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.