You cannot fight against every storm in life sometimes
you need to stand firm and wait for the storm to pass...
Wednesday September 28th, 2022. Hurricane Ian was raging on.
Arvid and I were watching it on the news. Not sure of exactly
where it was going to hit. At one point it was aiming directly
for Tampa, then it changed course. Fort Myers, was it's target.
Arvid and I had only just moved here 8 days ago. I brought
Sniff from Branson on the 23rd of September. Just 5 days before
Ian struck. Was a very harsh welcoming to our new home.
As we were watching the news, at this time we still had power and
would have for another 3 hours before losing it for seven days. When
I went to Branson on the 21st of September to bring Sniff home, I had
an doctors appointment on the 22nd. I was scheduled to do a biopsy
on the left breast. My ultrasound showed a "suspicious" mass.
As we were watching the destruction Ian was causing,I received
an email through my patient portal with the results of the biopsy. I was
diagnosed with breast cancer. Least to say, it was at a most inconvenient
time. Not that there is ever a "convenient" time for such things.
I looked at Arvid and I said, "I have breast cancer". I think he
was more affected than I was. Don't get me wrong, this is not
something that does not scare you, but I knew the possibility
existed once the mass was discovered. I was "ready"
So Hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers really bad. We lost power
and peoples lives suddenly changed. Mine included. I was
not about to tell this to my family. Not then. My niece
Danielle is getting married at the end of October and I
was not going to ruin everyone's time with news of
my diagnosis. That would be very selfish of me.
I was not going to tell my parents right away either. It would literally
kill my mom with stress and anxiety. That I will never ever do to her.
Yes, I will tell them, but after the wedding and after I know more.
Nirvana is dealing with a lot right now as well. Hurricane Fiona
caused lots of damage to her house. Just like Maria did. She is
dealing with even more than I am, and I could not cause her to
worry any more than she is. She has more than enough.
Nina is busy with Danielle and her wedding as it should be.
Imagine their only daughter getting married. It's a big deal.
Rima and Mala are busy with work, kids and their own issues.
Yes, all of this sound like excuses but honestly life is not
as easy as we think. Everyone has things they deal with.
In the meantime because of Ian I was not able to find a doctor
for at least a week. A week does not sound like a long time, but
when you're dealing with the unknown you want answers.
I want to know what my next step is and what is my plan
of attack. This way I can better handle whatever comes along.
Life throws things at you. You are not always prepared, but I figure
that there is no need to panic right away. Not until I know more.
I have not really had time to take in all of this. Ian has kept us
busy. We just moved to a new place and just like that everything
happened all at once.. Hurricane Ian and my breast cancer
diagnosis all in the same day. I guess it's a little overwhelming,
but I have yet to be overwhelmed. I just need to deal with it.
I am more concerned about my family and how this will
affect them. I really hate to stress them out. When I was
diagnosed with Thyroid cancer it really affected my
mom a lot, and of course my family.
Arvid took it really hard and I really hate to be the cause of
their suffering. This is what pisses me off that because of me,
they will now be thrown into turmoil again. No matter how much I
will reassure them, it's wont help. I just hope my mom does not have
a nervous breakdown. She's a strong woman, but at the end of the
day, I am her eldest child and she will take it too much to heart.
As of this minute, this day I am not shattered by the news,
I am not overwhelmed as yet, I am just impatient o get going and
to do what is necessary to take care of it. I have way too much
life left to live and I do not give up easily. I am a fighter
and I will always fight for others first and then for me.
That is what is pushing me forward. Always
On Monday October 10th I was finally able to get
hold of a doctor. It has taken me 12 days since my diagnosis
to do so. Thanks to Hurricane Ian nothing is the way it
used to be, but I managed, and so began the reality
of what I have and what is going to happen.
I still have not told this to any of the family. I can't seem
to bring myself to do so, at least not before Danielle's wedding
and that is approaching very fast now. I did tell one of my friends
in New York. We've been friends for over 30 years, my crazy
Irish redheaded partner during my time in NYC EMS.
I also told my surgeon to block off the days of Danielle
and Andrew's wedding. A few more days will not kill me.
For the next five years I will be a Cancer patient. Hopefully the
cancer will not return. If it does, then I I just have to deal with it.
For now what is recommended is a lumpectomy, just another
word meaning surgery to remove cancer from your breast.
I'm ready, but in the meantime I still do not have a date for
the surgery. I do have several different "things" needing to be
done beforehand. I need to make contact with the oncologist/ cancer
specialist, I was given and go through the treatment procedures.
This is the person who will be treating me after surgery.
According to my surgeon, by the way she's a gorgeous
37 year old born in Argentina, raised in Fort Myers,
I should do pretty OK. I'm already in love with her.
After surgery I will have radiation treatments. From
what I was told, a total of 16 treatments consecutively.
I'm ready and just want to get started. I am impatient
and right now even more so. I need to get busy.
I do not believe I am braver than everyone else. What I do
know is that I can't dwell on this. I am not one to say, "why me?"
Instead I know that in this big picture I am considered lucky.
My cancer is manageable, that's what I was told and that's
what I am going to work with. Many more than we know, are
losing the battle with Cancer. Those are the real heroes, the real
warriors. The ones who are fighting a battle against time. I just
hope that that's not going to be me. I will devastate my family.
I just got the call I was waiting for. I have a date for
my surgery. Suddenly it's a little more real. This means I
will be telling my family on Sunday October 22nd about me
having breast Cancer. Not looking forward to doing this.
Not the day after Danielle's wedding. It's just not right.
After much back and forth we decided to not tell my family
until the day before surgery. Arvid and I thought, "why stress them
out more than necessary" Coming back from the wedding it's been
doctors and more phone calls regarding the surgery and follow ups than
I expected. It got to the point where for a while I was confused who all
these doctors were. I'm still confused why I have so many doctors.
Today I am scheduled to do a savi scout procedure.
In simple terms, it's a GPS tracker inserted in your breast to
guide the surgeon during surgery. I went there on my own
because I chose to, even though wanted to go with me.
Easier this way. Easy process, mild discomfort.
Having Cancer had not really sunken into me. I had no
time to dwell on it, but on Tuesday October 25ht after coming
back home from Danielle and Andrew's wedding I had my pre-op
appointment. Still all was good until I was leaving. The girls in
the doctors office gave me a little bag with information regarding
my many different appointments. In that bag was a teddy bear.
As I held the bear, then it hit me. I got over that fast.
No time to dwell or feel sorry for myself. In 2014 I had
Thyroid Cancer and I dealt with it. I now have Breast Cancer,
and I will deal with it. I'm more concerned about Arvid
and my family and how they will deal with it.
I just cant wait to get this whole thing over with and
begin my radiation treatment. Should the Cancer reappear
I want to be ready and more knowledgeable also.
It's been doctor after doctor. Test after test. Needles,
probing and the phone calls. There are so many doctors
involved that I have lost count. There's my surgeon. The
radiologist to who did the savi procedure. General doctor.
Lab work. More radiologists. Medical oncologist. Radiation
therapy doctor. I am right now I'm a little overwhelmed
and a little tired. More mentally than anything else 😬.
You know my name not my story. You've heard what I've
done but not what I've been through. I am not unique. There's
always a story behind every person, a reason why they are
the way they are. So never judge by their situation.
You can only do things one day at a time.
Live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece...