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.