Saturday, December 6, 2008

How it all began

I realized the other day that not everyone knows how my story began. So, I will try and keep it short and to the point. In May 2007, I went in due to finding a lump in my right breast (self examination ladies!). The doctor said it was a cyst that got smaller and larger with my cycle. I recently read my doctor's notes and it does say that I got an ultrasound, but for the life of me, I cannot remember this. So, at the end of August, 2008, I made an appt. with the same doc b/c the lump had increased dramatically in size. I couldn't get in until Sept. 12th, a week before my wedding. The doc agreed that the lump had grown and made the comment to me "if it makes you feel better, we can take it out." I will tell you something...she told me all along that this was not cancer and it was just a cyst. Now I know that I should have demanded some sort of biopsy in 2007. On October 17th, I had the cyst removed. They told me at the hospital that if they don't call it's good news and told me that they would have the results by the following Tuesday. That Tuesday came and went. The next Tuesday, October 28th, I had a follow up appt for the surgery. This is when she told me it was cancer. The understatement of the year--I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I started to cry, no I bawled, out of control. I kept saying that I'm not strong enough to handle this. I was there by myself. I called Daryl immediately. This was only supposed to be a post operation appt. What the doc failed to do was call me and tell me the test results were delayed b/c they were sent for a second opinion due to my age. She knew for 3 days b/f telling me.

Daryl and I were at the doc office for about 2.5 hours. Crying, sometimes I couldn't catch my breath. I thought about my honeymoon and having children. Both would have to be delayed. She told me that I would have 4 months of chemo and the tumor was inside the cyst and they weren't for sure but it was about 1.75cm big. It could have been bigger and they didn't know if it would spread. We left there devastated. Then I wondered "how do I tell my parents and sister this." I called them and told them to come to the house immediately. They all knew though. One by one, I told them, everyone cried. My in-laws came down too. I didn't think the tears would ever stop. Everyone kept saying, "you're strong" but I really didn't know if I was strong enough. I felt so numb.

The next two days were spent mostly crying, but finding an oncologist--which I knew I wanted to go to Tracy's. I had to wait 5 days to get in to his office. I didn't think I would ever not think about having cancer. See at this point, I didn't know if it had spread, and I wouldn't know the extent of the cancer until about a month later. The day after I was diagnosed, I remember crying when the 24th hour came, remembering walking to the dr. appt, coming home, breaking the hearts of those I love. It's not my fault and I know that. It's cancer's fault. And I hate it.

This was the beginning of my new reality. Life with cancer. I remember my friend Tracy saying in one of her blogs that the hard part isn't dying, but living. Every day, I fight the cancer to live. Everyday, I fight the cancer so that I can enjoy being a newlywed. Everyday, I fight the cancer so that I can be an aunt, sister, daughter. Dying would be easy.

I am strong enough to fight cancer because I have an amazing husband and support group. I couldn't do it alone and that is the truth. So thanks to everyone that has sent cards, flowers, and prayers. I truly am thankful for my life.

Just a FYI...the dr. didn't know what she was talking about. The oncologist did. I will have 18 weeks of chemo with 3 meds, then a lumpectomy, then radiation, and continue one of the chemo meds for a year. Then another medicine for 5 years. The fate of me having children is unknown. I can't stress enough to do your self examinations ladies, you know your body!!!

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