In the summer of 2013, i was taking a shower and discovered a lump in my breast while doing a self check. Which by the way, i never do, it was just a thought i had to do it. I remember doing a long run with our students, and it happened to be some of their first long runs ever of 26 miles on the trail. I confided in my student/friend Rhoda on the long run of what i had found, and was encouraged by her to go get my mammogram. Well, i had known i had an appointment coming up, my yearly and i did not want to be a drama queen, so i was going to wait. It was just a couple months away.
Weeks went by and i still had not been checked, and Rhoda reminded me each time i saw her to have it checked. i finally did. They called me back that afternoon, (which is never a good call) and i went back for more testing and a biopsy. The biopsy led to my first surgery, a lumpectomy in October.
After recovery, the next step was to see an oncologyst, a cancer Dr. I did so, and my options after having A Typical Ductal Hyperplasia (thats what they found and removed), was either 1., do nothing. 2., Tomoxofin (a drug for 5 years). or 3., double mastectomy (which is to remove your breasts and breast tissue. I chose that day in the oncologysts office number 3. My mother has had breast cancer to this date 4 times, and i was going to just get rid of these things because i did not want to go through the pain she has for over 30 years. It is a tough decision for one to make, but for me was the only one.
I had my surgery Monday Feb 24, 2014. I have to say the most painful thing so far i have experienced. But i think the training of ultras has really helped me to endure and deal with the pain. I have also had the most supportive, loving, awesome group of friends and family, just oozing love, and i am totally overwhelmed and love you all, it is so awesome, and really helps me, you are seriously SO amazing and awesome!
So, i went in for one of my follow ups this past week, actually on Monday, and my surgeon gave me the good and bad news...Bad news, "your pathology showed you had DCIS in the same left breast, DCIS is a ductal stage 0 cancer, a new lump that had progressed since the A typical Hyperlasia". Good news..."we got it all and your cancer free!" "Its a good thing you removed them." It is amazing, because had i chose to take the tomoxofin, number 2, i would have started that day, and maybe had a check up in 6 months. By then who knows what stage the DCIS would have been.
I am relieved and recovering now. It is hard to sit a do nothing, but i know now i have plenty of time to live after i recover.
Thank you Keira for keeping me strong, and remembering why we are here. To encourage each other in every aspect of our lives. Please Please if you have never done so, please get a mamogram, give yourselves weekly breast exams, catch this early! Keira tells me that when i told her, she, our friend Pam, and our friend Molly all got checked! So awesome! Good girls! Remember, men also get breast cancer, please know your bodies, and your intuition, listen to yourselves.
Thank you everyone for your wonderful support. Thank you Pete for just being my rock, and being totally unselfish and taking care of me round the clock. I could not do this without you.
So know that if i have not been training hard with you guys, it is not because i did not want too, and i will be back as soon as i can, but it will be a long slow recovery, but i will be back with you. For now, it would be so awesome if you could all put your positive energy on your training, and train together. This weekend is daylight savings, and with that is more light! Take advantage of the light at night, and know i am thinking of you! Help each other, take photos, and keep me posted. Its going to be a great year!