Thursday, February 21, 2008

All Kinds of Not So Fine

I'm not going to pussyfoot around. Chances are if you're here, you already know I have breast cancer. If you didn't know about this blog before, it's no indication of our intimacy - I'm just so shy that the only people that do visit me here found this all by themselves. So I got a little more comfortable with the whole blog-being-read-by-humans idea about a second ago and now I'm going to tell the whole world about what's going on with my breasts. How bizarre.

Over the past couple of weeks (I was diagnosed on February 8th) Mark and I have become slowly aware of how many people love and care for us, and we are daily wowed by one or seven of you at a time. But unfortunately we just can't talk to all of you as often as we'd like. And since things are happening pretty fast at this point, we figured it was time to blog. Feel free to visit, comment, and share with abandon.

One quick thought before I launch in to the latest in my medical adventure. This blog's theme is not changing. It's still about our slow little home, and I'm looking forward to boring you with tales of my orchids, recipes, and wildly executed projects. Cancer is not going to become my story, I've decided. But right now, it's what's happening.

So I have been diagnosed with DCIS, or Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. This means it has started and is now in a duct of my right breast. So far on the testing front I've had a mammogram (which is where this story all began), an MRI, a stereotactic biopsy, and a PET/CT. All of which shows that there are a few lymph nodes that are "questionable" for invasion, but no other malignancies to be found elsewhere in my body. Those questionable readings may be the result of the inflammation caused by my various and fast-paced procedures, or a spreading of cancer to that area. Unfortunately the size of the tumor in my breast makes it a bad candidate for a lump-ectomy. What's warranted is a simple (meaning no muscle involved) mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy and reconstruction. So all of my breast tissue will be removed. Before the tumor comes out, a special dye is injected into that duct, and that dye will then migrate and show the exact lymph that duct drains to, the sentinel node. That will be visually examined and a quick pathology read will be done. If those show no cancer, no other lymph nodes will be removed. If it does show cancer, the rest of the nodes in that group will come out, too. Either way fuller pathology tests will be done on everything, the results of which we'll get a few days out of surgery. So Monday, February 25th at 2 p.m. is my scheduled kickoff. This is a lot to handle and I'm a little nervy. Any positive thoughts and prayers you can send my way will be fully appreciated.

Today we ran around for various pre-op appointments, so we're a bit bushed. But we're off to meet my parents for dinner at Las Olas, so looking forward to the absolute perfect cheese enchilada. It's always the little things.


Danielle said...

I am thinking of you every day! I know you are going to do wonderfully next week. I have every other day off-I only work part time. Call me if you need ANYTHING!!!! I can go to the store for you, bring you movies, come do laundry.. whatever you need to help you feel better!!!

kelley said...

I am so thrilled you shared your blog with us! Many happy thoughts are coming your way. I know you will be a tough chick and get through this quickly. You are lucky to have a great man (and Dr.!) by your side the whole time. :)

Lindsay said...

Thanks so much for sharing with us Jessica - it means a lot to be able to 'check in' on your progress, without intruding too much. Call if you need anything - remember, I'm only a block away!

Sunny Day Tag Girl said...

Oh Jess - You have been in my prayers since mom told me.
Stay strong and positive!!! I like your attitude...Cancer does Not define you or your life, it is just what's going on.
We love you and will keep you, Mark and your family in our prayers.

Barb said...

Hi Jessica. I'm not sure if you remember me but I met you at Dr. Patterson's Christmas party a couple of years ago. I spoke to Mark at work today and he told me about your cancer. I am so sorry to hear about this but I do know that you will recover without a doubt. I will be sending my Jewish prayers to you each and every day. I need a good loaf of challah, where is Charlie's? Please call if you or Mark need anything, 619-672-1099. My thoughts are with you, Mark and your families.

jessica said...

I just wanted to thank you all for your comments.
Danielle, I'm never sick of Jane Austen movies.
Kelley, I AM so lucky.
Lindsay, it's no nice to know you're so close by.
Kori, thank you for your prayers and encouragement.
Barb, of course I remember you! Charlie's is in the Plaza shopping center in Pacific Beach at 1808 Garnet Avenue. Enjoy!

Christina said...

Beautiful Jessica- You are such an incredibly strong, lovely, courageous woman. I know you are going to get through this difficult time with grace and positivity, and then it will be in the past. Rob and I are sending you our love and prayers big time. I'll be thinking about you all day tomorrow - If there is anything at all we can do to help, just say the word...Lots of love to you and Mark both- xxxxooooTina