Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Life's Refining Moments

Doctrine & Covenants 121:7 "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;"

Life is but a fleeting moment in the realm of eternity.  Small moments, my term for adversity and affliction in this blog, in life can give us proper perspective and a sense of priority which, for me is family, friends, and relationships, as we journey through life.

On October 9th, after several tests, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The surgeon and oncologist determined I have infiltrating ductal carcinoma, grade 3, stage 2, triple negative.  Infiltrating ductal carcinoma is the most common breast cancer type and is invasive, which means it can spread.  Grade 3 means the cells are most abnormal and more aggressive out of a scale of 1-3.  Stage 2 is still considered early.  Triple negative does not respond to hormone therapies which means I will be going through chemotherapy.  Once I have finished chemo, I will have surgery and, after surgery, radiation.  

When I was first diagnosed, I was in denial.  About a year and a half ago, I was attacked by a dog in the chest area and still have scar tissue from that incident. Even after I left the doctor's office, I was thinking, "It can't be.  It has to be from the dog bite."  

My appointment with the surgeon was eight days after the diagnosis.  My daughter, Jamie, came over to go to the appointment with us and, before we left, we researched breast cancer diagnoses so we would be familiar with some of the terms the surgeon would be using.  That's when I started thinking it might be real, because some of the facts we were reading related to me and my situation.  When the surgeon explained the test results, I knew I really had breast cancer.  At this point, my thoughts were, "I can get through this.  I have been through rougher times and I was able to get through it and become the person I am today."

The surgeon offered his suggestions for the best treatment plan, which he felt would include chemo due to the findings.  The nurse who gave me the diagnosis told me she didn't think I would need chemo but wasn't positive as some of the test results had not been received, and I was relieved because of the horror stories (and movies) I had seen and heard.  So hearing I would probably need to go through chemo scared me.  

After meeting with the oncologist today, I feel more at ease and in control.  They have more options today than the movies I watched back in the 1990's.  I felt comfortable with my oncologist.  She was very thorough in explaining my diagnosis and treatment plan and she said my prognosis was excellent.  I know I can get through this, even though I might be weak from chemo.

The plan:  I had blood drawn today.  We are waiting for insurance approval on a second opinion referral and PET scan.  The surgeon will put the port in for chemo and I will be learning more about chemo from the nurses.  Chemo should be completed by April or May and then we will determine my options for surgery.

Another small moment has begun...I will win this battle because I have the support of my family and many wonderful friends who have already eased my burdens with their hugs, prayers, kind and uplifting words, and offers to help.  My children and grandchildren are a huge comfort and strength to me.

10 comments:

  1. I'm so glad my sister-in-law is friends with Jamie on Facebook, so I learned about this. You have helped me do much in life. All I can do for you at this point is pray, but I will daily. You are blessed to have such a supportive family. I think about you often. Love, Christine Pena

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    1. Thank you for your prayers. I hope all is well and you're settled in by now. I think of you and your family a lot, too.

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  2. Mei Lynne,
    I am so sorry to hear this...my thoughts and prayers will be with you...you have such a positive attitude and such faith and strength...just know that you have many friends that care about you and love you...Carolyn G.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and, yes, I am truly blessed with family and friends. Much love to you and your family also.

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    1. Thank you Carrie. You are such a great person.

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  4. Mei Lynne, Your are an amazing women of God and will get through this. As you know just as we do Gods plan is bigger than we ever will know. We will continue to pray for healing for you and your family. This is a road that is tuff but with God at your side and your faith, your family and you will embrace this as part of your journey together. And your family and you will Win. You have our love and our support always. Love you!! Jim and Janice Geary

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    1. Thank you, Janice, for your prayers. I look forward to seeing you soon.

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  5. I miss being your visiting teaching partner. my prayers are with you! I miss seeing your happy face.
    love,
    Aimee (Beckman) Jackson

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  6. Thank you Aimee. I miss you and think of you often. I hope all is well. You are such a great person.

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