Wednesday, September 16, 2009

part 1~The Day I Found the "Lump"...

As everyone knows (or should know by now) October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So I thought I would take a trip down memory lane (what I remember of it anyway) and tell my story. It won't be told all at once, its just too hard emotionally to relive it all at once. So here it goes. The beginning:

One morning in October of 2005, I was getting ready to go to work, the normal routine every morning. I lathered up and started the cleaning process. When I went to clean my left boob, I noticed there was a hard bump. And it felt BIG to me. Now I didn't remember it being there the day before (you know it had to be, but how could I have MISSED that!)! But I didn't think to much at that point (maybe I was getting ready to start or any number of things), just that I better call the doc and see what he thought. I finished my morning routine, went to work, called the doc and of course he wanted to see me. That day. So I went in, he did his exam and sent me right over for a mammogram. When those results came back, he sent me to a surgeons to see what he thought about removing it. (Let me just slip in here that my surgeon looked an awful lot like Al Pacino!!) We decided that it did need to be removed, so a date was scheduled for the following week. Have I mentioned yet just how scared I truly was? I was scared spitless. So I made the arrangements, scheduled the time off work, and went in to have the operation. It was going to be a quick removal (we still thought it would be benign) with me going home the same day.
I will always remember the look on the surgeons face when he walked into my hospital room after surgery that day. The test results weren't back yet, but he was almost positive it was cancer. I knew 24 hours later. At the ripe old age of 36, I had a fast growing cancer. What would happen to my babies if I died? Their dad could barely take care of himself, let alone raise my kids the way I wanted them to be raised. Both my parents & step parents had already passed, I sure didn't want one of my sibling raising my kids.
So another surgery was scheduled to remove some lymph nodes to see if it had spread...IT HADN'T!! Yay! I did catch it in time. Appointments were made with an Oncologist, treatment was decided on, the decision to have a "port" put in for the chemo was made and the appointment scheduled to have that surgically installed (yep back to Al Pacino!!). Everything is ready to go! By this time, it's almost Thanksgiving and we had ALOT to be thankful for that year.
I was asked once why I chose to have the port inserted. Let me tell you, when you find out your going to have a needle stuck in you for over a year and a half, a port is a Godsend! For those that don't know what a port is: It is a thing that they surgically insert into your artery so the nurses do not have to poke you with a needle in a new veins each and everytime you go for chemo. Mine was inserted in the upper right side of my chest above my book. It stays in the same spot, it's just a little bump under your skin. It can stay there forever if need be.

Well that's all for now, I need to get to work!


Mary said...

Susie, thanks for sharing your story. And I know what a godsend a port is. Not from my own experience (pre-cancer surgery) but from my nephew's leukemia treatment. He beat it TWICE (first as a 16 month old and then again at 5 years old) and both times had a port. Again, godsend! BTW, he's now a 13yo in 8th grade and taller than his mom. He's also my Godson.

I hope you have a great prognosis and continue to have perfect check ups. ((hugs))

Susie said...

Wow Mary! I am so happy he is doing so well! I love, love, love hearing wonderful stories! It always amazes me to see little kids that are so sick, but so strong & couragous!

In a few days, I'll tell a little bit more *hint* my port ended up not being a Godsend!

Indigo said...

I know about that fear with THE lump. To make matters worse a friend of mine had her cancer return and died 2 months after I had my prognosis. Her words to me, were fight for all it's worth. It's not always a losing battle.

Every year like clockwork I'm in there and getting my mammogram. Life is too precious not to take every precaution we can. Thank you for sharing your story!(Hugs)Indigo

Mandi said...

Wow..amazing story. And one that I feels needs to be shared. It is sooooo scary. My heart goes out to you. I am so happy to hear all is ok. Thank you so much for sharing.


I just got my notice that I am due.
I am going to make sure I dont put it off. Huuugggsss {{{Suzie}}}


kalea_kane said...

Oh Susie! My eyes stung for you! I cannot imagine the horror you felt. I am so glad that you were able to catch it so early! Thank you for taking the time to share your survival story.



Help Teach A Child To Read

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library