Exchanging Cancer Stories

18 02 2008

No doubt, for the rest of my life, I will be exchanging my cancer story with one person or another.  When cancer touches a life–nothing can ever remain the same.  Oh, yes, life goes on and hopefully one reconciles oneself with having lived through such an adventure.  Yet, one’s cancer tale sits on one’s shoulder–just waiting to tell the story one more time.

Throughout the blogging world–I’ve met other people  who have been touched by cancer.  Writing our stories helps us to cope and survive.  I’ve developed a deep compassion towards my blogging friends who have either had cancer or who have shared a life with a loved one who has battled with cancer.  My childhood friend of 40 plus years sent me a link of  someone who is struggling with cancer that she knows personally.  It is a new blog and only has five entries.  But, they are priceless.  This man is a family physician who had absolutely no warning signs of cancer.  Just in the past month–he has found out that cancer has taken over his entire body.  He still looks great in his photos on the blog but he describes the inside of his body as looking like “Swiss cheese.”  I encourage those who read this blog to check out this blog: http://dancrabtree.blogspot.com

Speaking of cancer stories–we are still not sure what is going on in Maria’s body.  For some reason, she thought that she was going to have a needle core biopsy this morning.  I didn’t see how that could be since the surgeon was just getting acquainted with her case.  We waited for quite a long time in the surgeon’s office because there were many unexpected emergencies that disrupted the appointment schedule.  Maria was restless.  I could feel her sense of disdain.  My words were few because of her agitated mood.  I tried to keep my mind on a book. 

When the surgeon finally saw her–he looked at her recent mammogram and her ultrasound but seemed unimpressed that her case is dangerous.  Because of my history–he has ordered another mammogram and ultra sound.  He will then compare the two sets and make a decision about follow up treatment.  I hope for her sake, that she is out of the woods.  Yet, I keep hearing stories of women who had small growths that were ignored until it was too late. 

Maria was more than agitated that she has to have these tests run again.  I took her to lunch to help settle her mood. We love eating at a little deli that is a popular lunch spot in our town.  Shortly after we put our order in and sat down–a women walked in  that I knew has battled breast cancer recently.  Her picture had been in our local paper.  She is part of a new support group just for breast cancer patients.  After our meal–I introduced myself to her.  I wanted to know her story.  I knew this woman by her musical reputation.  She had been the choir director at one of our high schools for almost 30 years.  Now she runs a private music studio. 

She told me that she had a questionable mammogram but that nothing could be found.  Like me, she then went to the Vanderbilt Breast Center.  It took another ultra sound with a radiologist actually administering the test.  They found a small growth near her chest wall.  It was another one of the cases were cancer could have been bypassed.  She decided not to have a mastectomy like I did.  They kept cutting into her breast until the margins were clear.  Because she had only a lumpectomy, she had to go through radiation and chemotherapy.  I told her that I chose a mastectomy because I didn’t want to go through all of that just to keep my breast.  We had a friendly exchange of stories and she encouraged me to attend the breast support group that meets one Thursday evening a month.  I already attend a general cancer support group.  However, I think that this group of breast cancer survivors and patients will greatly enhance my life.  I look forward to attending the next meeting.

Maria called this evening to ask my opinion about getting the mammogram and ultrasound done again.  I told her that is better to be a little too cautious than to be sorry later on.  She finally agreed.  I’d glad she has a great deal of work lined up at the post office.  As a postmaster relief person, the work comes and goes.  Her working plate is full for awhile.  Hopefully, she will won’t have much time to worry about her situation.  An added bonus will be some extra income.

Yes, we cancer survivors and patients like to stick together.  We want to share our stories.  It is something that we feel compelled to do the rest of our lives.  Bear with us.  And please eat healthy foods and take lots of antioxidants –so that your chances of having cancer will be small.  Remember to eat your broccoli or if you like cabbage, brussel sprouts or cauliflower.  Eat them on a regular basis the rest of your life. 

God bless each of you!

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4 responses

18 02 2008
shadowlands1501

Nicole3
It is true that all who have ever been affected by cancer become a member of this “club” and none by choice.There are cancer stories. If only they were just that, stories, but each one contain the suffering of fear and the possibility of the loss of life as each one has come to know it. I am so sorry that Marie is facing whether she is to become a new member or not. I am glad she decided to err on the side of caution. I am sure that she just wants to do be over yet the knowing can become the beginning…It is always better to know. One of the blessings in all of this is that she has you as a role model…that in itself has to be a comfort for her…our prayers continue for both you and Marie…

28 02 2008
David Web

I’m hoping Maria is fine and am glad you are seeking out support from fellow patients.

By now, Maria will have know something or be resting with her decision not to investigate further.

Little Brother

21 03 2008
Tiny

Hi Nichole,
I am enjoying your blog. I just wanted to tell you that I have other friends, who are Breast Cancer survivors. There is a website that I key on every day. when you key on the pink box, you are financing mammograms for women who cannot otherwise get one. It costs you nothing. Sponsors pay for the mammograms. I have been going to this web site for some time now. There are 5 other worthy causes included on this web page. Take a look at it. Here is a link.

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=2
Thank you and may you be richly blessed for your continued testimony on the love of God.
In His service, Tiny

22 03 2008
nichole3

Tiny,
Thank you so much for reading my blog and for such wonderful informtion. I’ll be sure to check that site out.

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