8/12/15

Ready for a Battle

Hey everyone!  I haven't posted in awhile, and thought long and hard before I decided to write this post.  Blogging for me has always been about the fun stuff......home decor, seasonal decorating, some travel, and even some bragging about my kiddos and the kidlets.  I'm normally a very private person and don't like to share things that are too personal.  However, I'm going to make an exception this time in the hope that it may bring some enlightenment to some of you.  I have been diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer.  I have a family history of breast cancer, so I am very diligent about mammograms and self-examination.  In January, I had a clear mammogram, nothing suspicious.  Then on July 26th, I discovered a lump......one month, no lump, next month, lump.  I share this in an attempt to make you very aware of how important it is to do the self-exam and get to know your own lumps and bumps.  The cancer I have is very aggressive, so had I just waited until January 2016 for my next mammogram, I would probably be at Stage 3 or even 4.  I give my GP much credit for seeing me as soon as I called, and for getting me into the Imaging Center just a couple of hours after that.  At that appointment, I had another mammogram followed by an ultrasound.  Within 15 minutes, the Radiologist came in and said I needed a biopsy.  The biopsy appointment was scheduled just a few days later with the results in my doc's hands two days later.  Again, my doc got on the phone with
MD Anderson Cancer Center and got me an appointment right away.  This past Monday I met with the Breast Specialist-Surgeon & the Oncologist (both women) and a host of nurses who all treated me like I was their only patient that day.  They never acted rushed or tried to rush me.  Anyway, my "team" has mapped out a plan for me.  Nothing is left to chance, so this week is filled with numerous tests.  I start chemo next Monday and those will run pretty much through the end of the year.  If that has worked the way they hope, then I will have a lumpectomy followed by several weeks of daily radiation.

And because I know, even with a more sobering post such as this, y'all still want pictures, right?
Teresa Crespin's photo.
This is the first thing you see when you enter MD Anderson.  It is called "The Tree of Hope" and each ribbon honors someone who is or has battled cancer.  This is so beautiful; much more so than my biopsy bruise (yes, that is truly disgusting), or my Port that goes in tomorrow which I will be happily sleeping through!  

I am very optimistic, my doctors are very optimistic as well as my family and friends.  The Man has always been my "rock," and this is very hard for him knowing what I will be going through and knowing there is nothing he can do to lessen the ordeal for me.  I cherish him so much and know that we will get through this together, just like we've always dealt with the ups and downs of life.

Just to give you an update on my sil, she is doing amazingly well and feeling stronger every day.  She isn't even sick enough for Hospice, so we are all feeling confident that she will be with us a lot longer.  I intend to follow her lead and not let cancer take over my whole life.  I'm sure there will be times when it will feel that it is consuming me, but I don't want it to be who I am.

I have a wonderful support system and some of you are a major part of that.  I will try to keep tabs on as many of you as I can, but even when you don't hear from me, just know that I'm probably still reading your blogs and thinking about you.  I hope you will keep me in your prayers and good thoughts.  
Hugs,

33 comments:

Kim said...

Love, hugs, prayers and strength to you, Carol. xo

Consider It All Joy said...

You know, Carol, that I am praying for you and will continue to do so! I'm proud of you for stepping way out of your comfort zone and sharing this news! The more friends who have the opportunity to pray the stronger you will feel! Sending hugs, Cindy xoxo

Dani Covarrubias said...

You and your family will be in my prayers. It is very courageous of you to share this. Hugs, Dani

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh wow, Carol, I am so sorry to hear this. Sounds like you have a great plan of attach. I will keep you in prayer.

Dee M said...

You know I'm always there for ya, Carol, and I totally agree with Cindy's comment about sharing. That's wonderful news about your SIL, too! Hugs, hugs and more hugs going out to you. :)

Vicky Hunt said...

Oh Carol, I am so sorry to hear this, but it sounds as though you have the right attitude and are in good spirits. I will most definitely keep you in my prayers. What a blessing that you found it early before it progressed any further. I have a very dear friend who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer over a year and a half ago. They removed part of her colon but it had already metastasized to her liver. She went to Cancer Treatment Center of America in Philadelphia and they were wonderful. She has been through lots of treatments, the most recent being an ablation (basically burning the cancer out) to her liver spots back in May. She went last week for a PET scan and they found another spot in her liver that they weren't sure about so they sent her back to her liver specialist. She met with him today and he told her he met with several other specialists and they all agreed the spot is definitely not cancer, but inflammation from the ablation. It takes a while to heal. Not only that, but in May when they performed the ablation, they found two tiny spots that they were just going to keep an eye on. Well, those are GONE! She is so grateful and happy that for now, she is cancer free. God is good ALL the time, ALL the time God is good. He will carry you through this journey. I will definitely be praying for you. Take care and God Bless! Hugs, Vicky

Susan said...

