Thursday, 26 January 2012

dear mom

How are you?

I had my appt today, but the biopsy I had last week was inconclusive. They found neither cancer cells nor lymph cells in what was meant to be my lymph node. Instead they found breast tissue, which must be odd as the doctor said he'd never had that result. He said it wasn't exactly worrying, but it was unusual enough to warrant further investigation. So I have to go back again on Friday for a larger "core biopsy" sample to be taken from the lymph node area and will get those results next Wednesday. So we do not yet know if it has spread beyond the small tumour yet and my cancer still has not been staged. I do have a date for surgery, which is Feb 10th. He said I should be staying overnight, then able to go home the next day. This could be brought forward to feb 3 or 6 if there is a cancellation in my surgeon's schedule. About 3 weeks after surgery I should start radiotherapy, which will last 6-7 weeks, every day except weekends. The main side effects of that seem to be extreme tiredness (which increases the further along in treatment you are) and skin burns like sunburn. They don't know at this stage whether they will advise chemo. I'm praying not, but I'm also wondering whether I should throw everything they've got at this. Luckily, because mine is hormone receptive, I can take Tamoxifen for 5 years to reduce risk of recurrence. Ladies whose breast cancer is not hormone receptive don't have that option. I will enter the menopause. I can't say that I'm happy about that, but our family is complete so I can accept it, and I doubt I would risk having any more children after this anyway.

I'm pretty upset about this, as obviously it means we're in limbo for another week. And I have to have another unpleasant procedure. But better to be sure, I guess. Rob is taking Friday morning off to go with me.

I want you to know that I am being very well supported here. I have a wonderful circle of friends who have jumped straight into action: making us meals, watching the kids so I can go to appts, letting me cry on their shoulders. I also have come to know several ladies who have been through this - a few from my hospital - so I have people to talk to who understand what I'm going through.

I will obviously keep you updated with every new bit of info I have.

The Valentine's package came today. I've put it away till the day.

I love you, and I thank you for your love and prayers. I am sorry that I am bringing this worry into your life at a time that you should be focused on getting yourself well. The prognosis for my stage is very good, though, and I'm strong and otherwise healthy and have so much support to get through it.


Carrie xo


  1. Carrie.. many of us are with you along the way.. you may not know were here... but we are..