My Type of Cancer

Mmkay. I feel like I need to clarify one thing. Let’s all get this straight: I am not dying. Not even close. Not even a little bit.

Yes, I could get hit by a CATS bus tomorrow because those guys are assholes, but my breasts will not be what kills me (I can say that with 100% certainty because I’m having both those bitches removed—and then reconstructed).

If you’re wondering where this is coming from, join the club. Most of you just reach out to tell me you are in my corner and that you are cheering and praying for me (THANK YOU!!). But a couple of people have reached out to me privately wanting to catch up with me, “especially given your circumstances,” and it just sounds a little off to me. I know they mean well, and I appreciate long lost friends wanting to reconnect, but I think when people hear the “c” word, their mind goes straight to “omg, she’s dying.” And I’m not. I’m not even sick. I’m a little more tired than usual, but that’s because this has been quite the emotional battle up to this point. And for those of you keeping score: There are quite a few variables between “healthy” and “dying.” I am somewhere in between but leaning more toward the “healthy” side. This cancer thing is really just a real big inconvenience.

Please don’t mistake this for me taking your well-wishes for granted! I love them! They literally get me through the hard days. And there are plenty of hard days that mostly have to do with keeping my emotions in check and dealing with doctors and appointments and getting a SURGERY DATE scheduled. I’ve had a lot of issues with trying not to slip through the cracks of the hospital system I am using, but that post[s] is for a later date. I am trying not to write anything that I am not at least a week removed from. This gives me time to get over the emotional part of whatever situation gets tossed my way.

Anyway, I thought I might use this post to lay out exactly what my type of cancer is, what I am dealing with, next steps, etc. for those of you who don’t know but may want to.

My cancer is called Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, which means there are irregular calcium deposits forming a mass inside a duct in my right breast. And right now, that puts me at Stage 0. This could change after surgery, but for now, we are all trying to focus on the Stage ZERO part.

Usually DCIS is not as large as mine is, which is why it is rarely detected without a mammogram. The mass they are focused on is 5.5 x 5 x 3.8 centimeters large. But as far as doctors can tell, it is still contained inside the duct, which means they do not think that it is invasive yet (which is where the Stage 0 part comes in), but since it is so large, they cannot be sure that it has not spread until after they cut it out along with a few lymph nodes and test them. Right now MRI shows no node involvement and as long as it stays that way, I will not need chemo, and I will remain at Stage Zero.

BUT, there is still the issue of a second spot they found with the MRI I had (post on that coming soon), also in the right breast. And since I decided to do a full mastectomy, they won’t know exactly what it is until after surgery as well. Possibilities range anywhere from zero to cancer. If I were trying to conserve the breast, they would have done an MRI-guided biopsy to test it and I would know by now what it is. And I could probably still do it if I just wanted to, but I refuse to get back inside that MRI machine again unless it is absolutely necessary.

Anyway, maybe you can tell that I am spending a lot of time “hurrying up and waiting” which has been the worst part of this entire process so far. The cancer diagnosis really takes a back seat to the waiting. And that is why I am so tired all the time. It is emotionally exhausting to think about it constantly and trying to stay on the doctors and their staff to get this surgery scheduled so that I/we all can finally either A. know exactly what we are dealing with and what next steps to take or B. be done with it completely. The surgery is the only thing that matters to me in the coming weeks. It will answer a LOT of questions.

But, hey, if the worst thing I get out of this is two new, perfectly symmetrical boobs, I’ll take a little emotional trauma to get there!

Much love to you all!

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