Monday, November 7, 2016

My Cancer Diagnosis – How My Left Breast is Trying to Kill Me

[Warning: In this post I talk about my boob. A lot. I also curse and talk about medical things, so if you’re squeamish, probably skip this.]

 

About six weeks ago, after experiencing a sharp random pain in my left breast, I found a lump. My first thoughts: HOLY SHIT, I HAVE CANCER. After an hour of online research I calmed down. I’m young and cancer doesn’t usually hurt. It doesn’t make your breast swell to twice the normal size. It doesn’t come on suddenly. Self diagnosis, I convinced myself I had a cyst. They’re common in my family.

 

I went to my doctor who also agreed it was probably a cyst but ordered a mammogram and ultrasound just to be sure. I was still convinced it was a cyst. Up until the moment when the big boss radiologist came into the room and she told me that I had three solid masses in my breast and one in my armpit. My thoughts at that moment? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

 

Back to HOLY SHIT, I HAVE CANCER. Because although I’m not a pessimist, I am a realist. They don’t order a biopsy for no reason. A single mass in my breast may be benign, but three? And one already in my lymh node? Yeah, that has got to be fucking cancer. I called my sister to warn her. She cried. I told her not to cry. She cried some more. My husband and I talked about what to do if it was cancer and decided not to fuck around. To do whatever it took to get better.

 

The next day I had to go back for a biopsy. I needed four total and for each one they covered the spot in iodine, gave me a numbing shot, and shoved a super long needle with nifty vacuum suction action to take samples. Then they put a titanium marker in the spot to show where the sample was taken. (Yeah, was hoping it would make my boob bionic, but sadly, no.)

 

Rinse, repeat. The whole thing took four hours. Then they did another mammogram to make sure the markers were in place. If you don’t know about mammograms, they are not gentle. They took my already punctured, aching breast and placed it in a big machine where it was squished between two glass plates. Then they needed the side view. My poor boob was not happy.

 

Fast forward to Saturday, ten days ago. My doctor calls. I know it must be awesome news because, what doctor doesn’t love to call patients on a Saturday? Well, the cells were malignant and at 35 years of age, HOLY SHIT, I HAVE CANVER.

 

I’m starting chemo next week. I don’t know how I’ll react, so though I’ll probably be around on social media, I might not always respond right away if at all. I’m going to conserve my energy to work on my latest contracted novel.
 
 
So how am I feeling? Angry but hopeful. I have a great cancer team and am otherwise healthy. I have a good chance of coming out of this less one boob, but very much alive. Please share your stories of cancer survival for yourself/friends/and family. I would love to hear them!
 
 
 

22 comments:

  1. I will be praying for you. I'm sorry. My hubby went thru chemo in 2013. He lost one testicle to cancer. Stay positive.

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  2. My father survived about the worst kind of skin cancer you can get, going on twenty five years now. Good that you've got good medical teams working on you.

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  3. You are stronger than this Mimi.Wishing you the best and praying.

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  4. Sending you lots of healing energy and strength. <3 <3 <3

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  5. You are fierce and wonderful and I hate that this incredibly shitty thing is happening to you. You're going to win. I believe that through and through. The question is, how can we help you fight? What would make this a little less awful? Food? Gift cards to Amazon or iTunes for binge watching? I know I'm not the only one out here who thinks you're amazing. 💗 I'm in your corner all the way.

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  6. I will send good mojo and prayers. My husband almost 2 years ago went to the nose doctor to get his sinuses fixed. A routine CT scan showed a brain tumor. It was a wham bam thank you mam experience. Boom, brain tumor to boom brain surgery. The tumor was the size of a golf ball. Thank goodness it was benign. Then, six months after removal the seizures started. He has had 5 seizures. We are trying to get those under control now. I applaud that you are being strong I'm this. But, please do not hold everything or even a little bit in. Find a support group or a dear friend who will talk with you. You have your family, friends and fans who will keep you in their thoughts as you kick cancer's ass!! #fuckcancer

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  7. Shit, Demitria.This sucks so much. I'm so sorry you have to go through this horrible horrible thing. I'll think good thoughts for you.

