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I can’t think of a title for this post

It all started with a routine mammogram in March, just a few days before I got laid off. The mammogram was no big deal: I’ve had haircuts that hurt more.

Did you know that immediately after they do the mammogram, a nurse conducts a physical breast exam? The nurse found a lump, but for some reason the lump was not visible on the mammogram.

I was referred for an ultrasound, which took place a few weeks later. The ultrasound confirmed the lump and did not rule out cancer, so I was referred for a biopsy the following week. That was last Monday.

When I had the mammogram and the ultrasound, I didn’t think it was cancer. We were just being cautious. We were just ruling cancer out. But by the time we got to the biopsy, I was getting a bad feeling. The odds were turning against me.

I got the results today. I have Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. I have breast cancer.

And I am really fucking scared.

104 comments to I can’t think of a title for this post

  • Oh my goodness… I’m not sure what to say other than you’ve got a lot of people here for you. Anything you need, we’ll get for you.

  • Connie

    Oh my, kid. Find the best medical team you can and go! Hugs and prayers…

  • Wow. That’s super scary :( *e-hugs* You have an amazing spirit – and that will help a lot.

    If you need anything – just ask! I make a mean corn-bread!!

  • patti

    Oh Zoom.
    Of course you are scared.
    This is a good time to have the legion of loving readers you have courted-right there with you and believe me – here we all are -ready to help and to hear you.

    here I am


  • Nat

    That is really scary.

    Laurie is really wonderful, she was the penultimate blogger breakfast. She’s fabulous and might have some advice.


  • Oh Zoom. I’m so sorry to hear this. I only lurk here but you are one of my favorite bloggers. I’ll keep you in my most positive thoughts, especially as I knit.

  • I’m kind of a lurker here, for the most part (I read through Blogawa) but I feel I should say that I hope everything turns out for the best. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  • sassy

    I’m cheering for you. My sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago. She stayed positive, very positive and then sought an alternative treatment in the US, and she beat it.

    I’d be friggen scared also.

    Virtual hugs offered.

  • Daphne

    Zoom, you might find this book useful:

    “After Any Diagnosis: How to Take Action Against Your Illness Using the Best and Most Current Medical Information Available”

    It’s in the Ottawa public library too.

    I wish you the very best of support – emotional and informational – as you deal with this.


  • lissa

    I’m so saddened for you Zoom. Please boost your immune system to the maximum and feed your body well. You will beat it with a positive attitude and love in your heart. Feel all the positive energy we are all sending your way. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  • Joanna

    Oh, Zoom… I do not know what to say. This is very scary. We all want you to beat it. And we want to help.

  • I’m keeping you in my thoughts and sending all my positive vibes your way.

  • Jo

    Oh God. I don’t know what to say. Like everyone else, if you need anything that I can help with, please please let me know.

  • Zoom, of course you are scared and knowing you are scared is good because it means you are grounded. We will be their virtually for you, as well as in our positive thoughts to you.
    Good links and advice are already flowing to you. My advice and having worked in this field for a long time, is to figure out what you need in your “wellness backpack” so to speak, and discard the rocks and stones that you don’t need weighing you down. Meet your needs!

  • David Reevely

    Pulling for you, Zoom.

  • bunny

    Oh Zoom, I am so sorry. I will be sending out good thoughts to you as well. I know that there will be oceans of positive energy flowing to you from everybody here and that you will beat this.

  • JJ

    Hey listen zoom: I had the exact same thing you have, infiltrating ductal carcinoma…

    …10 years ago.

    I’m still standing and as full of piss & vinegar as ever.

    You are going to be fine. Don’t even doubt it.

    Just concentrate on yourself and forget about everything else for awhile. And learn about your condition. Read about it. Get Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, it will tell you everything you need to know. You’d be surprised how learning about it helps you calm down.

    If you want to talk, vent, or whatever, shoot me an email. unrepentantoldhippie@yahoo dot ca

  • The stomachs of the blogging community just collectively dropped. We’re all scared for you, too… but for what it’s worth, we’ll all be here for you every step of the way.

