When on August 1 I received the news that I had Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, I felt completely deflated. Not angry. Not sad. Just wiped out. The news didn’t really come as a surprise, but up to that point, I could still pray and be hopeful that it was not cancer. With that hope now gone, I had no choice but to pull it together, face the “Big C” head on, and take action!
Cancer has had a big influence on my life: making me a widow at 35, side-lining me at 46 with my first cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and now scaring the pants off me at 50. Kidney cancer was easy: a quick surgery and no chemo. Sure, a few scars resulted, but added to the c-section and laparoscopy scars, those matter little.
Breast cancer? Now this was different. Outside, visual evidence… and chemo. Not to mention that this was my second cancer. As frightening as it all was, I did the only thing I knew to do. I approached handling of the disease logically, using all those project management skills I’ve been honing the past 15 years. I called in my resources: family, friends, doctors, coworkers, my breast cancer survivor friends, my naturalist, and the creator of Sencha Living: A Breast Cancer Revolution. I armed myself with information (sometime too much) and formulated all my questions.
On August 8, my husband, David, and I met with my surgeon, and he was fantastic! He walked us through all the details of my biopsy (good news: 95% estrogen receptive; not-so-much: poorly differentiated and over 1″ in size), answered our page full of questions, discussed treatment plan and options, and provided the reassurance that we both needed. I opted for a full mastectomy of my right breast, with the option to change my mind, pending information from additional testing. The surgery was set for August 31, and our action plan for phase 1 of this project was set.
To be continued…