Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dealing With Another Day

It's Wednesday morning and I will soon be leaving for work. I won't be there too long before I have to leave for my MRI.

I noticed Molly's latest post and she's welcoming another woman who has ACC. That saddens my heart. . .

Yesterday I spent a good portion of my time running searches for information, reading what I found, joining the "Rare Cancer" forum and reading other women's journey with ACC Breast Cancer. I came to a point where I could read no more. . . I found myself scared, worried, sad and confused.

So many of the women talk about a breast or both having pain for a while, going to the doctors only to be told to cut back on caffeine or having some tests run and the test finding nothing. I talk about this because my right breast (where I have cancer) has had shooting pains off and on for years. I too was told not to worry about it or it was because I consumed to much caffeine, etc. So I would try what was suggested and I just lived with it when it would happen. I got tired of the doctors looking at me like I was a hypochondriac. I accepted the explanation a woman gyenicologist gave me, "I can't explain why some women have these pains and some don't. All I can tell you is other women have these pains and there's nothing we can find that explains the cause." And the problem for me (and I believe other people with this diagnosis) is I ask myself what I could have done differently? Would it of made a difference if I pursued this, not done this, etc.? Could this have been found sooner? Were these pains a sign? Was it a coincidence? ? ? ?

Ok, I'll admit it, I'M SCARED! I don't want to be sick! I don't like this spot-light or focus on me! I don't like telling my family and friends my diagnosis and hearing the pain in their voice or expression on their face. I also don't like how I'm feeling sorry for myself!

Ok, that's where I am right now. Time to change the focus and deal with the day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The First Post - Dealing With The Word "Cancer."

Yesterday morning, I received the news that I have Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the breast - CANCER. And hearing the "C" word was like getting hit in the stomach and having all the wind knocked out of me. I was thrown off guard and run over with emotion and thought!

Meeting with my surgeon to go over the diagnosis, next steps and treatment options helped me to digest the news more, but when I got home and ran searches on the Internet, every website that came up seemed to have the same information on this cancer as the next one. It appears to be a "rare" cancer that is usually slow growing. The other item I picked up on is that it doesn't seem to respond to chemo.

While at the meeting, I was given a prepared binder with my lab report and information regarding breast cancer. I also met a woman that will be my contact person/coordinating person with each doctor and I can reach whenever I have questions or just need to talk with someone. She seemed very nice and supportive and I have a feeling I will be contacting her as my questions arise or the panic takes over.

My next step is 12/31/08 at 10:00a.m. I will be going in for a MRI to see if the test will show any areas further out from where the tumor was found and removed. After that, more waiting for results and then more surgery.

Yesterday my thoughts were to just remove the breast, get it off me and get the cancer out of me. My surgeon and support coordinating person said that my thoughts and feeling were normal and that I might possibly feel different in a week or two. At this point, my surgeon wants to see what the MRI finds and then believes he will probably be going back into the breast to remove more tissue for biopsy and hopefully come back with clear margins. That is unless the MRI shows suspicious areas and then we will probably be talking mastectomy.

What I'm finding hard to deal with at this moment are all the thoughts and questions that pop-up. I try to write them down as they come or pray for God to help me with the panic I feel for the moment. One thing that I found helpful on the Internet was Molly's Blog She has been dealing with this same cancer and has shared her experience. Thank you Molly! I'm glad to hear that you are doing well at this point.

Ok, that's where I am this morning. Time to try and get some work done and deal with life beyond the cancer part. I hope to share later.