  • future landfill

    Slap that sucker upside the head!! Give it whatfor! It’s got no right to be worrying you. We’re all on your side and are with you when you need us. Like now…

  • TechWood

    I’ve been thinking of you daily since we chatted last week. I didn’t hear more late last week so each day I thought no news was good news. Your blog continued without anything too deep. I came here today expecting to find something interesting and uplifting to pull my mind away from some things that I’m dealing with. It put my own problems in perspective, but I too am now scared.

    The only thing I can think to say is I’m really saddened and worried and that every wish and thought is with you. Cancer is an ominous word in any context. About the only thing positive about reading this was that I immediately went and looked up the type of cancer and found relief (somewhat) in the fact that your type is one that has odds in your favour for successful treatment/remission. Have they told you what stage it is, I hope the fact that it didn’t show up in the initial mammogram is because it’s very early.

    Hugs, anything I can do – just ask. Love you.

  • Arden

    Oh no! That’s terrible, scary news and all my thoughts are with you. I’ve had several family members and friends of the family, from their 30s through their 70s, battle breast cancer, and all they’ve all made full recoveries! Best wishes,

  • Oh Zoom … adding my positive energy and best thoughts to the collective well-wishes winging your way.

  • Tom Sawyer

    No need for sadness because it’s not scary–it’s survivable. And you’re a survivor. Women recover from this every day. And you’ve recovered from worse.


  • Thought I would pass on this site to you. Have had several friends with this now. It is very scary how much I am hearing this happening.

  • This lurker’s heart dropped, too. You can do this, Zoom, even scared; it’s called being brave. Get informed, use your network, and be optimistic. Hug Duncan and your guy frequently, not necessarily in that order or at the same time. And here’s one silver lining: you won’t have to juggle work and medical appointments.

  • Kat

    I will now be walking for you in the A Channel’s Pink Army walk in June. Stay strong.

  • Nancy

    The word cancer scares everyone. Times have changed, though, and more and more people are beating it. It is now the disease that a large percentage of Canadians will have and survive in their lives.
    You are a fighter and a survivor and an incredibly positive person. Be scared for a bit, then get mad and come out fighting!
    You have all the support you need at your beck and call!

  • Gilles Seguin

    Words fail at a time like this. Hang tough – we’re rooting for you on Oakdale Avenue…
    Gilles and Annie

  • Zoom, remember that how you feel now is not how you’ll feel forever. Fear is natural. Anger too. Even hopelessness. Just don’t forget that feelings come and go.

    And an unfortunately big welcome from the BWC club. There are a lot of us out there.

  • This is not a death sentence. You did the right thing. You got regular checkup. The lump was so small they had to triple check to find it. You *will* beat this! Please try to be positive.

  • Oh, Zoom. Of course you’re scared. But you can do this. And I’m glad to see so many people sharing some good resources. You can do this.

  • Leanne

    That totally sucks. My mother got the same diagnosis about 15 years ago. She survived it, and so will you. Huge virtual hugs to you!

  • What scary news Zoom. You are in my thoughts.

  • From the sounds of it, it looks like early stage and today most form of breat cancer detected early is cureable. Remember Belinda! This is a time to be cautious not worried. Keep talking to your doctor and that is the best thing to do and of course there are many forums online who may share their experience on how to continue to live a normal life. Keep blogging. Good luck!

  • Carmen

    Zoom, geez, what is this? Tag?? First Julia and then you??? You’re in my thoughts and although we’ve met only once, please count me as a member of your support team!

  • The best of good wishes to you, ma’am. We coyotes will be sending continued positive mental waves at quiet moments. And, and, and… take very good care of your self…

  • Crap. I’m so sorry zoom. Treat yourself gently and remember we’re all here for you. *hugs*

  • J.

    oh zoom. :(

    this is very scary news. my thoughts are with you today.

    take care of yourself.

  • Melinda

    Oh gosh. I can’t even imagine how you’re feeling. I do know that the chances of curing breast cancer are very high today (something like 95%) and I’m sure everything will come out all right in the end. It’s going to be a bit rough, but you’ll make it. Hang in there and take care!

