A New Thanksgiving Tradition
Interim Report

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.



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Oh dear, I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I hope you respond well to treatment and that the rest of your 80s are less eventful. Please keep us posted on your progress. Best wishes.


I'm so sorry to hear this. For what it's worth, there's a whole community of us sending you positive thoughts and best wishes as you go through this. Here's to a full and speedy recovery!


So sorry to hear this. What unexpected and unwelcome news.

Iris Smale

So sorry to hear this. I'm an eleven year breast cancer survivor with HER2. I had a double mastectomy, chemo and a year of HER2 treatments. Was it easy - no. I'm a widow with kids many miles away but was blessed to have friends step in and help tremendously. Again, I'm sorry you're having to go through this, but... YOU CAN DO THIS! Praying for you!
Grace & Peace, Iris


That sounds tough, Judy. But I'm sure you have the strength and resilience to face it and come out the other side. Sending you waves of love, and hope that your eighties will also hold many blessings.

Paul Albert

My thoughts are with you. I am grateful that you share your life with us in this difficult time.


As someone else newly challenged by the 80’s, I was very touched by your latest posting. Please know that I, and many others, are holding you in a place of perfect health. May you receive our lovingkindness and be comforted by it.


So sorry to hear about this. Life throws us curveballs. It's ok. You are STRONG. You are SMART. You can handle this. We are all routing for you!

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