Friday, June 27, 2008

The Big Distraction.... revealed...

I've been of two minds about blogging about this.

So far, I've been resisting because I don't want future employers to know -- but, I also figure that it won't be a secret anyway --- as I hope that any references would say, "she was a great teacher even with ______".

So -- here it is --

I have breast cancer.

damm... that was hard to write, but I've got to do it.

The short version of it is as follows...

The week before Memorial Day, Hubby felt a lump on my left side. I went to my doctor, who felt it also. He ordered a mamagram and a sonogram. Neither found the lump Hubby did -- but they saw another, smaller lump someplace we didn't. They did a needle biopsy and found cancer.

The first week of June I had a lumpectomy on Monday, and because they didn't get 'clean margins' on the tumor, I had a mastectomy on that Friday. They also did a sentinal node biopsy, which came back as cancerous... but, secondary nodes were negative and there is no evidence that it has spread... That means I'll be getting chemo starting about July 17th.

The chemo will be in two phases, the first is the worst -- and will end the first week of school. The doctor said I'd feel pretty bad the first two days after the chemo, but then I'd feel better... So we are trying to schedule the chemo so that I can keep teaching.

I'll be seeing my surgeon today -- I hope she'll take out the two drains hanging from me, and take out the bizzillion staples across my left side...

The scary bit is that I would never have seen the doctor without Hubby feeling a lump -- and saying something about it. I felt fine -- and still do -- except for the missing boob.... and because the kind of cancer I have is quite aggressive, it might have gone much further before I noticed anything amis...

As it is, I'm in the group of patients who have about an 85% 5-year disease-free rate... which they don't want to call a 'cure' -- but, it isn't the case that I'll have it the rest of my life...

So -- there it is -- the Big Distraction is breast cancer.

15 comments:

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I'm so, so sorry to read this!! (That would be a distraction indeed - I'm slightly distracted by my gall bladder!) Best wishes for getting through the chemo and getting rid of everything - let us bloggers know if there's anything we can do!

Rhonda said...

All best wishes for successful treatment. You sound like you have a really healthy attitude toward this, and we're all out here rooting for you!

rose said...

I'm so sorry. One of my friends is just finishing chemo. She taught a reduced load last semester, and that worked for her. I hope things go well.

Anastasia said...

well, you know I knew this already but I wanted to comment and say how much I admire you for saying it out loud, not to mention the way you're handling it. all the best.

Meansomething said...

PF, thanks for sharing your Big Distraction with your readers. I'm thinking of you and wishing you a smooth and highly successful treatment.

Arbitrista said...

Wow. I'm so you caught it fairly early, but it's awful you're going through this!

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Sending you many healing thoughts. It sounds like you are handling the BD with grace and courage. And there's a lot of support for you out here across the internets.

Psych Post Doc said...

That is way bigger than I would have imagined big distractor to be.

I'm sending you healing thoughts and hoping that the chemo leaves you cancer free and on your way to happy, healthy life.

Seeking Solace said...

Oh I am so sorry. From what I understand, that is a very common way many women find a lump.

I certainly understand big (medical) distractions. I also know how it feels to not want to talk about it until all the facts are in.

I am rooting for you!!! Email me anytime.

JustLilia said...

I am so genuinely sorry. I wish you all the best. I know chemo is hard (Chad's grandpa just had several rounds), so if you need anything (maybe a baby pic to cheer you up?;), let me know.

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, god. Sending all good thoughts your way! As NK said, this is a distraction indeed! Take care of yourself, IPF. And know we're here for you if you need us.

comebacknikki said...

Oh, I am so, so sorry. I am sending lots of healing thoughts your way.

{{{IFP}}}

Addy N. said...

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear that. I was just catching up on blogs and just saw this. I hope that you are OK! It sounds like are handling it VERY well. Thanks for sharing with us. I hope that everything goes well. Sending good thoughts and hugs your way. Take care.

julie said...

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
I've just now read this -- been away a few days -- wow. Never would have guessed *this* news.

Thinking of you, Chica, and sending good vibes.

Bitty said...

I've been busy and not making the blog rounds as usual. Last I checked in, you were on your way to Vegas, baby.

For what it's worth, I'll be thinking of you and trying my best to send good vibes your way.

Although it sounds like you're quite skilled at creating your own good vibes, a very good thing.