An Angel Called Me Today….My Very Own Breast Cancer Navigator

How cool is that? I moved from dispirited to giddy with just one call. I bet that is all about no hormone patch and desperation.

They (Scott and White Mammography folk) said that someone would call me to help me through the process. She, Carol E. called me just as I was going through TSA security at the Nashville Airport. She left a message and I verrrry smartly called her right back. The long and short of the conversation follows

  1. She will meet Len and me for my appointment on Monday (I kinda think she will actually be there for the entire appointment.) Another set of ears for us.
  2. I can call her whenever I need information about anything. Is this wonderful, or what?
  3. She is actually a survivor of two kinds of cancer–breast and lung! WOW. Instant credibility
  4. My cancer is the most common…80% of all the breast cancers
  5. My cancer is little biddy (my description) only 1.14cm. Also known to non-metrics as about 1/2 inch.
  6. She sees lots of mammograms and although not the doctor she thinks it can be a partial mastectomy (aka lumpectomy) and radiation. Dr. Lairmore will give me all the options
  7. Surgery will have two incisions-1 to get the mass out and the second to check out the lymph nodes
  8. I THINK she said that currently the stats for full mastectomy and partial with radiation are about the same….2% recurrence rate. Len will be verrrrrrry good at this part for analysis.
  9. After 4 weeks or so, six weeks of radiation. Five weeks of the entire breast and one week targeting the specific area.
  10. Wellllllllllll, yes, that sounds pretty good. She said, that she anticipates the worst part will be inconvenience. I like inconvenience at this point.
  11. I became totally squirrely. Totally. I told her more or less this: ” I love you Carol. If you turn out to be mean, I will still love you.” She thought that was funny. I also thanked her from the bottom of my heart for giving me hope. I do love her. Hope with credibility…not ‘butterflies, rainbows, and peace among men’ verbiage.

Cowgirl Posse.jpgI called most of the posse with the news. Mom especially loved it. Billy printed the text for her and I followed up with a call. I looooooooove my Mom. I mean, I realllllly love my Mom. I want to grow up (soon) to be just like her. Also like Len.

What else? Carol said it is normal to feel every little ache and pain and think that you have cancer in your bunion. And if I do, please God, let me do it with grace. Susan S. who has been through this about 2 years ago told me not to read internet stuff. It will make me insane. She said a very good friend of hers sent her a tome called Dr. Love’s Guide to Breast Cancer. Susan said she read the first two pages and cried. She put the book away. That is how I feel. At this point, in the Pre-Champion Stage, if I read internet stuff, I go mad….hyperventilation is imminent…it scares the HOUND out of me. Susan said it right, “Don’t read it.” Some chums are absolutely high on specifics and information. Not so, for Susan Krals. I might prefer a certain amount of surprise. I think I know the bottom line: I might die and it might be messy and I might not do it with courage and grace. End of that stream of consciousness. I like for the posse to propose questions for me to ask, not for me to read.

Happier thoughts. I have received some very loving and some very funny cards. I want belly laughs. I might not mind underpants wettin’ laughs. And speaking of such, out of the blue I am talking to one of my roommates from 1968-71 who is so wonderfully funny. Nancy and her sister Becky were both my roommates and they are back in my life and making me laugh. And if that isn’t weird, my best friend from Ramstein Junior High, 1959, and reconnected I through Facebook about 3 months ago. Nancy is delightful and she gives me lots of positive feedback and encouragement. I love hearing from her.

Ok, I am now eating Deviled Ham on Hint of Salt Triscuits in bed as I write this….how incongruent is that? Cat food never tasted so good! Better go to bed so I can swell up in the night Len will be home tomorrow at this time….Life will be better.

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