Oct 31, 2022

The Diagnosis πŸ’žπŸ’ž

 You cannot fight against every storm in life sometimes 
you need to stand firm and wait for the storm to pass...

October 9th:

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

October 17th:

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.

October 18th:

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.

October 27th

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...