In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.” Tell us about a journey — whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one.
From one breath to the next, my heart stopped beating and I had to consciously draw my next breath. When I answered the phone and heard my daughter say hello, I knew something was desperately wrong.
“Mom, the biopsy was positive.”
The diagnosis is infiltrating mammary carcinoma with lobular features. I was in Michigan and she was in Georgia on April 22 when she received the news on her son’s fifth birthday. I wasn’t able to hold her or kiss her – we could only cry together over the phone. But, my girl is an action hero not a cry-baby.
Within 24 hours she met with her surgeon and was told that the cancer is very treatable and slow growing with a proliferation rate of 5%. Something about hormone receptors, estrogen and progesterone. The cancer grows through hormone involvement so she immediately made an appointment with her OB-Gyn doctor to have her IUD removed.
Forty-eight hours after that she’d been in touch with her Georgia Corps Nurse Navigator who is available to answer all her questions and help her through the process of surgery, reconstruction, therapy, insurance, etc. and made an appointment with the oncologist pre-surgery so she would be clear headed and understand treatment options.
By April 25th she had studied all her options and eliminated a lumpectomy followed by five weeks of radiation in favor of a double mastectomy. She wants the cancer out of her body with no breast tissue left for it to attack in the future. It sounds radical but you have to know my girl. She is intelligent, objective, and positive. She’s extremely proactive and confident. She talked to all her health care professionals and made an informed, unemotional decision.
Although only 4’10” tall and a size 3, my daughter is a marathoner and is in excellent physical condition. The downside to that is that she does not have enough tummy fat to be used for immediate reconstruction following the mastectomy surgery. I volunteered mine but instead she will have tissue expanders inserted until the skin of her breasts until the skin is eventually stretched enough to accept the implants.
She has an adoring, supportive husband and an adorable son. She will do anything necessary to stay with them and is determined to maintain their active, fun-loving lifestyle. On April 25, she and her friends ran the Dirty Girl Mud Race. I arrived in Atlanta in time to run (walk) the Susan G. Komen 5K with her and her friends on May 9 and we drank margaritas to stupification on Mothers Day.
So, all those who love her will take this journey with her step by loving step.