Thursday, May 19, 2011

More surgery information

I realized this morning that I didn't include any of the surgery details in the last update.  It was all so clear in my head last night but I forgot to include it in the post!  So, I decided on having a lumpectomy based upon the information the surgeon provided to us.  She said there was not any benefit of doing the mastectomy and I didn't want to go that aggressive if we didn't have to.  When they do the surgery, they will also remove a couple of lymph nodes and test them to be sure there is not any cancer.  This surgery will be done in Indianapolis.  It is an out-patient surgery which is just amazing.  I can stay overnight if I don't feel well enough to go home, but most patients choose to go home so they can sleep in their own bed.  She did mention that we won't know what treatments will be best until after they test the tumor, tissue and lymph nodes.  She will meet with me one week prior for a pre-surgery consultation. At that time, she will go over all of the details of the surgery and have me sign the consents.  She doesn't like to do that on the day of surgery since most people are very nervous and may not be in the best frame of mind that day :)  I still feel very good about the surgery and I even have peace on having to wait over 3 weeks.  Thank you again for your prayers.  Love, Tammy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Surgery update

We had an excellent meeting with the surgeon today.  She was very thorough.  She showed us the films from my mammogram and explained everything in detail.  She wrote out 5 pages of notes on carbon paper with detail on every step and we were able to keep those notes.  That was a huge blessing.  I had went in with my notepad of paper hoping I would be able to write everything down.  She discussed with us all of our options based upon the cancer in my body.  She made us feel very comfortable and hopeful.  She was patient with my questions and even added some humor along the way.  Some of the goods news is that I tested positive for the two different types of receptors (HR & PR) - which means (if I understood it correctly) that my cells are still acting more like my cells than cancer cells and there are good types of treatment for this.  Also another factor they test for (HER2) came back negative which is also very good news - which means (and again if I understood correctly) that there is not a protein attached to the cancer cells that makes it grow more rapidly.  She explained that the cancer is not growing as fast as I feel that it is and I was not going burst into flames as much as I thought I might :)  She said that this has probably been growing for quite some time.  We talked with her for a little over an hour.  I felt that she covered everything and was there to answer as many questions as we needed.  The last question I had for her was how soon we would be doing the surgery.  Then I followed that with I am happy to stick around and I promise I won't keep you past 5:00 p.m.  After laughing at me :), she sent in her nurse to go over things with us and give us tons of reading materials and resources.  Then the surgery scheduler came to set our date.  She said the first available date was June 9th.  Adam has a big piano concert that night and I didn't want to miss it.  So I asked about the next available date - so my surgery is scheduled for June 13th.  Which seems like so far away, but I am trusting this doctor and the things that she told us today.  She explained that it would not be considered emergency surgery in my case and her explanation made sense to us.  Even though I am ready to have this out of my body right now!  I also met with my nutritional counselor late this afternoon. Her test results showed all good things - showing that my body is doing what it was made to do and has contained these cancer cells all together in this 2 cm tumor.  She is helping me focus on things to continue to build up my body as we have been trying to do over the past 2 1/2  years. 

I will have to say that when we first were told the diagnosis was cancer - I didn't hear too much after that and I truly felt like it was a death sentence.  But I have called and talked with trusted friends, done some research on my own and feel very hopeful that I will fight this.  I still believe with all my heart that God has a very good reason for this through His perfect plan and I am already growing from this experience.  If you have never gone through this experience, you really cannot put into words all of the things that go along with it.  I am so thankful that I will be able to relate to other women going through this circumstance and I hope and pray that I can be an encouragement to them.  I have seen and felt God working all through this situation.  I have embraced this trial and trust 100% in God's plan.  God has given me an overwhelming peace that has carried me through the first part of this journey.

God is at work and I am so very humbled by all of the things that everyone has done for me in just this short 2 1/2 weeks - calling to make sure that I would not be by myself at any of my appointments, sitting with me in the doctor's offices during visits and tests, driving me to lunch between appointments, checking on me at all hours with calls, texts and messages, bringing treats to my desk including chocolate (which could be very beneficial since there are antioxidants in chocolate...right?? :)), all of the many, many hugs, giving me my first pink ribbon shirt, giving me a daily devotional book to keep my focus, giving me a cool button with a cool saying :), helping me by slowing me down and telling me to take a deep breath and discussing what options we have, surprising me with a journal to start writing about this very important journey, researching resources and passing along helpful guidance, friends talking with me about their own personal experience with this and giving me helpful tips and info, helping us interpret my pathology report, sending cards and encouraging plaques with scripture, giving me something to carry in my pocket during a difficult test day to make me remember that I am not alone, helping me keep my focus by sending me Bible verses and telling me that they have prayed for me, having wonderful friends and family that have given me such tremendous love and support AND having a wonderful, caring, compassionate, kind, loving husband by my side every single step of the way!!!

The song that has meant so much to me lately is "Always Enough" by Casting Crowns.  I don't want to take up any more room with the words of this song and I have rambled enough already!  

Thank you all so very much. 
We will keep you updated.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From the beginning...

Well, I have to honestly say that I thought I would never do a blog. But I wanted to have a way to share information with so many of you and thought this would be the easiest method.  

I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past Tuesday.  We have gone through so many emotions this week from shock - to fear - to denial - to wanting to get it out of my body right now.  What we know is that it is breast cancer and has not originated from somewhere else in my body.  It measures 2 centimeters and they believe it is contained so far and the MRI shows nothing in my lymph nodes.  I have also learned that it has a name "invasive ductal carcinoma" or IDC.  I had no idea that there were names for breast cancer.  My dear friend Lana, whom I have known since we were 4 years old, was able to recommend a surgeon in Indy.  We will meet with her on Wednesday.  

The kids seem to be handling the news well.  They both process things so differently and have had some great questions.  The banner picture on the blog is a picture drawn by Adam.  He just grabbed some paper yesterday and drew the picture for me.  It means so much to me in so many different ways.  The "verse" at the top he said he just made up.  The words "Ich liebe dich" mean I love you in German.  

We as a family are holding on to hope and peace that only comes from God and we know that His plan is absolutely perfect.  He will be with us every step of the way and we will rely on His strength and comfort through this difficult path.   

I have been so extremely humbled by all of the love, support and prayers you have sent our way.  Thank you all so very much.  And just know that we will plan on leaning on you in the future.

We will try to keep the blog updated once we receive more information.