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November 2018

December 2018

Interim Report

The outpouring of good wishes from 70/80-Something readers in response to my breast cancer diagnosis has been astonishing. It was difficult for me to share it because I am normally pretty upbeat. And other than being grateful for having had such a wonderful cancer-free life for so long, it’s hard to feel positive about my diagnosis. Your caring thoughts mean so much to me.

I am determined not to let cancer define my life—at least not once we have what we refer to as “a plan.”

Cancer will not define this blog either. There’s too much else to talk about. For one thing, after a gloomy November, the sun has been shining for a week.

That’s got to be a good sign.


November Is the Cruelest Month

November is my least favorite month of the year in spite of the fact that it contains Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. Gloomy skies are ever-present, and the days get shorter much too fast.

This November was especially tough. A routine mammogram at the beginning of the month looked suspicious to the radiologist who ordered a non-surgical biopsy. My primary care doctor’s call telling me that I was fine turned out to be premature. Although no cancer cells were evident, the radiologists wanted me to have a surgical biopsy because there had been too much change from last year’s mammogram. That surgery a few days later revealed some cancer cells that would have to be removed.

Three weeks later, on the morning of my operation to remove them, the surgeon called to tell me that a further test had found HER2 positive cells that indicate a particularly aggressive form of cancer. That meant she would have to take some lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread.

Then this past Sunday, she called to tell me that her “we’ll take it out and you’ll be done” is no longer operative and that further treatment would be necessary.

So this November, my diagnosis had gone from “maybe something” to “nothing” to “definitely something” to “even worse”. My further treatment has not been determined yet, but it is likely to be chemotherapy followed by radiation.

Taking care of Peter has been my top priority this past year. So this bump in the road is going to take some adjusting.

I’m not liking my eighties so much.