Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I am that one...

I've heard many statistics this past week, one in four, one in eight, or one in ten women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Or 1 in 5 biopsy's come back positive for cancer.  That was my favorite to hold on to, even if only for a day.  But those numbers mean nothing to me, because I am THAT ONE. 

Yes, indeed, I found out Wednesday June 26, 2012 at 10:30am PST that I have breast cancer.  Now before you snort coffee out of your nose or pee your pants or something TOTALLY UNNECESSARY, read the following:  I AM ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES.  I CAUGHT IT EARLY.  I AM STAGE ONE.  I WILL BE OK.

Well, I'll be MORE than OK, but more on that later.  I believe that this is the appropriate time for me to insert my public service announcement:  CHECK YOUR BOOBS ladies.  Check them, or have your husband do it.  Hell, it might be more fun that way.  Light a candle, get some wine and let him have at it.  Maybe read a little Fifty Shades of Gray before he gets started, whatever it takes, just DO IT.  And by do it, I mean rub your boobs up LAYING DOWN to make sure you don't feel anything weird, or what felt to me like a pencil eraser trapped in my boob.

Go to the Komen website for great tips on checking them, and for the LOVE of GOD if you're 40 go get a mammo.  I have almost NO BREAST TISSUE on my body and I survived.  If I can take it so can you.  If you've ever given birth, this will seem like a walk in the freaking park.  Just sayin'.  Git-er-dun. 

I also would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that (this is for those of you that don't know me or see me EVER) I've lost nearly 50 lbs since November ON PURPOSE and in all honestly I'd NEVER have found my lump if I hadn't lost all that weight and four months from now on my 40th birthday I would be writing an entirely different ending to this story.  Please, if you need to, get healthy.  It might just save your life.

Cancer.  Holy shit batman, that was a shocker, to be honest.  Who thinks they'll get cancer?  Show of hands?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  So it's a little speed bump on the road of life.  That's what I keep saying. Granted, I can say that now that I'm through the worst of it, the "not knowing anything but knowing I've been diagnosed" stage was the worst.

Your mind does some really funny shit to you too.  I was all prepped to start a profile for Mark on, you know so I could meet his future wife and make sure she was good with the kids.  Not awkward at all.  Not.  At.  All.  I also planned my funeral, which was not a funeral but a party instead.  No moping around for this broad.  And I even panicked thinking I had better get my house clean.  And SOON.

I don't mean to make light of my situation either, breast cancer, or cancer of any kind is serious business.  But humor is my coping mechanism (now that booze isn't a dietary staple for me) so bear with me my while I crack as many boob jokes as I possibly can.  That's how I roll.

To be honest though, I am not really excited about all the stuff that has to happen between now and recovery.  If there was a shortcut from A to Z, I would take it.  The labs and tests alone have been nonstop.  At this point, I've been poked more times than a porn star.  That said, hopefully the information flowing in continues to be good news.  I mean as good as you can get when you have cancer.

I was given a few different options for treatment.  In a way you're damned if you do, damned if you do so I'm going to be BRUTALLY honest about what I am doing and why.  And you'd better not judge me.  Sit in my shoes for a week and see what choice YOU make.  On July 12, 2012, I will undergo a bilateral mastectomy and start the process for breast reconstruction.  This way I can avoid 6 weeks of radiation and almost completely eliminate the chance that cancer will come back.  I would have likely opted for a lumpectomy, but they found another suspicious area in my left breast and rather than fart around with it, I'll just take my peace of mind thank you very much.  And a sweet new rack.  Even better.

I met with the plastic surgeon today and have never felt more awkward than I did when he literally played Tune In Toyko with what's left of my breast tissue.  I looked at Mark and laughed like a 13 year old boy.  OMG.  If you know me well, you know I'm hard to embarrass.  I say what I think, I have no filter and I rarely feel shame.  But wowzers, I wanted to tell the guy he should at least take me to dinner before jumping to second base.  I'm not THAT easy.  OK well maybe I am after a bottle of wine, but folks I was stone cold sober and there was no warm up.  I don't even know his first name for Pete's sake. Not that it would have mattered 20 years ago.  Ahem. 

