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Dates and Details

2010:
February 25-Mammogram
March 15-MRI
March 19-Core Biopsy
March 23-Cancer Diagnosis
April 14-Double Mastectomy
May 24-Oncologist Meeting
June 7 - Starting Tamoxifen Therapy
August 25 - Reconstruction Surgery
August 27 -Yale Second Opinion
August 31 - "Reconstruction" Complete

It has been confirmed:
No Chemo or Radiation is required

Feb.1 The Story Starts
May 2010
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    Archive for May, 2010

    “Push Yourself To Tired”

    The weekend’s nearly over and as usual, I’m frustrated that my to do list has barely been touched. Time just flies, but guess more important that we had a wonderful weekend with our girls.

    I did just pull out the last bit of energy today and powered through cleaning up our bedroom. A different kind of cleaning. It was time to clean it from looking like someone on bed rest….so gone are all the bed rest trays, the heaps of medical literature and the no longer needed bits….and boy it feels good! Less cluttered and back to “before”.

    Exhausted by doing it, I next hit the pillow. I then turn the TV on and start flipping through the channels and stop on an Andre Agassi interview just to catch his answer to a question on what his best advice was in life…to which he answered,

    “Push yourself to tired, there’s always something worth it after.”. – I like that.

    My strength keeps coming back more and more each day. It does feel good to push yourself for what you want, what you know will make you feel good and I guess just feel in control!

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    Testing the Soccer Sidelines

    My 40ish year old Bruce is still on the same soccer team he joined when he was in his 20s…bless him…and many don’t know my dad, now 84, also has quite a few years of soccer in his history and not too bad as his friends still tell us.    So since trying to enter our girls into a ballet program flopped miserably and Kristi simply refused…..soccer, of course, was next on the list.

    In our town, we have wonderfully maintained soccer fields with the associated heaps of children and their onlooking family and friends.  So today, Bruce thought a nice outing for our girls would be to watch the local kids and to give mom some quiet house time.  But, about 15 minutes before they were to leave, I jumped out of bed, dressed up, through on the makeup, hair in pony tail, jazzy shoes …and went downstairs and just smiled as I asked,” Can Mommy come?”.  They were are all thrilled!

    This was also a test to see if Kristi would be ready and interested to start some team soccer playing. We watched from the sidelines and it helped that a school friend was playing…I think we’ll give it a try, Kristi get ready for cleat shopping!

    In the mix of the various fields, we spent time with the parents of Kristi’s 4 year old soccer playing friend.  As you can imagine, it’s a bit strange with me not knowing who knows what with me and reactions, well…… this was a perfect handling and acknowledgement.

    The mother, someone I had actually never met, half way through our conversation turned to me and said quietly, “So you doing OK”?  — I looked back and just said, “Great, what can you do? You just keep pushing through”.  She shared some family situations and for me, it was beautiful to have someone not need to see it as drama worthy, but reality in such a “yep” and move on.    Back to soccer talk, just like guys!

    My Tip Here: It’s tough to know how much support, give advice, ask questions, etc when you see people going through any “change in life situation”  ….at the start and throughout the on going process.  Many times, if you think of the person you knew “before”, you can see they may not be the type to talk about their problems in general, these times in life are no different.  Or simply ask when you don’t know. A quick questions like, “Do you want to talk about it or is there anything I can do to help” and if they say no…go back to life and conversation as you would have “before”. Business as usual, no drama required . :)

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    Oncologist Appointment Day

    Just as my body starts to feel more and more “normal” and life seems to become close to what it was before all this started, I can’t help but think about my next step in this process.  The meeting with my oncologist. 

    In a strange way, this to me is the most interesting phase and the most scary one in some ways.  Up to this point, there’s been sort of a path…tests, procedures, results, surgery, recovery and so on.  Now is when the “next phases” are discussed.   I am aware that, so far, things on the pathology reports look very, very positive.  But I have too many other questions.

    So I’ve prepared my list with the help of some very knowledgable friends.  For example and if helpful for others to use for reference, My questions include….Was the breast cancer definately the primary site of my cancer, or could it have started elsewhere in my body? What all the numbers mean — my nuclear grade, my ER and PR status?  With what frequency/need is there for ongoing bone scans and blood work?  How likely are things “dormant” that I should be watchful for?

    …and lastly the heap of questions around the treatment options.

    We are ready to know what the next few months and years of our life look like tied to treatments and/or therapies.  Regardless of which path I need/choose to take, there are no feelings of anxiety, we are really to know and again, take it in stride as part of this new beginning! 

