Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Alicia Keys sings the line so beautifully: 
'Cause I'm a Superwoman, yes I am, yes she is, even when I'm a mess, I still put on a vest, with an S on my chest, oh yes, I'm a Superwoman.'
Truer words couldn't be spoken about women who wear their scars on their chests, proof that they too are Superwomen.  Daily, I look down at the pysical remains of my biopsy.  One straw-sized healing incinsion (soon to be scar) and a half dollar sized bruise.  Had either of these appeared anywhere else on my body, I probably would have never noticed, and if I had I would have no idea how I did that (I'm not exactly graceful).  But these two circles, these two tiny spots stare back at me, daily.  A daily reminder of Biopsy One. 

These two little spots, markers, alterations in my physical being change the way I see myself.  They change the way I feel about myself.  How will I see myself 5 years from now, 10, 20?  How many spots, markers alterations will I have then?  How will I feel about myself then?

They make me wonder, how many biopsy holes will I acquire in a lifetime?  If I make it through this life cancer free, how many tokens of surveillance will be left behind?  How different will my chest look on my last day even if I never have cancer, which is of course the best case scenario.  I contemplate buying a snug white shirt, and placing some sort of marker on my biopsy spot and recording my history externally like the pathologists mark my history internally.  A Previvor Souvenir if you will.

You see, that's why Previvors have a term, have a community, why our prevention choices don't matter in the long run (surveillance vs mastectomy).  We make not be sick, but we do have the scars to prove it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Benign: My New Favorite Word

Heather called me today at 9:15am (she really needs to stop calling at the same time she called with bad news, it scares me).  She left a message this time though saying she had good news:  woohoo!  After a bit of phone tag, she explained that my preliminary results all say the tissue was benign.  Because this is just the prelim report, we have to wait for Radiology to confirm they tested the right tissue, and determine whether or not I will require some type of follow-up.

She will share more with me later, however, I know the tissue was hylanized fibrosis adenosis tissue.  It was not DCIS or invasive!  More woohooing here!  However, I have no idea what I just said really either:).

Here is what I have figured out:
Hylanized:  gassy homogeneous material within a cell
Fibrosis:  abnormal tissue as a result of inflammation
Adenosis:  abnormal development of glandular tissue

Now, lets see how well Google passes when I find out what the heck is really going on.  Tonight in celebration, I will attempt to sleep on my sides, bruises permitting of course.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let me tell you a little story called "Brr"

Once upon a time I had a friend.  Said friend very quickly became a best friend.  Sadly, for reasons totally unimportant to this blog, said friend and I haven't spoken in months.  Until today, when he wished me luck on my biopsy tomorrow because another friend told him about it.  I'm hurt, angry, and betrayed.

But I realize that I'm hurt, angry and betrayed because clearly, the tattletale has no idea what I'm going through.  I mean of course I'm nervous about crawling back into the tube, I'm nervous they won't use enough local to numb my full boob, I'm nervous about a needle being poked into the 12 o'clock position of my right breast and ABSOLUTELY I'm nervous about what the tissue sample they draw will say about me.

But best case scenario in this situation is that the tissue is fine, and in 3 months I have a clinical, and then in 3 months I have a mammogram, and then a clinical, and then an MRI.  Tomorrow isn't just one test for cancer.  It's not just one biopsy.  It's one of hundreds of tests for cancer that I'll endure.  It's one of probably many biopsies.

Worst case scenario is its cancer.  And I face my ghost face to face.  But either way I don't rid this.  Truthfully, tomorrow is the just another ordinary day in the life of a high risk breast cancer patient.

It hurts because this isn't one day.  This is my life.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Where's the what to expect when you're not expecting handbook?

And no, I'm not talking about babies.

Yesterday was my MRI.  Hated it!  Although the technicians were gems and deserve Jennifer Anistons salary, in my opinion.  They weren't kidding about the IV making your mouth taste like metal - blech!  And if anyone wants to shoot over any tips on how the hell to sit up after you're done without ripping the IV out of your arm, I would appreciate it. 

When discussing the results with my roommate, I told her I expected a letter in a couple of weeks like I did with the Mammogram stating all was clear.  That's when the unexpected happened.  Heather called at 9:15 this morning to discuss the results and offer recommendations.  Duh, duh, duh. . . . .

So clearly, I knew all wasn't honky-dorry.  I just spoke with her and there is a 7 mm linear mass area of enhancement at the 12 o'clock position on my right breast.  Ain't that a bitch.  There's a spot in my right boob that I will obsess over for the next week and it's too damn small for me to even feel.  Well, I have an appointment next Tuesday for a wire-guided MRI biopsy.  Yup, back in the tube I go.  I'm going to go study up on my biopsy and I'll share anything I learn with ya. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MRI Day . . . Glad they're not testing my nerves!

In a couple of short hours, I will be lying face down, girls hanging, in a loud banging tube.  There will be a tinted IV in my arm, highlighting my blood stream and more pictures of my beasts will be taken.  If breast cancer previvors, patients, and survivors were paid per picture, we'd make Jenna Jameson look poor!

And today I'm really nervous!  I can't come up with a code name for this test;  that's how I know I'm really nervous- I can't even make fun of it.  I call my mammo's the Monster Mash, my clinicals Tuning in to Tokyo, but can't find anything witty for this one. 

Deep down I know I'm fine.  I SBE every month, my mammo came back clear, my clinical exam last month was all clear.  But at the same time, if on the off chance something wasn't fine, if there was a tiny spot of trouble, this would be the exam that would most likely find it.  I keep telling myself, I'll be fine, but if I was really fine, I wouldn't be doing this at 30 right?

PS - my dear friend with Cervical Cancer has her surgery to remove the cancer, and some of her cervix tomorrow morning.  I ask of you to do whatever spiritually moves you to ask for health, healing, and fertility for her.  Thanks xoxox

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Breast Cancer 3 Day

I have raised money for The 3 Day twice, the Race for the Cure once and have never been able to walk for one reason or another.  Therefore, I am super excited to announce that I will be flying down to Tampa Halloween weekend to walk with my sister. 

While Breast Cancer has always been close to our hearts (get it?!  LOL), this year it has been us in the doctors chair.  While unlike our grandmothers, we've been lucky thus far, it just seems right to go for it in 2011 and even better to do it with my sister and best friend.

But we can't register until we find a team name.  I know some people think it trivializes the cancer, and I empathize with any survivor who feels that way, but I disagree.  There is nothing trivial about raising $2,300, flying states away, sleeping in tents and walking 60 miles, after a year of clinical exams, mammograms, and MRI's to help hopefully keep us from walking in the shoes of our predecessor. 

So help!  Boob puns are encouraged!  Here is what we have so far:

Gaga for Tata's
Underwire Previvors
Grammies Mammies
Baby Got Racks
Genetically Twisted
Rack Stars

I was hoping to come up with a pun on SBE but can't!  Darnit!
(I did poach a couple from other cities team names, guilty as charged!)