  • Well, of course you’re scared! You’d be insane not to be. But not scared to death. You have an excellent chance of a complete recovery, and tons of supporters (in person and virtual) who are here for you, when and how you need us.

  • I’m merely a lurker, an adoring fan, but this post moved me to write. I am so sorry about your diagnosis, but you are one of the snazziest ladies out there, full of moxie, and I am not alone in believe wholeheartedly that you will kick this in the butt. You are strong and awesome. Being scared proves you are alive.

  • Oh, gawd, Zoom, have just caught up to your news. Am so, so, sorry! Immediately googled to learn more about your cancer and found out that you’ve lots of company, apparently. In one sense, that’s a very good thing. The pros have lots of experience treating IDC.

  • Donna

    Zoom, I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve been reading for awhile and just want you to know we’re all pulling for you and you’re in my thoughts.

  • Thinking of you, Zoom.

  • I can’t imagine what you’re feeling but try not to be too scared. More and more people survive breast cancer every year, I know several and if they have the strength to do it so can you!

  • Oh, honey. I know nothing I say will help, but I’m thinking of you HARD and sending much, much love.

  • I’m so sorry to read this too, Zoom, and I’m sure you feel shaken and scared. Like all your readers, I have a lot of faith in your way of looking the world straight in the eye, which is just the attitude that will see you through this.

    Like JJ, I’m a ten-year survivor, although of two different cancers — ovarian and endometrial. There are lots of us out here still walkin’ and still talkin’ — and still bloggin’ — as you will be too. Big hugs.

  • I am scared for you, Zoom, but you have a lot of friends to lean on and a lot of support here. Be brave and do what you have to do to get through this.

  • I’m terribly sad to read this post Zoom. My thoughts will be with you as you successfully work your way through this challenge!

  • Oh Zoom,
    I have gone through the same thing and I was too so scared!
    But in the end, after surgury I was OK. You are a strong,healthy person with -(like some one said) Moxie!!!!
    We are all survivor’s in our own way.
    Medical treatment has come a long way and you will get through this.
    I’m praying for you Zoom!!

  • Militant Dipper

    Stay strong, they have come a long way in the treatment of breast cancer. My Mother is living proof. I think we all just wanna send you our love and our support. Screw cancer you will beat it.

  • I can only imagine what you must be going through and how scary it must be.

    But just hang in there and stay strong – I’m sure you can beat it.

  • Julia

    I am sending strong good vibes your way. Boink! That’s them, hitting you! Call me if you need intel or just to vent.

  • I’m also sending along my biggest hugs and most positive thoughts. You’re one of the toughest chicks I know, so do your thing and kick cancer’s ass!

  • Gwen

    Oh Zoom…{{HUGS}}. You are very loved and as someone mentioned earlier, you have a great spirit and that’s half the battle!

  • Peg

    I am a breast cancer survivor of over 12 years!
    The waiting part is the absolute most difficult. You will meet some amazing people along the way, and you will find out just what stuff you are made of – I truly suspect you are made of the ‘right stuff’!
    I had a motto when I first started the journey – I would “Fake it ’til I felt it!” That is to say that I put on a smile, stood tall and reassured my family and friends that I was just fine! It worked and it made me feel better, even when I was worried inside!
    Good luck, and I will follow your days and weeks ahead.
    I had a breast cancer that only occurs in 1.25 people in a million. I went right out and bought a lotto ticket – no luck there, but in the lotto of life I won big time!

  • Deirdre

    Scared makes sense, but stay as positive as you can, and know that lots of us out here are sending as much positive your way as we can…

  • Aww, thanks everybody. You have no idea how much your good wishes and kind comments mean to me. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling pretty dismal, and then I sat down and read your comments. You collectively helped me feel so much better in those wee dark hours. And this morning too, I keep reading them and they’re helping me get my second wind and put things in perspective.

    I’m very lucky to have you all in my life. Thank you.