I do have the best plastic surgeon in the area and THE BEST breast surgeon, I know I'm in very good hands.  Even the nurse at the plastic surgeon's office was amazing.  Of course I think she is totally freaking amazing because she said to me: "You must be a runner."  I was in heaven.  Of course I don't consider myself a runner, I just simply run, but to hear those words, well it was music to my ears!  It was my blood pressure that tipped her off, not my sleek running physique.  Ha ha ha.

So really the bad news is that I have cancer.  Everything else is good.  I caught it early, it is hormone receptive so can easily be treated, it is "tiny" (according to my Dr. and I LOOOOVE her for that) and I'll be totally fine.  And I'll have a nice new pair of tits.  Which will take some time, but that is a blog post for another time.  Believe me, I'll have a LOT to talk about.  I promise not to be all about boobs and cancer and stuff, but I have to be honest:  boob jokes freaking RULE and I'll make as many as I can.  I deserve the opportunity, do I not?

And don't be offended when I tell you that I plan to name the new boobs.  Of course they will be "the girls" but they deserve a proper name.  There will be a blog poll for that VERY soon.  Stay tuned. 

In the meantime, please remember this:  one in four, one in eight, or one in ten women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  I am THAT ONE.  And I'll be a Survivor, too.


Jen H. said...

First Off...You so rock Amy! I know that surviving is mostly in the head and heart (ok a great medical team helps). You have the best attitude and the heart of a lion so you will fight and win. I am so inspired by you each day, but you really kicked that up a couple thousand notches. You inpire and touch the lives of many. I am blessed to know you and God has plans for you. Big plans. If you need anything, I am here, you know where to find me.
Wind at your back as you run. Jen

Tara said...

I am so moved by your story, Amy! I loved reading about your running and now I plan to keep up with you on your next, challenging journey! You have such a great attitude and sense of humor I am positive you will come out on top of this challenge too!

I have a really good friend/co-worker that went through the exact same surgery you will have and she has 2 suggestions for you.
1. Have a bye-bye booby party. It was great to get all of her friends together and have some girl time!

2. Go as big as you can, because they shrink.

I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!


Anonymous said...

Amy- someone passed along your blog link to me a few years ago and I've checked it out a few times since (I commented on your high school reunion post, too)... I don't think you'll remember me from high school, but I wanted to write that I've enjoyed the posts that I've read, and I was so glad I still had your blog bookmarked and stumbled across this entry: your courage and sense of humor are inspiring, and I know you'll still be blogging for many, many years to come!!
Deb (Morgan) McKay

CBinID said...

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I hate cancer. And I hate that you have cancer. Go after it with a vengance--show no mercy. Destroy the enemy.

Take care and keep posting. And keep letting us know who you're going to let employ you--don't settle for just anyone. Must be a truely superior employer.

Hugs from Boise.

Sassy said...

I soooo enjoy reading your posts. Love how you can take such a serious topic and make someone (me) laugh. You are in my thoughts!

Maude said...

Thanks for the kind words and support. I'm going to be fine very very soon. Thank you so very much for the love.

Unknown said...

Your humor and grace through something that would otherwise make some lesser folks dig a hole and bury themselves is just amazing! I have done my yearly boob-squishing since I was 38, because I have very fibrous breasts. I had two lumps in my left breast that turned out to be milk ducts that were kind of clogged up, even though I hadn't been breastfeeding for over a year. It was tense appointment with a targeted ultrasound but my results were positive. I guess what I'm saying is that I went through some of those thoughts that you went through, but I wasn't one of the statistics. I will pray hard for you that you come out of this the fighter and the runner that you are, and of course sending you, my sorority sister, a big squirrelly hug!!