Posted by: mommyq | January 16, 2006

And so the journey begins…

I have been feeling like a bit of a journal fraud lately since I have not been posting about EVERYTHING that has been going on in my life. When I post in my journal it serves a few purposes…it is a great way to keep friends and family in the loop about the goings on with Syd and our family life AND, it is rather therapeutic for me to write about things and to get my feelings down on “paper”. The second part has not been happening so much in the last little while.

For those that don’t already know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer back in late October. It was something that took her by suprize and she felt she needed some time to wrap her own head around it all before sharing with the outside world. So, in respect of her decision, I keep it out of my journal. There were so many time where I wanted to come on and post about everything that I was thinking and feeling but, I couldn’t so, I occupied myself with posting pics of my daughter and sharing with everyone the happier parts of my life at the current time. However, as she is now beginning on the long journey towards becoming cancer free, she has been more open to sharing the news.

I am sure that many of you may remember me posting a while back about her biopsy and how she was having some calcifications investigated. Well, the biopsy originally revealed a very VERY early stage of cancer and type referred to as DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ) which is basically a fancy way of saying cancer that is strictly contained within a duct in the breast. This type of cancer is non-invasive form of cancer that stays within the milk duct and does not spread outside the duct into the surrounding breast tissue or lymph nodes. This type of cancer is treated by surgically removing the lump and surrounding healthy tissue and proceeding with radiation therapy. So, in November, my mom had the surgery to remove the lump. She did really well and recovered quickly as we waited on the pathology reports to come back (which normally takes 10-15 days) and to receive her referral to Sunnybrook to begin her radiation. However, the pathology came back showing the the lump was removed without “clear margins” which means that the surrounding tissue that was removed was not cancer free. At this point, she had two options…have further surgery done to remove more of the surrounding tissue and have her lymph nodes checked for cancer. After this second surgery, if the lymph nodes showed cancer, they would have had to go in for a 3rd surgery to remove the lymph nodes. My mom opted to simply have a second surgery and have the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes removed all at the same time to avoid a possible 3rd surgery. This took place in mid December and turned out to be the right decision as two of her lymph nodes showed cancer.

So, at this point, with the lymph nodes involved, chemotherapy became a necessary first step as the lymph nodes act as a filter and the cancer can potentially spread to other parts. We met with my mom’s oncologist for the first time last week and he advised that her therapy will include six months of chemo with treatments every three weeks, followed by 5 weeks of radiation therapy with treatments being every day (Mon-Fri) and finally hormone therapy which is a pill treatment taken for 5 years. We have her pre-chemo clinic tomorrow where we will get all of the information related to the treatments, what to expect etc. and she starts chemo on Thursday.

After experiencing a wide range of emotional ups and downs about all of this, I am now hopeful and positive. My mom is a strong lady and she will get through this in the same way she has gotten through all of the other tough patches in her life. Determination and a strong will to live. My only job from this point forward is to be there for her, help her in any way I can and be her rock. The rock part is difficult some days but, thankfully I have a great husband who loves me and supports me and lets me be come home, be weak and cry on his shoulder so that I can get it all out, put on a smile and be strong again the next day.

So there it is… I am a fraud no longer since once again… it is all out there! 🙂

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Responses

  1. Suzie ((((BIG HUGS)))))
    I will be keeping your mom and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us posted.

    Take Care

    Carol

  2. Sue – fraud? Nope – not everything that is going on has to be written down until the time is right – and the time wasn’t right.

    I’m glad to hear that your mother is getting the information in front of her to make the decisions she needs. I know that after my Pat’s mom was diagnosed with various tumors and cancer and had the surgery, she felt much better. We knew right away that the decision that was made was a good one.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers in the coming months.

  3. Hi Sue,

    It will be a hard year for her but it’s true that she is a really strong woman and she will get through this 🙂

    I’m always here to talk if you need anything.

    Love,

    Cathy

  4. Sue I am so sorry to hear about this, but as you said she is a strong woman and will get through this.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and if you guys need anything I am only a phone call away.

    Love Teta Mila

  5. Sue, I’m so sorry to hear that this has been going on with your mom!! I will keep your mom & family in my thoughts & prayers!! I’m sure you are a great support to her as you are to everyone else!!

    Nicole

  6. Suzie, I am sorry you and your mom and family are going through this. Cancer is an ugly thing to have to deal with. Please let your mom know that my thoughts and prayers are with her throughout her battle.

    Having said that, cancer shmancer. That disease is NOTHING compared to your mom. She’ll kick its ass and chew it up and spit it out like it was an old piece of bubble gum! Your mom has been through so much that this litle piddly thing will be no match for her!

    Hugs and kisses and if you need any help, or someone to talk to, or whatever, just give me a call.

    san

  7. Suzie- I am so sorry to hear about your mom but I’m sure with the support of you and your family – as well as the thought of her beautiful new granddaughter she will get through this with flying colours. There is so much out there now to make chemo a more comfortable experience.
    Thinking about you guys…

    Lor

  8. {{HUGS}} Sue,

    I’m so glad you’re able to journal about how you’re feeling. We are all here for you (and your Mom) every step of the way.

    Love Dane


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