What a difference a month makes

It has almost been 1 month to the day since we received the breast cancer diagnosis. The focus of your life changes so completely that it is difficult for me to remember what was normal before. The Martini Ziekenhuis is now familiar and walking the route to the Breast Cancer clinic is almost automatic.  As we were waiting for our appointment to hear the pathology results I noticed another young couple across the room.  They were us 1 month ago. He was sitting there on his blackberry scrolling through e-mails while she was called out of the room every 20 minutes for another test.  I remember the anxiety of that waiting.  I tried to keep myself distracted but until you know the outcome it’s impossible.

On to my results from today. After you get the initial awful news…everything after that becomes relative. We got some relatively good news today.  My cancer has been diagnosed as stage 2b grade 2. In other words the tumor in the breast was 5 cm and had spread to 3 out of 11 of the axillary lymph nodes under my arm. It is also classified as a grade 2 with a grade 3 being the most aggressive. It was removed with a good margin so the surgeon is confident that we got it all.  There are a lot of other medical details about it but that doesn’t need to go up on the blog.  The normal treatment path is 6 rounds of chemo therapy. OK…that sucks but we were expecting some chemo. I will be going in for a few more tests next week to make sure it hasn’t spread further but we have good reason to be happy because the news today could have been worse. The one note our surgeon mentioned is that there was some metastasis into the blood vessels around the tumor and he was going to bring it up in a multi-disciplinary meeting this week to discuss whether prophylactic radiation may be necessary.  But that will be after the chemo…and in my brain nothing I need to think about immediately. On our current radar screen is trying to fit an IVF cycle in before the chemo gets going. Small steps. 🙂

As we were leaving the hospital the couple from the waiting room was walking slowly down the hall.  He looked like a bomb just went off and she was sobbing into his shoulder. Ugh…we’ve been there too.  Everything in us wanted to give them a hug and say that we were sorry but we decided that probably was creepy. Instead we said a prayer for them and walked to the car. What a difference a month makes.


10 thoughts on “What a difference a month makes

  1. Thanks for sharing, Lynnea. You are a good writer. Keep it up. Glad to hear the “good” news. We are praying like mad.

  2. Hi Jon & Lynnea,

    Just wanted to say that Sasha and I have been following along with your journey and are thinking of you and praying for you. Thank you for taking the time and energy to update everyone through the blog, we really appreciate it.

    P.S. Your photography is beautiful!

  3. Small steps … hand-in-hand … together we will walk – trust – believe.
    Deeply thankful for 1 month ago; for a shower – for a self-examination – for the courage to go for assessment, immediately … just 1 month ago.
    One month ago … 3 and 11 were random, unattached, and insignificant. This moment they are my favorite #combo; those nodal filters were doing there job!! Gentle hug … D2

  4. LYNNEA! This is fabulous news. I am SO glad you caught this when you did, you need to pat yourself on the back for listening to that little voice prompting you to do a self exam, and pat your husband on the back for prompting you to be seen ASAP. I am so glad to hear that it only spread to 3 of the 11 nodes! What a relief to hear. BUT, I know the journey ahead will be difficult and painful with chemo and possibly radiation. 😦 Hang in there, know that we are praying for you and cheering you on every step of the way! And the IVF news makes me smile… 😉

  5. I’m glad to hear your encouraging news, Lynnea and Jon. Even though miles and miles separate us, you are never far from my thoughts. I’m remembering those camping trips to Lk Roosevelt long before you decided to marry.
    I add my prayers of support to your expanding network of friends and family.

  6. I guys we as all the other friends are close to you and this give a lot of support, but the really great support comes from yourself.
    As a friend we try to give some suggestion or tips. every single one had a relative in this situation( someone more other less) but the most important part is to be positive and courageous.
    cancer is like an animal: feels the fears and negatives and feed itself
    So doesn’t matter if its difficult, be strong and have fun. enjoy your life, amsterdam, holland and europe.
    Sauro and Heather

  7. I have been thinking of the right words and I trying to put together the best thing to say. It’s hard to do. You have your answer – you know exactly what/who your battle opponent is now. Praise the Lord that you did that self-exam, didn’t delay in seeing the doctor and have the answers you need for this battle. You will wage it, you will win and you WILL BE A SURVIVOR. So much love from Washington.

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