We Have a Plan

Okay, there is the start of a schedule.  I guess it’s going to take the place of my training plan for now.  I worked out this morning, made sure to swim and run since I didn’t know what today would bring and if either of those two things would be restricted (they aren’t, for now).  I thought a few times while I was swimming this morning that I don’t feel like someone with cancer.  I don’t swim or run like someone with cancer.  But, guess what?  I have cancer.  And that hit me hard.  Especially when we entered the building with this sign outside.


Okay so first off what a beautiful facility and what kind and caring employees but really?  There are really this many people in the NYC vicinity with cancer????  Wow.  So — paperwork, forms, signatures, insurance cards, photo ID, etc.  Finally, in a room with a nurse, then a doctor.  For the first time, I met Dr. Mohamed El-Tamer. He has come highly recommended from two friends who have undergone extensive breast cancer issues.  Right now the conversation, examination, etc. are all a bit of a blur but here’s the bottom line.  It’s still cancer.  It’s still invasive ductal carcinoma.  It’s stage one, that’s new news.  Although they still need to perform an injection of dye before surgery he is pretty confident there is no node involvement.  I will need both chemotherapy and radiation after.  I will lose my hair.  Crap, I like my hair!  He said it will grow back better.  I wonder if it will still be grey, I mean blonde?
So here’s the new schedule:  Monday, March 27 is pre-op testing at the Sloan Kettering satellite facility in Middletown NJ.  Family vacation in St. John’s from March 28 until April 5th.  Dr El-Tamer said that it is absolutely fine!  April 6th, pre-op prep in NYC.  April 7th, lumpectomy.  April 17, post op follow up.  April 27, consult with oncologists.  3 to 4 months of chemotherapy and radiology to follow.  Twice a week.  When I explained my plans for the season the surgeon looked at me very calmly and said: “not this year”.  My response?   “These weren’t my firsts and they won’t be my last”.

According to the doctor, I will have very few limitations from surgery.  Especially about working out.  I have a feeling that the chemo may not be so forgiving but, we shall see.  I gotta take this one day at a time.

Some questions answered.  About 25% of women with breast cancer have this type of cancer.  After 5 years if it doesn’t come back I’m good. Five years is a long time.  They will do genomic testing since my mother died from breast cancer.

Every message I’ve received over the last week and especially today has meant so much to me.  Really.  A few comments made me laugh out loud.  A few made me smile about good memories.  And quite a few made me tear up.   I love my family, I love my friends.  I love and count on my Jersey Girls and my Coeur team.   You guys really are the best!    This truly sucks.  But, for some reason, I still feel like I’m blessed.

11 Replies to “We Have a Plan”

  1. Moira, you were an inspiration to me when I met you at irongirl last year! You will get through this and come back better than ever. The hospital is amazing 3 women who’ve had breast cancer all went there, they’re some pretty kick ass ladies if you ask me.
    My brother suffers from cancer as well so I understand the feelings all too well. But never forget you’re an ironwoman hear me roar!! You’ll kick cancers butt in no time. Sending you love, stenght, and healing in the weeks to come!

  2. Moira I appreciate you sharing this because I otherwise would have no idea. We met briefly in the past when I participated in Jersey Girl. And I just spoke of you to a young friend who knows from the Belmar runs and I shared how I saw you at the Bruce book signing. I yelled Moira but my line was far from yours. You smile was as bright as ever that day. How could I not see you in a crowd of thousands! Now as for this, my grandmother would always tell me that God only gives us what he knows we can handle. I have no doubt that you will prevail. In fact,you will be stronger because of it. Please know how many people are in your corner…including me! Hugs!!!

  3. Moira…..you are strong… you always were and will continue to be so…. Love to you and Brian as you kick the MF ass of this disease….. and then we all will do triathalons with you

  4. Moira – Be strong! Have faith! I know that this is a fight that you will endure! Know that you have inspired hundreds and now let us encourage you! Stay strong , Jersey Girl strong!

  5. Hey Moira, so glad you have a plan and it’s stage one! That great news! There is one piece of advice that I wish I had listened to and that was to make sure you don’t want to do reconstruction before you do radiation therapy. The tissue changes and it isn’t an option afterward.

    You might not be able race this year but you have many who are routing for you in this journey, stay strong.

  6. I am so sorry Moira. You have a great spirit and a wonderful attitude. I love the blog. Keep us with you. Look into cold capping for your hair. Someone in my office is doing it and so far no hair loss. I will keep you posted as you do the same. Love and friendship Kathy Monahan

  7. They are so kind at Sloan. Happy your in great hands. Yes there are this many people with cancer. You will meet the most amazing patients – strong fighters. They inspire me every trip. Your hair will come back fast and more hair lol. One day at a time.

  8. Just finding out Moira. So sorry. You’re right my cousin had same cancer and she lives in Monmouth County as well and 5 years came she was cancer free. So I know you’ll beat this also. You’ve been my mentor in my head cause I’m not an official JG. Though I’ve done the JG Tri’s and Ironman Princeton and most recently volunteered at Ironman Atlantic City cheering on Akira Johnson and then coming to your station to help pick up cups with you and Valerie Robinson. I’ll keep you in my prayers. You’ll definitely make it through! And my son had me make Irish Soda Bread. Wish I had your recipe. It probably came out waaayy better. Haha. My maiden name is Kearney so my kids make me prepare corn beef and cabbage annually on St. Patrick’s day. I think I do ok for a “sista.” 👏🏾👏🏾 I’ll be following your post.

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