I am Hoping to Refer to this as my Pre-Champion Stage


That is the way Stephanie and I want to think of it….this is the time before I pull it all together and become inspiring and incredibly brave and resilient….but since this is the Pre-Champion stage I am not so much either of those things.

Yesterday about 3:30 I decided to call Scott & White since I had not heard anything. I discovered that my nurse was out of the office until today so I asked for her colleague who was able to tell me the damned awful results. I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 2 of 3 possibles. How could I be stunned when the radiologist at the onset called it very scary…yeah, that pretty wells says it from my perspective: Pretty Damned Scary Syndrome.

I was out in the parking lot of the Grand Old Opry Hotel and I was mighty stoic until right before I hung up the phone and I started with the wretched crackling voice. I walked back to find Susan and ran into Laura C one of our MCEC Board members…she said something like, “Susan, how are you?” I kinda let it fly. She was amazingly kind….today I found her and thanked her. I found Susan and shared the news. She has been my rock. Last night I opted out of line dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon. Instead I had dinner on my own. When Susan got back we went to the “Library” bar and had wine…and therapy. All about me, I might add.


Seems like 2 years have passed and it has been just over 24 hours. In this time I have had to tell Len, Carol, Steph, Cee, Brother, the Killeen Girl Friends Association (to be referred to as the KGFA), Mah Jongg team, and a few of the MCEC team. I asked Brother Billy to tell Mom but then I called her after I knew he had done the hard part. I can hold it together pretty good until I am with someone who emotes then I crumble…..I hate, hate, hate that part. I mean I really hate it. To Mom’s credit she held it together when we talked and only once did I start to blubber.  

It is waaaaaay to raw to recount too much and I am substantially better today. It will be a roller coaster ride. Here are the things I know:

  1. I do get to see Dr. Lairmore on Monday, June 27 to discuss my surgical options and his plans for my condition
  2. Len will be home this Saturday so he will go with me.
  3. I am probably going to have surgery before the end of July.
  4. Looks like chemotherapy and radiation too
  5. I will be buying a wig. It will be a good long while before I get to have my long braid.
  6. No matter what, I am currently not just scared of losing a breast but that the cancer has run rampant through me and that when they operate, they will just sew me back up because it is so complete. I have to be able to say that…and I damned well do not want anyone telling me I can’t think that way. Right now, I can and I am. After all this is part of the Pre-Champion stage.
  7. I am glad the theme of the MCEC Conference has been Inspiration as I have heard and seen many presenters who shame me with my fear and whininess. They are inspiring and I think I can suck it up and step up to the plate in time…not yet….I am still percolating.
  8. People respond to news in character. I am going to include some of the comments because they are so precious.
  9. I looked down at my right foot today and saw that my ancient bunion was red. I just had a quick thought: What if it has spread to my bunion? I let that particular anxiety go.
  10. I called my GP’s office today and asked his nurse to have him look at my records…I just want Shane to know. I think he will feel bad for me.
  11. Carol who had breast cancer 16 years ago told me I can make up my own rules about this and that they will change every day. She already is coaching Len on breast cancer etiquette and support dos and don’ts. I like that.
  12. Looks like I am not going to Mexico in July and maybe not to Boston. Wish I had bought travel insurance for both of those trips.


2 Responses to “I am Hoping to Refer to this as my Pre-Champion Stage”

  1. nancy baumann thurmond Says:

    O dear Susan. I am in shock. I am also amazed how your mind organizes things. (Pre-champion stage) I feel like I know you…in real time…not just from memories, because of your journal and photos. There is a very long thread connecting us and I feel it tugging. Through prayer I have received tangible gifts and graces to help me through the traumas of the past year, maybe even miracles. I will be sending my prayers up for you! How wonderful you have such a fabulous support system of family and friends. Love, Nancy

  2. Oh my Susan,
    I am behind on the blog reading and have to say I am in tears reading your words. I can hear you and can see you as I read each line … your strength is remarkable and because of it, I know you will come out of this the champion that you truly are! I am saying prayers, sending hugs and warm wishes!!!! My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you!!!!! Love, Tina

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