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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
September 2010
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    Archive for September, 2010

    Well, I did it…and I think quite well!

    Today was my first public address sharing my breast cancer story.  I’ve talked about everything so openly here and with so many in person.  But, imagine, on today the 14th of the month….just precisely 5 months from my mastectomy surgery,  me standing in front of a crowd.  Not easy, BUT, in the end soo energizing.  Each tear that came to me, I saw 10 fold+ in the audience. 

    My entire medical team was there, and my husband.  By choice, I had not really shared specific details with others.  As a first run, I had to see how it went.  I thought easier to look out in a crowd of mostly strangers and tell a story.  Express words that weren’t tied to the emotions we all felt together months back. 

    But, these women I never met quickly felt as no strangers …at all.  In fact, it hit me just moments before going up, that this was the sisterhood I’ve mentioned. 

    I stood on the porch of a lovely country club looking at a collage of pink and white tennis outfits, and sharing my story.  You know the story, it’s all here…but to these women, it was so new.  I was new.  I am new to all this…that’s right, a 5 month old newbie. 

    As long as it feels this has been part of my life, at the same time, I’m the baby in it all.  I was welcomed with open arms in so many ways, and was pleased to inspire others to keep up the fight, to continue their support for the cause and overall, to just keep being an active member in the sisterhood …. in any way you can help.

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    Going Even More Public

    From very early days, I have been completely public with my breast cancer diagnosis, details around the procedures, my emotions, strengths and struggles.  I’ll be honest, it’s quite easy to type into a box and publish it all here.  I feel connected to so many in the process.  I personally know many of you who visit and read often, I know from the traffic to the site, there are many more I do not know.  It’s been a wonderful help for me to do this, and I never imagined the impact it would have…on me, my outlook and most importantly on so many others.

    So, I’m going to take it to the next step.  Next week I’m going to address a small audience at a charity event and share my experience to help empower others to help themselves and the cause.  Public speaking has always come naturally to me and it’s gives me extreme energy.  However, this is a bit different.  I’ve never had to “speak” on this topic…not just talk as I do here, but “speak”.  I”ve spent a night or two working up the key points and for a 8 minute part of the event agenda, I’ve got well more than I need to fill the time!  So, wish me luck!

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    How you can help?

    There’s no doubt that when you hear the word cancer diagnosis, you feel helpless. 

    Those around you search for what to say, what to do and where to go.  It’s nothing we are ever prepared to deal with and for a first timer like me, this was opening up a whole new world.  A world of seeing wonderful people all around.

    So many are compelled to “do something” as a result of my diagnosis.  They are joining the cause to raise donations, volunteer and aid in research …it’s all incredible.  There are dozens of people that have added a mission to their lives to help breast cancer related causes.  As tough as it is for me to promote everything I’d like, to the depths of the earth, I always make time to personally promote those I’m so very proud of and that touch my soul.

    Today is no different, I applaud a man very close to me that could have chosen any cause, but chose breast cancer to throw all his efforts into.  If you are able, please donate by clicking on the “Donate Today” link above.

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    A Good Long Weekend

    For the last 10 years, we’ve spent one weekend in VT each month …until this year.   

    January was the last we had made the trip, as February started to get riddled with testings, procedures and then March, the diagnosis.  April the Surgery…and then recovery…and then playing catch up brings us to the end of Summer quite quickly.

    To get us back on track, we made it up to VT for the long weekend!  It was a great time to get back up and see everyone.  Also, a bit emotional at times to see people again for the first time since this all hit.   And to inform others that did know. All in all, a wonderful weekend and always good to get up the hills!  Good to be back.

    Forcing a Smile

    This past week has really been tough for a few people around me.  One in particular warmed my heart when she reached out to me for my words of encouragement and for me to share my coping skills to help her deal with a most tragic event.  Life can be cruel at times no doubt and then today, we received news of the passing of a long time friend to cancer.  Someone I met through Bruce from literally week one of a our relationship…and a good friend to Bruce for years before that.  This made my top coping skill really come through strong – force a smile, always. Remember the good times, all the life was and cherish the memories…anything that warms your heart, memories never leave.

    Forcing a smile in the worst bout of tears does something inside…tear generation activity and the muscles that smile never get to meet.  For me, I realized the more I kept smiling through it all, the more everyone smiles back.  I cannot say it takes the pain, fear, sorrow and grieving away, but it helped me…and I’m pleased it came to my mind to share with another…and now you all.

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