is no clear consensus about where to go next.  I'm signed up for mammograms every six months for the next 3 yrs.  The discussion concerning additional treatment is still on the table and I will consult with an oncologist the latter part of June.  Online research continues and I've contacted a cousin on my father's side about hers and her mother's history of breast cancer.


I'm sharing information with my sisters and daughter so they won't be as in the dark as they make decisions regarding mammograms.  Hopefully, they won't ever need to use the information in any other way...


In the meantime, I'm staying busy with crafty-type projects and just blocked my Wonder Woman Wrap (crochet).  There is also a knitted version (link).

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I've been crocheting for a while now but methinks the sewing bug has awoken from hibernation...  so I expect to be quilting shortly.  One must stay busy, yes?




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Still learning stuff on the internet




Since retirement last June, there have been a number of health issues that required taking care of and were generally a pain in the kazoo.  Nothing that was going to kill me or anything, just issues that needed resolving.  I did do my usual Google-thing and read up on everything and was glad retirement hadn't interfered with my search skills.   Then came March 2018...



After going in for my annual mammogram, I got the phone call saying I needed to come back in for another mammogram.  Fun times.   The second mammogram was followed by a sonogram and I got to sit in a stuffy room while the radiologist read the results.  Seems there were a "cluster of microcalcifications"...  not as bad as a "line of microcalcifications" but still worrisome.   Went home and Googled "microcalcifications" and then... "breast cancer."

Now, no lumps were felt during the manual exam and no tumors showed up on any scans, just the microcalcifications.  Then, since it was late Friday afternoon, I got to wait over the weekend to hear from my primary care provider.  Don't you just love waiting?



My PCP called (not her nurse) and she had set me up with an appointment with a surgeon, (more waiting) who set me up with an appointment for an outpatient biopsy.   Wait for that appointment.  Then came the wait for the results, then wait for the next appointment with the surgeon. 



The diagnosis was ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which means abnormal cells in the milk ducts that have not yet spread out of the ducts.... and is considered Stage 0 breast cancer.  There was a lot of Googling for additional information...   did you know that 1 in 8 women get breast cancer?




More waiting around for a lumpectomy followed by waiting for the pathology report on the excised tissue.  That came through an electronic portal that the hospital has.... giving me a detailed report written in medical-ese that required more Googling.   Now I am waiting on the post-procedure appointment where I'll find out if my interpretation of the report matches the surgeon's.


I am recovering well with no pain and recovery is supposed to take 2 weeks.  I'm able to do more each day but still need to rest some in the afternoon.  In addition to resting, I'm doing things that make me happy / lifts my spirits.  Today, I had a cute hair appointment and ran several errands before heading home, including a stop at a local yarn shop.


I don't know why I wasn't afraid during all this.  I was irritated by all the waiting around and being messed with.... just wanted folks to leave me alone.  I do know that prior to surgery... radiation was not being discussed.... so that's good.  I marvel at the miracle of the new machine that detected the microcalcifications (seems that my immune system was going after the abnormal cells, laying down calcium during their efforts).  I'm in awe that the surgery was so targeted and precise.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that 5 days post-surgery, I was sleeping on my tummy again.


I will be doing a bit more waiting until the Thursday afternoon appt.... but I'm grateful to know that my 5-year survival rate is close to 100%.   Final comment for today:   Don't skip your annual mammogram!