There are words we would just as soon never hear, and Tuesday I heard three of them. “Invasive…breast…cancer.” There were lots of other words, but truthfully, those three were all I really heard. So, friends, I have breast cancer. It was found on my mammogram (get those mammograms, ladies), and we hope it was found before it did anything nasty, like spreading around. It is so small I still can’t feel the lump. I will have surgery – a lumpectomy – on December 14. There will definitely be some treatment – radiation, chemo, or both after that. I have acquired a giant notebook full of information and forms, a blue nylon bag with “CANCER CENTER” printed on it (now there is a fashion statement), and a cute little pillow. Who knew there would be door prizes?
I have to say, though, that I am blessed beyond measure in family, friends, love and prayers. The people I have had the opportunity to tell in person or on the phone have been supportive, loving, and full of prayers. Within an hour or two of a phone call, Nancy Ottinger appeared at my front door with a book that helped her through this experience, and lots of good, practical advice. The wonderful and crazy people I work with called and texted me all day yesterday while I sat at home calling doctors and trying to get my head together. I won’t pretend that I am not scared – terrified is more like it.
But I am not alone. God is with me every minute, and Monty, Sara, John, Sam, Sean, and Alison are all there for me, as are many, many extended family members and friends. I work with the best, most supportive people on earth. I know this is something that can be overcome, can be cured and knocked away, and I believe we will do that. After a family email confab, we have determined to refer to the cancer as “Herman.” We are Magnum P.I. fans in this geeky group, and Herman was the shark in the episode with the shark. If you aren’t a Magnum fan, well, that sounds just crazy, but trust me. It’s a good name. Herman does NOT win in the end.
People have asked what they can do. Pray. As you might guess from the name of my blog, I am big on prayer. If you are friends with Monty, Sara, John, Sam, Sean or Alison, please check on them and remember that this is no picnic for them either. If you know any really, really bad breast cancer jokes (or shark jokes), send them my way.
I will let you know when and if there is any news about Herman and his upcoming demise.