I’m late to the game! Nancy @ Nancy’s Point challenged readers and writers with 10 Random Things About Cancer at New Summer Blogging Challenge
Here are my answers, Nancy!
- Share anything you want about your cancer diagnosis (or your loved one’s). Share your age, cancer type, stage, when you were diagnosed, family history (if any), your reaction, how you learned the news, or whatever you’re comfortable sharing.
I found my lump all by myself while lying down on my bed in January 2017. The lump in my breast was large … first estimated as 2cm x 7cm. And thus, began my journey of mammograms, ultrasound and biopsy in February. The BI RAD score from my ultrasound graded my lump as 5/5 – Highly suggestive of malignancy (cancer). My biopsy confirmed IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma).
I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node removal in March 2017. I blogged about the outrageous fun I had in the OR with my surgeon and his team. He woke me up to show me the tumour.
My gorgeous surgeon (whom I blogged about) Dr. X tried to call me on the weekend “Lisa, why don’t you answer your phone???” The margins and nodes were clean! But then the news came that I had Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Stage 2A/Grade 3.
The first blog entry in my journey is here: Pink Dot Detour
- What is the most outrageous thing someone has said to you about your (or your loved one’s) cancer?
“All the women in my family have died from that … but I am sure you will be fine.”
You didn’t really say that, did you? Forgive me as I back away and feel the weight of my mortality.
- What is your biggest cancer pet peeve? I know it’s hard to choose, as there are many to pick from, right? But what irks you the most?
I don’t just have one cancer pet peeve … I have whole kennels of frustration!
Cancer is the gift that keeps on giving. I lost my sharp brain, my curly hair, my healthy skin, my beautiful nails, my strong bones, some friends. I lost my patience, my tolerance of idiots, my mind. My heart, lungs, bone density, and overall health will never be the same, thanks to the chemo and radiation regimen. I am also at risk for newer cancers like leukemia and skin cancer, just because of the treatment. It’s the price we pay to live. People ask me “Are you cancer free? Is it over?” They expect that it stops as suddenly as it starts. There was a beginning and therefore … and end. I don’t know if I am 100% cancer free. Do you feel your cells grow? I have completed treatment … and now I wait.
My other pet peeve people who tell me I must remain a warrior and positive no matter what!
- What is something you want others to know specifically about breast cancer?
I was shocked to hear how much a factor alcohol is. It is a carcinogen. We have been led to believe that two drinks a night is safe, but that is too much for cancer. One drink a week is the only safe number! While I think cancer is more of a perfect storm rather than one thing, know all your risks.
- If applicable, do you worry about recurrence rarely, from time to time or a lot? What is your biggest worry today, right now, this minute?
Yes, I worry. With Triple Negative Breast Cancer, I have to get to the five-year mark before my odds even out. Recurrence and Metastasis are more common, along with a higher death rate. The statistic that my Oncologist gave me was that I had a 40% chance of dying in the next two years if I didn’t do chemo. That was a sobering number. I am a single mother … I don’t want to leave my son alone in this world.
- Do you feel cancer has made you a better person? Yes, I know this a loaded question. If you do, specifically in what way?
- What is your favorite cancer book? (No, I’m not fishing for mentions of mine!)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- Besides your family, where do you turn for emotional support?
Other than my son, there is no family close by. My friends carried me through the best and worst times. I found sisters with good information in Facebook groups and made many new friends through my blog. And my two dogs. I don’t think I could have done this witout their love, nearness and reminders that cookies make everything better.
- How many cancer blogs do you read and why do you read them?
I google and read as much as I can, but not just about cancer. That would drive me crazy. I read them for validation of how I am feeling. I read them to learn. I read them to nod my head in agreement and yell “Yes! I know how you feel!”
- Do you call yourself an advocate? If so, what drives you?
Yes! I’ve tried to be as real as possible on my blog. The highs, the lows, the craziness, the sadness, the fear, the enlightenment. I am driven to be authentic and not sugar coat my journey with pink ribbons. I photographed, bared and shared everything. My heart, my soul, my breast.
And I really did wear Ariel red hair, a black sequin mini skirt, black fishnet stockings and 5-inch stilettos to the Chemo Lounge. And did a badass IV Pole dance that they are STILL talking about! Muahhhh!
And now it’s YOUR turn!
If you’re a blogger and decide to take up this challenge, feel free to come back and add a link to your post in a comment below. If you’re a blog reader, share a response, or two, or three (or more) with a comment below.
Thank you in advance for participating!
Ready, set, go!
Read the blog @ Pink Dot Detour
© Pink Dot Detour 2017