Sunday, January 24, 2010

What a difference one year makes

Almost one year ago I received a call from the doctor to say that I had breast cancer. It was a Friday afternoon, coincidentally the same day as the annual work holiday party. I think maybe I was numb but I don't remember much of the party. That call started a long journey for me, one that I never would have expected to take. In the end, it forced me to look deeply into what I really wanted out of life. Hence the adoption, my next journey and hopefully a much more fulfilling one.

How it went down...

1/28/09 - routine mammogram
2/4/09 - Ultrasound and biopsy
2/6/09 - Got call from patient coordinator, learned of the cancer, Stage 2A, Grade III, no lymph node involvement
2/9/09 - Met with patient coordinator, time to make decisions on surgery
2/10/09 - MRI
2/11/09 - First appointment with radiation oncologist, more paperwork to read
(2/16 - 2/25 trip to Costa Rica)
3/2/09 - Met my surgeon
3/6/09 - Lumpectomy, outpatient surgery
3/10/09 - Met my oncolgist
(3/22 - 4/6 cruise to Hawaii)
4/8/09 - 1st chemotherapy - Taxotere and Cytoxan, experienced allergic reaction to Taxotere but able to finish. Slept most of the weekend.
4/22/09 - Hair loses the battle, head is shaved and wig comes out.
4/30/09 - 2nd chemotherapy - Taxotere again, but reaction was too strong so treatment stopped. Still slept most of the weekend.
5/21/09 - 3rd chemotherapy - Cytoxan and Adriamycin this time, followed by a Neulasta shot the next day. Not a fan. Sore and tired now.
6/3/09 - 4th chemotherapy - AC followed by shot again, uneventful.
(6/5 - played in annual golf tournament, would have made all 18 holes if not for the 45 degrees and rain)
6/18/09 - FINAL chemotherapy - same as before but better because it was the last one
7/8/09 - 1st radiation treatment, followed by 32 more, every day for 6 weeks
8/26/09 - FINAL radiation treatment
9/3/09 - Final appointment with my oncologist, everything is looking good!
9/4/09 - Decided to get on with my life.

I had so much love and support from family, friends and even random strangers. Restores my faith in humanity a bit. Still feel badly that I never managed to send any thank you cards for all the cards and gifts and more importantly, the help and support. Now, to look forward and never forget how life can be taken away from you in an instant.

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