Bad news, good news

Tuesday morning came quickly.   With Greg and my sister Marcia by my side, we went to meet my surgeon, Dr. Curcio and receive the detailed report about my breast cancer.   After saying our “hellos” and “nice to meet yous,” the first thing Dr. Curcio said was “You have an aggressive cancer.”  If she said anything after that, I sure didn’t hear it…I heard her voice but everything became muffled and indiscernible after that.  For a hundred reasons, I was so very glad that Greg and Marcia were there to listen specifically, since I couldn’t get past that first daunting reality.  Eventually I tuned back in and I heard more news that I needed to factor into the big picture.

The good news is that we caught it early, thanks to my Sarah who was persistent in getting me to speed up making my MRI appointment (she now confesses that she had a “bad” feeling…praise God for giving her the inkling)   I had no symptoms, no detectable lump.  I

It is currently Stage 1. However, the bad news is that it is a very aggressive form of cancer, her-2-neu positive, and in just a few short weeks it has doubled in size. So after the tumor board meets to discuss my case a week from Thursday, I will likely begin treatment right away. Treatment will likely be 6 rounds of chemotherapy, with 3 weeks between iv chemo treatments, then a 4-6 week rest, then surgery, then radiation. More good news is that the type of cancer I have is “very curable,” with nearly 90% success rate, and the fact that we are catching it early is very good.

Dr. Curcio did say, upon reviewing the MRI with us, that there was another area of question that was not biopsied. She would confer with her in-house radiologist and we would possibly need a second biopsy.

I tried hard to take in everything that was said…but this was A LOT!  Remember, I had pretty much settled in to the fact that this would probably mean surgery, but I naively thought that that would be the extent of it.  In other words, I didn’t factor in a long term treatment plan that would include chemo, surgery and radiation. Basing it all on my mom’s experience 40 years ago.

Wow.  Ok.

The rest of the day was a blur, as our family tried to digest what we had just heard.  Marcia, Sarah and I went to go paint at Color-Me-Mine, so we could have a little fun and escape the burden of the morning. Nothing there looked the least bit appealing to paint (besides, just to paint one piece would cost between $50-$100!!! No thank you!) So instead we just walked around the mall, completely numb.  Sometimes laughing, sometimes in silence, sometimes in tears.

We returned home and had a great family dinner, just wanting to be together. Greg and me, Marcia, Michael, Valerie, Sarah and my second daughter Jori.  Lots of laughs, lots of tears.

May I just say how very blessed I am to have the family that I do?  They are my biggest source of strength and encouragement.


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