My Novels

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It has taken me quite some time to think about all that has transpired with my sister, regarding her diagnosis of breast cancer. We've talked a lot on the phone, we (DH and I) visited last weekend, and all of our family seem to be slowly adjusting. Still, at times it seems like a nightmare, unreal, and difficult to believe.

As the eldest sibling, I always assumed that my sisters would outlive me. And I hope that will still happen, but given the serious nature of cancer, I've had to at least "think" about that not being the case. However, I try to stay optimistic and hopeful that once the initial surgery (bi-lateral masectomy) is over, my sister will be cancer-free. The surgeon has said she will not need chemo or radiation -- unless they find something unexpected during the surgery. She will probably have reconstruction at the same time, if all goes well.

I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about breast cancer, masectomy, reconstruction, etc. I also never trusted mammograms, refused to have one (and never have, never will UNLESS I find a lump first) and have some definite concerns about the direct radiation on the breast during that procedure. Now it turns out my sister had regular mammograms, and for FIVE years none showed the lump in her breast to be suspicious enough that the surgeon would do a biopsy! So much for mammograms.

Ladies, here's a tip: If you find a lump in your breast and after a mammogram, the doctor says it's a "cyst" and it doesn't go away within several months, then you need to DEMAND a biopsy. Otherwise what happened to my sister may happen to you.

At my age, and with my frequent depressions, if I found a lump I might not go for ANY treatment. And if I did, I would not consider reconstruction, since I believe that must add to the pain and take a longer recuperation.

But my sister has a son that just entered college last Fall (he is planning on a career in architecture) and she has a lot of reasons to want to live. I think I could possibly accept a cancer diagnosis better than she has, but then again, it is always a shock. My sister has a lot of anger, due to the surgeon/Gyn continuing to tell her the lump was "nothing." I don't blame her, I'd be angry about that too.

She is scheduled for surgery on April 28th, so DH and I will be there with my brother-in-law. I am not sure how long it will take, nor how lengthy her hospital stay may be. And when she goes home, I do expect to stay with her some while she recovers. Maybe DH can take care of my cats, so I won't have to get a pet sitter.

As to other news here: DH used the tractor to disk up a small plot for my vegetables I'd grown from seeds. I have tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, broccli, lettuce and spinach planted now. I started all of those from seeds, and hope they survive. We set those out yesterday afternoon, and I watered them again late this afternoon. I also have several tomatoe plants, lettuce, and a variety of herbs in five gallon buckets, which I plan to keep in the sunny mud-room. IF these do well, I may try growing them year-round out there in pots, so we can have fresh lettuce and tomatoes for salads in the winter months.

My back problem finally got better, though I have to be very careful lifting things, as well as not standing/sitting too long. I am using the air-bike again daily, back to the 30-45 minutes of aerobic riding. I simply have to have aerobic exercise to sleep well.

One night recently the former owner's grown son stopped by to visit and look at the improvements we've done on this house. He and his wife were impressed, but they also told us something disturbing: the past four men who either owned or lived here had heart attacks. Now that is a very weird coincidence, considering DH had a heart attack too. Certainly, it IS interesting and another fact I'll include in the time capsule -- which I'm still working on.

I need to make time to write for the blog/journal, because it helps me cope. I will try to make more regular entries in the next few weeks, though it will be difficult.

Tomorrow I'm going to town, visit the library, do some shopping.

At any rate, that's the latest events here for now.

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