Carol, I've followed your blog for years and have always loved reading all of your posts, but this one touches home with me. Let me just say that you will be in all my prayers and I will help you fight through my prayers for you. Please, please know that every single one of us is with you in this and when you feel up to it, please give us updates. Hugs and love!!!

Joani said...

Hi Carol. Your team sounds wonderful. You will be in my prayers & thoughts. Hugs!

Laura @ Top This Top That said...

You got this!!! Prayers for healing for you. My mom is a breast cancer survior 25 years now.

Laura @ Top This Top That said...

You got this!!! Prayers for healing for you. My mom is a breast cancer survior 25 years now.

JafraNorma said...

Carol, you have always been a positive woman with an ever ready smile. So no doubt you will beat this and come through much stronger than you ever thought possible!
My prayers are with you and for you.

Please keep us posted. Love, Norma

Traci said...

I just hate this. I really really hate it but at the same time I know how positive you are & how many people are praying for you. Hope all goes well with the port.

Nancy Roberts said...

Thank you for sharing your personal story. Prayers for you!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Definitely still keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, my sweet friend. I think about you daily, sometimes hourly and each time you enter my mind, I send comforting thoughts your way. I feel so confident that all will be well with you. Please let us know if there's ever anything we can do for you. Keep us posted and try to stay upbeat. xoxo

Carol said...

Thank you so much, Nancy. It's very humbling when people I've never met are sending such kind and caring messages. I truly appreciate it.

Maria Elena said...

Carol, my heart aches reading this post. You won't believe me, but you have been on my mind. I was actually coming over to your blog to leave you a message to ask how you were doing. I am so sorry you have to go through this! I will be praying four you and your husband. Dear friend, if you are receiving treatment at MD Anderson, then you are in the best place ever. You see, back in 2003 our son, who was 12 years old at the time, spent six months at MD Anderson and me and my husband lived in the hospital with him that whole time. This is not just any hospital, the doctors and nurses are such amazing human beings. Our little boy went through three enormous surgeries, 47 hours all together, three months in the ICU and another three months in recovery and I am happy to say, he is healed today. The whole time we were there we were treated with such kindness, that the doctors and nurses that saved our son's life are like family to us now, When we go for his yearly check ups, he is received with hugs and kisses from everyone. Isn't it amazing? I know you will make it through this battle. Stay strong and please, let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I am sending you all my love and many, many hugs. Maria

Feral Turtle said...

:( I was going to say I am so sorry for your sad news but I am actually happy that you were able to find it so quickly. My heart and prayers are with you through your journey my friend and I wish you all the best and a very speedy recovery. If anyone can kick this in the a$$ I know it will be you Carol!

Art @ Home said...

I will pray for you and your family. Y'all have been going through with so much. Please keep us posted, and I'm so thankful that you found it and could get in so quickly!

{{{{{hugs}}}}},
Ricki Jill

Blondie's Journal said...

Carol

I am sending loads of prayers---I will be sending them up every day. I am so glad you caught it even so soon after your exam---this is a sign that we have to be vigilant. I've been lax---you and many other situations are making me conquer my fear of the unknown.

All the best to you and your sister in law. Keep s posted.

Much, much love to you.

Jane x

Debbiedoos said...

Sending you good vibes, good thoughts and many prayers. You got this! Your team sounds awesome..and so does your attitude. xo

Pamela said...

Oh Carol! Sending you mountains of prayers and hugs my friend! Break my heart to hear you are having to fight this battle. You are in the nest of hands at MD Anderson!

Poppy said...

