Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wed, Aug 27

The days are running together!
We stayed at Carman's sister's place the night before - we are on holidays and did not want to sit around home. We stop off in Beaumont to see our friends Kelly and Josh. I have known Kelly since grade 7 and she shares that she now has someone to run for during the Run for the Cure. We went to Chapters because I wanted to buy Dr. Marla Shapiro's book - they were out so I about another book instead. I read a good chunk of it before I went to sleep and I am encouraged as the author was 35 when she was diagnosed.
We get the call that they want to see me at 1pm vs 4pm. Okay, I know that only God could provided the timeline to date so far - this type of expediency is not the norm.
The surgeon is really nice and goes over the pros and cons of a lumpectomy versus a Mastectomy. Carman and I talk, and choose the lumpectomy. The statistics are not that much different, and I can still look the same in my clothes and have cleavage (not that I've got much in the first place). I was totally prepared to loose my breast and get reconstruction, but if we can save it, why not!
She also advises us she is having the OR schedule bumped so I can have surgery on Tuesday -once again thanks GOD!
Oh, she's pretty sure the cancer has spread into my lymph nodes and may have to remove some during surgery.
I am more grossed out about having a drain out of my body than loosing 1/4 of my breast. I know, I need to get realistic and prioritize differently. But really, a drain coming out of my body. Carman thinks we should name in Drippy, Drainy, or Stinky. It better not stink!

Tues, Aug 26/08

We decided to keep our plans and run away to Radium on our bike. The clinic was advised to call us when the get the results (and we will turn around and come home). We make it to Rocky Mountain House when we get the call - can you come in ASAP?
Is it good or bad news????
To be honest, in my heart I knew it was bad news. Carman is Mr. Positive all of the time, and I was trying to be a member of his elite club, and I did not want to be a member of Bud Kelly's Pessimistic club, but I just knew it in my heart that I had cancer.
"Brenda, I am afraid I have bad news" says the doctor. You have Cancer.
They had already booked an appointment and we are to be in Edmonton tomorrow to meet the surgeon.
Carman and I walk out of the clinic still in shock, hug each other and look into each other's eyes - WE CAN DO THIS!

Fri, Aug 22/08

"You'll just feel a prick and we will put that area to sleep".
That area is my 'boob'. I have never been much of a 'boob' gal. I have joked with my sister Jodi that we should do a transplant surgery (she is the only one of us four who got a 'rack') -tee hee!
The first core they take kind of burns, but it isn't painful.
To help keep my mind off of what is going on I decide to be 'Miss. Chatty' about the book, The Shack. I had just finished it and was very inspired.
"Allow 3-5 business days for the results".

Tuesday, Aug 19/08

I get the call - the biopsy is not until Sept 12th.
I am teasing Carman that I will go into Cardiac Arrest if I have to wait that long. This amount of stress is not good for the heart.
I look online at private options and call the Cross Cancer Institute the next day. They can get me in prior to the end of the month if I am deemed 'extremely urgent'.
I call my clinic and ask if they can inquire if I am 'extremely urgent'.
Just a few hours later my clinic calls - my biopsy is this Friday in Red Deer.

Have I mentioned I am praying like I have never prayed before. Note to self: don't wait for my life to be this 'traumatic' to have this longing for so much prayer.

I know there are so many people and churches praying for me - THANK YOU!!! I know I have many brothers and sisters in-Christ praying who care about me.

Mon, Aug 18/08

Several weeks ago I had an appointment booked with my doctor regarding completing the paperwork for reapplying for Critical Illness Insurance. (Up until now I had been seeing his associate). Yes, I am trying to reapply for Critical Illness insurance and I get the news that I might have a Critical Illness.
I keep the appointment because I want to see my doctor. He too advises me to prepare for bad news and gives me some hope that the results could come back benign.
Just in case, he puts in a referral to a surgeon in Edmonton who has a good reputation. He also gets his assistant on the phone to put the pressure on getting the biopsy scheduled.

The stress level is at about an 8.5 about and my emotions are all over the board. What if I have cancer? What the heck am I going to do? I don't want to go through this!

Friday, Aug 15/08

"Brenda, can you please come in to the clinic for the doctor to review your test results".
Sure, but I am thinking what are they going to tell me that I don't already know?
"Brenda, we need you to start preparing for bad news". "It could come back benign, but from the report it does not look good - it could be cancer". CANCER???
"We will schedule a biopsy and we want you to get a chest x-ray and a full blood panel".
I call Carman crying and he comes right home. He takes me for the chest x-ray and blood test and because I am a 'good girl' I get a chocolate milk shake. I think to myself, it not the not so far future I probably won't be able to stomach chocolate milkshakes.
My friends Bud and Rhonda give me a great bouquet of orange flowers (they always comment on how I am trying to eat more orange as advised by accupunturist).
More tears - I can't beleive this is happening!

Thurs, Aug 14/08

"Show me where the lump is"
"Hang tight, I am going to get the Radiologist to take a look"
"We already have you booked for a Mammogram so we are going to go ahead with that"
"We found a suspicious mass - you are going to need a biopsy"

Don't cry, come-on be strong - too late.

Monday, Aug 11/08

3am - The pain wakes me up. This is not good! I can barely get myself out of bed to get my 'drugs' in the bathroom. Now, how do I get myself back into bed with this pain?
I am laying there - where is all of the pain coming from? Even my chest wall hurts now. I poke around and it hurts just about everywhere. Running my fingers down my sternum I feel it - a breast lump!
Okay, I have a lump. But I am in so much pain. "Carman, I think we need to go to the ER."
A 3 hour wait and I get in. The ER doctor is awesome and he gives me something for the pain and sends me for an x-ray.
Side Story: My body does not like narcotics. Yes, I am laying on the floor in the observation room vomiting in a garbage can yelling (although not very loudly) "I think I need help". Needless to say I got more prompt attention from the doctor after this incident.
The ER doctor gives me something else for the pain and advises me he has already called my doctor and I should be there at 10am for them to look a the lump.
10am - They are concerned about the lump and schedule a ultrasound a mammogram stat!
I am not too worried. Hey, I'm only 31 and there is no breast cancer in the family. It is probably just a cyst. Cysts are known to cause the body a lot of pain - aren't they?

Thurs-Sun Aug 4-10/08

With our new trailer packed-up we are off to Rochon Sands (Buffalo Lake) for our friends, Kevin & Becky's wedding. That darn knot in my back is still bothering me, but I am ignoring it until I can see Dr. Luco on Tuesday.
Friday afternoon after the wedding I just need to take a break - my back is really staring to hurt. Maybe a glass of champagne and the steel drum band music will help loosen me up.
On our way home on Sunday I was so uncomfortable. I start to classify the uncomfortable feeling as 'pain' and head straight to bed . Sorry Carman, you are stuck unloading and cleaning up.
Nurse Carman heads to the drug store for some pain relief and I try and take my mind off of it by watching some Olympics.
Okay, so if I don't move or breath I am sort-of okay - is this what they call a back spasm???
Maybe a good night sleep will help. I'll take the maximum dose and see how I feel in the morning.

Sunday, Aug 3/08

"Come on, you're tough", my husband encourages me while I help move a heavy picnic table back to where we found it. Yes, I have been known to show-off how strong my 5foot nothing body really is. After successfully completing the relocation a knot had already formed in my back.

Note to self, call Dr. Luco (my chiropractor) when I get home.