  • There’s so much that sucks, for sure. I don’t know you but someone so prolific at blogging, and so out there generally most likely has the courage and gumption needed to deal with this. I see you definitely have the friends and admirers required to build an awesome support network. Be sure to tap them for help. I second Nat’s Nomination of Laurie at


  • Hey big sis,

    I have a book I want to send you, is that okay? Susun Weed’s Breast Cancer? Breast Health book.

    The book we discussed – Dr Love’s Breast Book is on her list of books to read.

    Susun’s book deals with natural forms of healing – and a lot of support for treatment – nourishing wise woman ways – eat your dandelions. Would you like me to send it?

    If there is anything I can do, let me know.

    I love you!

    phone and cyber hugs for now, I’ll be travelling to Ottawa in June and will have bushels of real hugs for you then.

  • Zoom, I was heartbroken to read your post. I am there for you and GC – please let me know if I can do anything to help. I send you both a huge hug and much love.

  • RealGrouchy

    That sucks, zoom, but you’ll get through it. Hang in there, we’re all here for ya.

    – RG>

  • Jen G

    I’m late with my blog-reading this morning – so sorry to hear your news. Scary, oh yes. I don’t know what to say, except that I will be thinking of you.

  • That is really scary. But I have faith you will pull through. I will sending you thoughts and prayers.

  • Al

    First and foremost,please remember as you travel this journey that this is not a death sentence anymore. My wife of 35 years had breast cancer 10 years ago and has been cancer free since treatment.Most do now survive this and learn so much about our lives because of it.All the best.

  • Rhonda

    Oh my dear. I refuse to say I’m sad. Because I believe you will kick-ass. And you have people who love you – your son, GC and many friends. That makes a Huge difference. So glad it was found early. Don’t let this derail you from reinventing your life.

  • Well damn.

    That’s me speechless.

  • Nancy

    Had to come out of lurkdom to say I’m sending you lots of positive energy…you WILL beat this.

  • Sorry to hear of your misfortune. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  • delaina

    Im so sorry zoom. Ive been reading you blog for a little over a year, its one of my favorites. You’ll be in my thoughts. Good luck!

  • Zoom – take good care of yourself and know that we’re all behind you (in a supportive way – not a “sneaking up on you” kind of way)!! Am sending all manner of well wishes and good vibes to you!!

  • Laura Payton

    I wish there was more I could do or say. We’re here for you.

  • Stephanie

    wow, no wonder you’re scared, it’s a big unwanted surprise. Like everyone said, you’ll be fine. Just keep your energy strong, be positive and keep being healthy. You go girl! p.s. don’t worry about the gift, really, if you don’t get to it, it’s not the end of the world.

  • Mo

    Take care and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • parasol

    I’m a mere lurker but wanted to join the ranks of people supporting you and cheering you on. Reading your blog on the day you report beating this ugly disease will surely bring us all tremendous joy. Thinking of you.

  • James

    Mom, you’re one of the strongest people I know and as scary as it is, I know you’ll pull through this just fine!

    I love you lots and lots and I’m thinking about you.

  • Donna P

    Be strong, investigate stuff, second opinions, keep strong ask questions and keep writing. We will all be worrying if you don’t write!

  • I’m so sorry to hear the news. Sending positive thoughts and best wishes your way.

  • Best wishes for a swift recovery. No matter what the treatment, a positive attitude seems to improve your chances…well that and a stubborn streak. I’ve beat this, you can too.

  • Gillian

    Sending all the good, strong thoughts I can think. . Wishing you all the best.

  • Deb

    I was keeping it together till I read James’ post…you ARE the strongest person that I know too and I also know that you will get through this fine. I am amazed by the number of people that your blog has touched and the amount of support that just pours in for you. I just want to thank all the Knitnut followers for their words over the past 24 hours for my baby sister.

  • CRAP. Thinking and praying for you.

