I have some unfortunate news to share. The kind of news you don’t want to share over the internet because it’s just so impersonal, but by the time I get around to calling every friend and family member I have it would be December (I’m very lucky to have such a large support group!).
On Monday I found out I have breast cancer. Here’s what we know so far: I have hormone-receptive stage II breast cancer. This means that in addition to treating the cancer with chemotherapy and surgery, I will also be on hormones for a very, very long time to make sure the cancer doesn’t return once it’s gone.
Here’s my schedule so far: On Monday the 11th I’ll have a PET scan to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread anywhere other than my left breast and lymph node in my armpit. Assuming that it has not spread any further (which is definitely what we’re assuming right now!!!), we will proceed with putting in a chemo port on Wednesday the 13th and starting the chemo process on Tuesday the 19th.
Here’s the good news: I’m being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which is one of the best hospitals in the country. The Winship Cancer Institute has amazing, caring doctors who will be doing everything in their power to get me through this process. I have every faith in this place and the people there.
Also good news: I feel amazing! Cancer doesn’t “hurt”. Chemo will definitely be uncomfortable, but hey, so many women go through it every year in order to hop over to that “survivor” list, I can do it, too, by golly. AND, Halloween is coming up which means I should be able to score some sweet wigs ;)
And another bit of bad news: I felt I had to quit my job at the Art Institute of Atlanta while I undergo treatment. My doctor told me that many women carry on full-time jobs while they go through chemo, however, my situation is just a bit different. I was hired as the one and only textiles instructor for classes that meet once a week for almost four hours at a time. If I were to have a day when I felt I couldn’t make it, there is no substitute who could be called in, and to cancel a class that only meets 10 times total would not be acceptable. Luckily, the good people at the Art Institute said they would love to have me back as a teacher when I feel able.
So that’s my news. Not the best news in the world, but I certainly don’t have to look very far these days to find someone much, much worse off than myself. The last bit of good news is that I’m determined to kick this cancer in the you-know-what. I have a very, very long life to live. With my amazing husband by my side (along with all of my friends and family), I know I’m going to beat this!!!