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  9. *hugs*

    You got this girl. There's good news in this. You have a cancer that is treatable. You can fight this! Who needs two boobs anyway? Seriously though, I'm keeping you in my thoughts. You are an amazing person and an amazing writer. I hope you make it through this. I believe in you. I lost my mom to terminal brain cancer back in March. We never saw it coming. She was diagnosed in February, and gone in March. Just like that. Only 49 years old.. You can fight this. You have a chance. You totally got this girl! Please keep us updated!

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  10. I am also disappointed that your boob is not bionic now... although I'm not exactly sure what good a bionic boob would do for you.

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  11. Grandmother has survived a double mastectomy, mom is on year 5 of surviving hers (she was entertained by her radiation "tattoos") and I believe there's a slew of cervical cancer survivors in addition to breast cancer throughout. I had a cancerous mole removed, luckily it was benign. Dad is currently treating precancerous lesions and old roomie has survived melanoma. High school friend survived ovarian cancer (asymptomatic at 22) and is a wonderful foster mom since kids are out of the question (which was her dream). Luckily we live in a world with great medicine, lots of cancer research and it's not the death sentence it used to be. There are a ton of survivors, great support groups and all sorts of things you can do (fun fact, my mom gets free yoga for life as part of the research group she opted into as part of her treatment). Best advise: decide what *you* want to do and find the (medical/spiritual/support) team that fits.

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  12. Mimic, I don't know if you knew I'm a 24 yr survivor of Hodgkins Lymphoma. Different than breast cancer, but I went thru chemo and radiation and bone marrow biopsy, lymphangiogram, etc. You just have to have a strong will to fight it, and keep looking to the next goal till they say "cancer free". Which they will. Eat to keep up your strength. Don't worry about losing a boob, that can be fixed too. I'm wishing you all the strength and power you'll need. Love you!! Robin Landers

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  13. I know so many women who can safely and confidently speak about that time back when they had breast cancer. Cured. Over. A thing of the past. They seem to get tattoos to celebrate. Be strong and optimistic, as I know you will. love from Liz

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  14. Demitria, storming the heavens for you and sending you strength to beat this down. I am disappointed that your boob is not bionic though. It seems like you deserve that after all of this. (((((Hugs)))))

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  15. It's good to see you're already being strong and positive - you're going to beat this cancer bullshit to the curb, boob or no boob! We'll all be cheering you on through the process. Like you said, just focus all your energy on writing, and of course, beating the hell out of this cancer. *hugs*

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  17. So sorry you have to deal with this ordeal...but good you have so many caring people. I am with the other Liz... know so many people for whom breast cancer is ancient history. My best friend - 10cm invasive lobular and in nodes. Years ago!

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  18. Pray, pray, pray...
    and it wont happen, dear.
    I'll even pray for you.
    Lemme giveth thee summore
    Words from Jesus to help...

    The more you shall honor Me,
    the more I shall bless you.
    -the Infant Jesus of Prague
    (<- Czech Republic, next to Russia)

    trustNjesus ALWAYS, dear,
    and wiseabove to Seventh-Heaven...
    cuzz the only other realm aint too cool.
    God bless your indelible soul.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Pray, pray, pray...
    and it wont happen, dear.
    I'll even pray for you.
    Lemme giveth thee summore
    Words from Jesus to help...

    The more you shall honor Me,
    the more I shall bless you.
    -the Infant Jesus of Prague
    (<- Czech Republic, next to Russia)

    trustNjesus ALWAYS, dear,
    and wiseabove to Seventh-Heaven...
    cuzz the only other realm aint too cool.
    God bless your indelible soul.

    ReplyDelete
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