Twelve years ago, I had just finished chemotherapy and was preparing for radiation to treat Stage III breast cancer. Now I’m 12 days away from surgery to remove a tumor discovered during my annual mammogram in November.

Yeah, it’s back.

My initial response to the news was predictably profane. Hearing you have cancer once is unreal. Hearing it a second time is surreal.

Still, I’m optimistic. We caught it early. The tumor is small and doesn’t appear to have spread. I have a wonderful medical team and the best family and friends around.

A lot of things have changed in 12 years (including most of my doctors), not the least of which is COVID-19. I’m scheduled for surgery Feb. 18 – more than three months after that suspicious mammogram. When I was diagnosed in 2009, it was less than a month from squeeze to surgery.

Anyway, I haven’t told many people not because it’s a secret, but because I wanted to wait until I knew what happens next. Now I know: bilateral mastectomy and about 4-6 weeks of recovery. We’ll know more about any additional treatment after the docs get a look at the tumor. I LOVE my oncologist (as does literally everyone who sees her name on my medical chart), and I trust her implicitly.

Last time around, I shared my story (in what was probably way too much detail) on Caring Bridge. This time, I’ll be updating this long-neglected blog with my medical musings. Feel free to follow along.

13 thoughts on “Well, that didn’t work

  1. Praying for you girl. I hate the thought they are doing this on an outpatient basis, but at least you’re forced out of the hospital where all the sick people are. And Nurse Mary will prove to be an outstanding care provider.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry to read this. Thanks for sharing. I’m 14 years out and know the fear of recurrence with every yearly check up. Glad to hear you have a good medical team (my docs have all changed as well). My new oncologist is Erin Newton- fantastic! My thoughts are with you and I look forward to hearing more from you in your blog. Prayers for a successful surgery and recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea—I’m so sorry to hear your news. I am now a 3 year survivor of Triple Negative Breast Cancer, did chemo, and a mastectomy with reconstruction. I live within easy distance of Moffitt down here in Florida just in case cancer rears its ugly head again. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but cancer made me reprioritize everything. I don’t like to say I’m cured, because that is just a false sense of security for a cancer survivor. There’s not a lot of support I can provide for you from this distance, except emotional, and you’ve got that. Happy to listen, happy to talk. Know that someone else in our family just survived a second round of breast cancer; the way you describe it is correct. Unreal the first time, I imagine surreal the second. I don’t want to imagine, but I am prepared in case it happens with me. Sending love and big hugs—Marie (Don’s wife)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My prayers are with you and I know you will beat this! We will miss you at poker until you are better and can break out! You need anything let me know! All your poker family loves you! I’m sure your husband will take great care of you and everything but you ever need a house cleaning let me know I’d love to help you out!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no, Andrea. We are so sorry. But you are one tough cookie (and a hell of a writer), so we, too, are optimistic. Slay this beast — again — and get back to it. And we’ll keep vigil. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know we aren’t friends but I’m concerned about you. We are both females with a common cause. My daughter has skin cancer. They remove they as they come. They keep coming. She is a inside person so it wasn’t the sun. Please let me know how you are doing

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WTH!!!@@##$%^&^%$
    You really don’t need to have a health crisis for me to reach out to you! Seriously if you need anything or you need to vent or you’d like some comic relief, give me a call. I’ll send you my phone number. I’m speechless that you have to do this again. Your attitude is the best medicine. You got this, geek!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are important to our community, to your family, to your sweet hubby, to your friends and to me (one who hopes is on the friend list). We all admire your strength and resilience. Hugs on behalf of this big, wide pool of people who love you. Lean on us for anything as you take this unplanned detour on the journey. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sorry to hear this news. I am a 20-year survivor of esophageal cancer. You never forget those words and know what lies ahead. I will keep you in thought and prayer! Time to kick ass girl!

    Like

  10. Just getting caught up on the news. By now, you’ve had the surgery, so I’m praying for swift healing and a clean bill of health from here on for you!

    Like

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