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.