As you know, I've been away from blogland for a few months, having posted two weeks ago, for the first time, so I have missed several posts from my fellow bloggers, like yours. In the effort to catch up a bit, just finished reading about your sweet sister-in-law, and am glad that she is doing much better! Carol, I am so very sorry to hear this news about your early stage of breast cancer, BUT am very hopeful that you will be better very very soon, with the treatment that you are going to receive at this amazing medical centre, MD Anderson, which many bloggers have so positively commented on above. You are so right; one can have their yearly breast exam, and a few days or weeks later, something suspicious can pop up, just as in your case. You are a very strong woman with much determination, and I know you will get through this! I am here for you, my friend, and wish you the very best. If you should find that you want to talk or touch base, please email me. Thank you for sharing this health challenge of yours at this time; we are also here to share our love and kindness with you.

Plenty of positive thoughts, love, and prayers for you, from me.

Love,
Poppy

The Tuscan Home said...

Oh sweet friend, I am so sorry to hear of this news. I want you to know, I'm a very firm believer in the power of prayer. You will be in my prayers daily. I just know God is going to watch over you, and take good care of you. Sending my love and prayers. Xoxo, Liz

Jen said...

I was meant to read your blog today. I'm one of these woman that always feels relief after a mammogram and does not do self examination enough. Reading this today, I will change my ways. Thank you for sharing.
Hugs and prayers
Jeannette

Carol said...

I'm sorry I don't have any other way to reply, Jeannette, but I hope you see this. You are exactly the reason I decided to share my story. It's so easy to just rely on machines and science to take care of us, but our best offense is a good defense. In the case of breast self-exam, it's essential that you get very well acquainted with every little lump and bump. Please, please, please do this!
Hugs,
Carol

Vel Criste said...

Dear Carol,

First of all, a big hug to you my friend. Thank you for the trust and for sharing this 'event' in your life. I am definitely optimistic as you are and your family on how things will be in the end and count on my prayers for your very swift recovery and strength thru out this ordeal. I know how positive and blessed you are Carol, and as you go thru your treatments I know you will get thru this very well. Use your blog as a distraction! ;-) I just had my first mammogram 2 days ago, and luckily was normal, but I know that importance of self-exam and early detection (since we have a family history of Breast CA too), so I'm glad you emphasized that on this post, thank you!

We'll all be praying and cheering you on dear!!! GOD BLESS!!!

XO,
Vel

Jennifer said...

Carol, I am so sorry to read your news. I missed your post when you wrote it because school was starting and I had so much going on, but I'm glad I came to take a look and see what was going on with you. I think you have such a wonderful attitude and I know it will serve you well as you navigate these next few months with your medical treatments. I am so glad you didn't wait until January. I have heard very good things about those cancer centers and I am sure they will do a great job for you. Take care and please know that I am thinking about you and praying for your speedy recovery. Good news about your sister-in-law too; she is also in my thoughts and prayers.

Shelia said...

Oh, dear Carol! I too am so sorry to hear you're going through this! I am so glad you decided to write this so we could know and pray for you. I'm sorry I'm coming a bit late. Thank you so much for popping in to my blog today! You will certainly be in my prayers and I'll lift you up every day! Take care sweetie and know we're here.
Blessings,
Shelia ;)

JoAnne said...

I will be praying for you, Carol. It sounds like you have a wonderful team of doctors and medical professionals who will take very good care of you. Sending many good thoughts your way!!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Carol,
Am so very sorry to hear this news, but am glad you have good Drs, and a good support system.
I will sure be praying for you hon.........am glad you felt you could share this with all of us, cause
what are friends for anyway........to share the goods times and the bad times...........so that means
lots more prayers going up for you and the family. So keep us posted, so we know how to pray
for what you are going thru at the time.............
Love and Blessings for a very very quick recovery,
Nellie

Debby Ray said...

Oh my goodness Carol, I am so sorry to hear this news! I see this has been posted for a while and I have missed seeing it. Well, it sounds as though you have a wonderful attitude and I think that is great part of the battle. You seem to have great confidence in your physicians which is also a wonderful thing. None of us know what our tomorrows will bring to us but isn't it wonderful to know the One who does?! It is also good to hear that you SIL is doing better. God bless you and sending prayers to you for a complete recovery!

chateau chic said...

Your sweet spirit if a terrific example to those of us reading this post. I trust you experience the grace and strength each day that the Lord gives during these challenging times in our lives.
Mary Alice

Kristi said...

My blogging and reading posts has been sporadic the past month, so I am just now hearing your news. I hope you have a speedy and complete recovery. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of monthly exams!

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