Watch my life unravel...



Top Canadian Blogs - Top Blogs

Local Directory for Ottawa, ON


A preliminary plan unfolds

This morning my phenomenal primary support team – Duncan, GC and Donna – gathered at my place for coffee, and then we headed off to meet with the surgeon, the resident, the intern, the home support nurse (who is a breast cancer survivor herself) and the social worker. (Duncan opted to stay behind and keep the couch warm for me.)

I had been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading this meeting. I wanted to get the show on the road, but I was scared of getting even worse news than I already had.

We were in meetings for about two hours. Processing that much information was exhausting – towards the end, I was having trouble absorbing anything anybody was saying.

But I’m hugely relieved to be able to say that things look encouraging so far. The lump appears to be small – 9mm. As far as they can tell, it has not spread. They think they caught it early enough.

I’ll be having an MRI of my breasts sometime soon. It’ll be followed by a bone scan, a liver scan and a chest x-ray, to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread. If all these things come back cancer-free, next month I’ll have surgery to remove the lump and, at the same time, a sentinel node biopsy to make sure it’s not in the lymph nodes. This will be followed by radiation every weekday for five weeks. After all that, there will be a 5-10% chance of the cancer coming back.

This plan is of course subject to change if the cancer has spread. My biggest fear over the past week is that the pain and tingling I’ve been experiencing in my back and legs for the past few months is because the cancer has spread to my bones and there’s a tumour on my spine. The surgeon says it’s possible, but she doesn’t think this is what’s happening. The bone scan will tell us for sure, but at this point, I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m going to be okay.

I’m not out of the woods yet, but I feel so much better than I did. SO much better. Now I’m going to go curl up with Duncan on the couch, listen to my creative visualization CD, and have a snooze.

17 comments to A preliminary plan unfolds

  • grace

    I only want to repeat my comment from your original Donna post.

  • Gwen

    Bless you Susan. We’re all thinking of you. Give yourself and GC and Duncan a hug for me!!

  • carole

    Hi Susan.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Just went through similar stuff with my daughter Amelia.
    In our research we came across this incredible information.
    Google: drsimoncini. Awesome info and alternatives.
    Good luck.

  • Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy

    YAY! A plan from people who know (not Ms Google, who knows everything and nothing), information-gathering and definite action. It sounds like you had a successful day. Hugs and purrs all around!

  • That’s definitely good news! And while you are cautiously optimistic, I will remain insanely optimistic…. to bring even more good hoojoo!

  • Kat

    Great news! At last a plan that you can hang on to.

    Thank you for keeping me informed.

    Just call me your secondary support off the Internet!

  • Julia

    Good news! 9mm is nice and small – mine was 15mm and that was small. I also think the surgeon is right about the bone thing. The only thing they found in my bone scan was arthritis in my left shoulder, which explained the pain I had been having there for some years. I went to Merivale Imaging (near Baseline) for those tests. They are efficient and nice there too.

  • Rob

    I like good news and a bit of optimism for the spirit is a good thing too! Graham is coming here tonight, likely Ottawa tomorrow. When are you coming out – what’s your schedule look like the next day or so. I think he’s leaving tomorrow or Saturday.

    Cheers, hugz, love ya!
    Brother Rob

  • sassy

    Thanks so much for your update with with all of its reason for hope.

    You’ve been in my thoughts so much since you first shared your news.

  • Out of Limbo, and on to the Plan. So much better.

  • Thanks everyone! I feel so relieved that the doctor doesn’t think it’s in my bones. I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet. Still, I never would have imagined a few months ago that I’d be celebrating the news that “it’s only breast cancer.”

    Things can change so quickly – for the better or the worse.

  • Nat

    Nice to get some answers…

    Good luck with all the tests.

  • Em

    That’s great news. I’m glad to hear that you have such supportive people available. It’s also comforting to hear that Ottawa seems like a good place to get sick, as weird as that sounds. My hometown (Minden) is NOT a good place to go through any kind of serious illness. The health care system is terrible there, and you’re pretty much on your own.

  • plans are good. keep us in the loop…