Monthly Archives: May, 2011

Welcome

Hi Everyone — If you have made your way here, you probably already know that I was recently diagnosed with what is hopefully early stage breast cancer.  My ever loving and technically savvy brother Dale helped set this site up so we can distribute news and not-news easily to all of you caring friends and …

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Mammograms Don’t Catch Everything (At First … But Maybe Eventually)

[Disclaimer: If you are a female over the age of 40 or know any females over the age of 40, regardless of what you might interpret from the above title, remember that mammograms are essential!] After I finished nursing our now 4 year old, I had already passed my own 40 year mark and it …

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Biopsy = One Mean Needle (Skip if You’re Trypanophobic)

Ok, I have now donated countless gallons of blood over the years and am not afraid of needles.  But I do have to say the stereotactic biopsy needle was a meanie.  Once I arrived at my appointment, my physician explained the process, positioned me on top of a table with a hole for my breast …

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April 27th: Getting my Ducts in a Row

I was not shocked.  Sitting in my car parked in front of our 4 year old’s preschool,  I answered a call from the Surgery Department.  The biopsy was malignant, technically Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), a Stage 0 noninvasive growth in my milk ducts.  I took the news calmly trying to recall as much as …

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May 4th: Time to Meet my Oncology Team

Kaiser Permanente is a well-oiled health care machine.  At that same phone call letting me know my biopsy result, I was scheduled for a breast cancer class and private consultation with my entire oncological team the following week.  I wouldn’t have to go searching piecemeal for surgical, chemo, and radiation expertise and if I wanted …

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Spatula, Spatula, Spat-u-la

We had been putting off sharing my health news with our three children until we had more concrete information about what I might be facing in the weeks or months ahead.  I dreaded the notion of a somber family meeting during which we would gently lay out the facts and possibilities while our offspring burst …

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May 5th: When Life Gives You Lemons

Breast cancer gave me license to do what every woman attentive to her appearance has secretly or perhaps unconsciously wanted to do her entire adult life:  visit a plastic surgeon. If I was going to have a mastectomy, my next decision would be whether I’d want reconstruction, and if so, whether I would want the …

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May 7th: Ka-Pow!

My dear friend and running buddy Truc has put up with a great deal from me over the past few years.  Not only has she allowed me to con her into running in the frosty pre-dawn hours of many a miserable winter morning, but she has also graciously allowed me to drag her to running …

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May 10th: Next Time, Better Ear Plugs

The ambiguity of my current diagnosis (invasive/noninvasive?) called for more scanning to help determine whether my mammograms might have missed cancer in the other breast, so I was next dispatched to an MRI lab in San Jose. Compared to my biopsy experience, the MRI was like a (very loud) spa.  Dressed in a tastefully striped …

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It Takes a Village

I’d like to take a brief intermission from my rambling soliloquies to properly acknowledge my supporting cast:  my friends and family. Thank you all for your kind words of support.  Your emails and phone calls have heartened me in periods of sadness.  They have reassured me when I waver.  Your stories of friends, aunts, sisters, …

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