  • Tobique Demo

    Dear Zoom!,
    You will overcome this, as you have done with everything else in your past you’ve written about. You are a brave and courageous person.
    My best wishes,

  • Em

    A good friend of mine is recovering from a bone marrow transplant for adult acute leukemia, and I’m not going to lie, it’s a rough, rough thing to go through AND to watch someone go through. You’re strong, you have awesome friends who love you, and we know there is NOTHING you can’t handle.

  • Oh, my. Having a hard time exhaling after the gasp I just made.
    Hugs to you, dear Zoom.
    You have a lot of positive energy headed your way. Surely that will help.

  • Grasswren

    Long time lurker here, just had to say I’m sending you positive thoughts too. It sounds like you’ve caught it early, and you’ve got plenty of positive attitude to help you through, which makes a real difference. You show it who’s boss, all right?

    Best wishes, Helen.

  • Ola

    Lots of hugs and good wishes.if anyone can pull it through , it’s you.

  • It’s scary, but very survivable. You got the one that’s most diagnosed, and the one the doctors are most capable of treating. People, a lot of people, beat this disease every day. You’ve gathered a lot of good and positive karma over your life, I’m positive you’ve got enough to pay this off.

  • Lo

    We are all here-the lurkers, the fellow bloggers, the Ottawatonians…all of us. Ask and we are there:)

  • Bonnie

    I have no doubt that you will kick the shit out of this. Stay strong and lean on all those who have offered their help. We’re there for you.

  • I’m so sorry to hear this. Sending good thoughts your way. Take good care of yourself.

  • Linda Anne

    Zoom – I am so sorry to hear about this news. Please know that there are so many of us out here pulling for you. You are a strong women and if anyone can beat this, you can and will!! You are in my thoughts every day.

    Linda Anne

  • Theor

    I’ve had a sick feeling since we talked last week about it. So sorry to hear my fears have been confirmed, but I know you will beat this down, kick the bejesus out of it, and come through stronger than you are now. My sister-in-law just beat it and her’s was at a far more advanced stage. You are getting lots of good advice and sources of help. My one advice is to rent as many funny movies as you can watch and laugh a lot, and keep positive. And if you ever need cat sitter or interior decorator you know who to call.

  • *HUGS* to you. You are strong. You are healthy. You have an amazing support system, and you have a whole slew of internet friends who are sending you positive, healing vibes so you can kick this thing in the ass.

  • Nancy

    Dear Zoom,
    Like every other reader of your blog and all of the members of your extended circle of family and friends — both physical & virtual — I want to send my love & positive thoughts.
    You ARE a brave & gutsy chick, and you always have been.
    I know you will not only survive this shitty diagnosis, you will get the best of it in oh-so-many ways.
    (I’m amazed & completely impressed — but not at all surprised — by the sincerity & genuine warmth & breadth of support you have received.)
    Clearly, you are a loving and well-loved person, and that’s gotta be helpful, right?

    So keep walking and learning and kicking butt as you do so well, and know that we’re all ready to help, whenever and however we can.
    (I’m a bit of a Luddite, so I’m not sure how to send a virtual hug, but that’s what this is: HUGE HUG!)

  • Oh my, I’m so so so sorry to hear this. Huge hugs, courage and healing thoughts…

    This is so pervasive in my life all of a sudden — two of my very close friends this year alone. Both of them are doing exceptionally well after treatment. The Internets are cheering for you.

  • Mad

    I am so very sorry, Zoom.

    I’m pretty sure this is the form of breast cancer my sister-in-law had: a lot of treatment but a very good long-term prognosis.

  • Another lurker and fan of your site lending support, Zoom. Sending positive thoughts and hope for a complete recovery.

  • Kay

    That’s horrible news, you have every right to be scared. But we are all rooting for you and I am sure that you will pull through. Lots and lots of hugs.

  • There’s no good way to say this, especially in the comments of a blog, but good luck. You have my best wishes.


  • You are strong zoom! You will defeat it.

  • Lisa in Toronto

    No special words, just positive thoughts.
    I always look forward to your posts.

  • Kat

    I’m playing catch up on blogs from March.

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I still have a trunk load of posts to catch up on – I hope that you are doing well & send you love, hugs & mojo!