PROJECT: 05-DJC:174.9

This is Deirdre's Breast Cancer Diary. I try to update this blog at least every evening. This is an easy way for me to keep a journal of the experience, and at the same time, I can keep my friends and family up-to-date on what is going on. I find it is not so bad to have cancer, but it is awfully depressing to talk about it. I hope you laugh as you read along. You can find the beginning in February the archives. Thanks again for reading :o)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Beginning Of Our Journey

I have Invasive Breast Cancer. The team of Medical Professionals working on my case has proven it to me. I have checked the pathology report over and over for any errors, any typographical error, just anything that seems missing or or inconsistent to what I have been told thus far. I found it! They spelled my name wrong. So, it must be true. I have Invasive Breast Cancer. Here is the initial email I sent out to my family on our Yahoo! Group on February 14th:

Dear Family,

1. I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

2. I am not going to lose my breast.

3. I am not going to die. (Well, you know... ;-)

Now that I've got that out of the way...

Ok, what?

  • I detected a lump in my left breast early this year, possibly in December even.
  • I had a clinical breast exam on Jan 24th. I was referred to radiology for a Diagnostic Mammogram (which includes Ultrasound Imaging). My doctor reviewed the radiologists' preliminary report and consulted me that same afternoon. This is when she told me my lump was "suspicious for invasive breast cancer". My doctor introduced me to the idea of cancer and helped prepare me for the full regiment of cancer therapies that I should expect. The first of which was to be a biopsy of the suspected cancerous lesion (hereafter referred to as "the lump").
  • The following week, I met with a Breast Surgeon (also my Surgical Oncologist) where we reviewed my images and she performed a clinical exam. Based on several things, we decided that we would forego the biopsy and get the lump out as soon as possible.
  • The lump was removed last week, Thursday. It was larger than she expected based on the ultrasound images. She believes she removed all of it. But we will see. I am waiting for her final pathology report and expect to have it by the week's end. I have recuperated from that outpatient surgery and am feeling fine.
  • I had my Bone Scan today and also a Chest X-ray - and the technicians report that they look fine...for what it's worth. NOT my doctor's words...but I like 'em.

Other than not being able to go through security at the airport for the next 24 hours, the only side effects from today's radiation are the many paperclips that are sticking to my clothing and all of those compliments I got on my "beautiful blue eyes". Just kidding, no side effects! However I did have to drink about 48 ounces of fluids after getting my radioactive injection. That's hard on the bladder! Can you say "Radioactive Waste?"

What I am expecting next:

1. Full blood analysis

2. CT Scan of pelvis

3. I will undergo Chemotherapy

2. I will undergo Radiation Therapy

3. I will live to the ripe old age of 109 years old.

Please know that I have been quite busy in the last two weeks going from my primary care doctor's medical office to the Imaging Clinic to the operating room and to radiology, etc. I have just now had a moment to sit down and give you what I know. Even though I have not yet met with my Breast Surgeon to discuss the pathology report, I decided to seize the opportunity and just tell you what I do know and promise to update you as the details become available.

It is my plan to share with all of you all that I know – it is not only my desire to tell, it is my responsibility! Believe me; the last two weeks have been agonizing for me. To be told that there is something in my body that is suspicious of INVASIVE CANCER and not be able to know FOR SURE …even now…is one of the most difficult waits I have ever had to endure. As soon as one utters the diagnosis, questions arise. …questions for which even I do not yet have answers. However, as the time lapsed between January 24th and today, some of you have heard. And, what I was afraid of happening has happened: some of you heard things that were not fact, and scared you. I apologize.

Anyway, this is the information I have. I will update you as soon as I have any more news. Mark may speak on my behalf. We are a team.

Don’t be afraid to call or write! I will need you all in ways I have not yet fully realized.

This is quite a bit of information and may be a bit detailed. So I summarize…

In a nutshell:

1. I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

2. I am not going to lose my breast.

3. I am not going to die. (Well, you know... ;-)

I will write again with an update – I may even start a blog so as not to force-feed you all of the boring details.

And finally,

I love you all. I appreciate you and all efforts to “get this under control”. This is my task. I will do it…with your love and support. Not sure exactly what or when I will need …

And lastly,


Take care of yourselves.

Be kind to everyone.

Do the best you can.

Believe that everyone is doing the best they can, too.


Deirdre & Mark

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