    —I’ll post all the answers after Monday’s appt.

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    The Perfect Strangers

    It’s quite nice at times in life when absolute strangers just step in and help at the most random times.  

    Those sorts of people are not filled with their own rushed agendas and “road rage sort of self importance”.  But I’m talking about those actions that are done in giving ways – from small nice gestures up to the huge leaps and bounds. 

    For example…. the holding of a door longer than the moment needed for the next person, a driver waving you out of turn to give you right of way or someone taking the time to “notice something” that needs to be acted on for one reason or another….guess it’s just the etiquette we can be surprised by at times from those we’ve never met.

    Well, today, I’ve had a double hit of “Perfect Stranger-ism” —-one graced me, the other I was able to give another. 

    OK, first the story of me giving to another :).  

    I had a busy morning with client work lined up.  So after dropping the girls off at school (proud to say another successful mommy morning routine and drop off solo!)….I quickly stopped off at the grocery store knowing the day would quickly run away if I didn’t so first.  I had random bank stuff to do and food bits to pick up.  As usual, I forgot the reusable shopping bags in the car, so after hitting the “in store bank” …..out to the car I went, to get my stack of ”go green” shopping bags. (Bruce, I know you are proud!) 

    As I approached our car, I realized a lady alone (let’s just say “a bit older than me”) pushing her cart to her car right across from ours.    AND it sure looked like the cases of soda were on sale and she had stocked up! 

    Call it silly, but over the years in the super market parking lots, I’ve always tried to seek out people that might need help to get out of the rain quick or those that might just need a hand to get their groceries in the car – sometimes because of their age, ailments, and other times  due to the sheer volume of their unloading task …. or simply put, to help another mom with the extra hands when I’m,  for once, not the one in need!

    Today as any other day in the last few months, I wanted to be the “old Sue”….or I guess better put “still Sue”, or just “Sue”…I think you know what I mean.

    Cancer does not need to consume you, as I think you can see is my take on things.

    So………..I approached the lady and she graciously declined my offer.  Of course, I never taken no for an answer.  

    I asked if she would settle on me only doing half the work….later she shared, she had suffered an injury to her arm and this was indeed a great help…but in asking for details on how the injury occurred, it was tied to a wonderful show performance of her grandson. All I could say, was, “Well, You were having a good time noneless when it happened.”  

    A tiny bit of me realized she really embraced that positive angle. 

    So from my inner soul and wisdom of my own struggles in mind, I said to her, “Well, sometimes life slows you down for reasons to see other things – so you be sure to rest, enjoy others help when needed and stay well”. I received the most wonderful smile and a bit of lovely chit chat continued until all the bags made it to her car.

    As I shut her trunk, all loaded with her groceries, I wished her and her not so well packed set of eggs (my fault) a smooth trip home!

    Something of a sign, to me, for more than one reason —–her hurt arm and me not knowing …..and her having no idea I only had a right arm to use to move everything from her cart to car to spare left arm use right now. 

    But it it was empowering to me.  This was a help to us both. 

    It made me feel normal and helpful …I wished her a lovely day and smiled warm inside….and off we both went our separate ways. 

    And then later today, we had a visit from a couple that graciously took our request for help us with some ongoing personal projects  we manage.  Normally just some of my tasks that I wing on the fly, half minded.  But I knew I needed to  replace “me” before surgery months back.  

    There were some folks that had worked with us along the way that really shined and they were more than pleased to step up to the plate to fill in gaps.  They had no idea was was going on with me and my health in advance. 

    As life would have it, somethings fell terribly apart right before my hospital entry. But  I became so at rest knowing I had help and today, it was wonderful to meet them in person as they helped spare us the trip to bring a boat of furnishings from CT to PA.  Simply amazing!

     

    Big Apple, I’m Back!

    Well, just a quick note to let you all know things are really getting back to “business as usual”! 

    I’ve just dropped the girls off for school and am pulling out the business suit for a new prospect meeting in New York City.  With many thanks to my lovely and dynamic city navigating business partner driving, it will be a smooth travel in and out…so nice to get into the buzz of Manhattan for a bit, with minimal “bustle”! 

    This new client of ours is a non profit and just a great cause all around.  We are already so excited to help them bring their program to the next level, so stay tuned for more about them as we get things going.  

    And by chance, if you or others you know are looking for a full service advertising agency, some brand or strategy development, marketing planning/execution….check us out!     www.pirrottimarketing.com

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