Bumps in the Road

I have breast cancer.

Trust me, I didn’t see that one coming. There is no history of it in our family, I am healthy otherwise, I get screening mammograms every two years and everything is always good, including the results of the one I got in December.

Then I found a lump, the tiniest of bumps, really. I wouldn’t have noticed it at all except it was a wee bit tender. I wondered if I had perhaps just bruised myself. The kids and grandkids were visiting at the time and it was easy to mentally contrive the scenario where a toddler head thrown back in laughter or an errant arm swing was the source of that tender spot with a knot in it. Still, it bothered me enough to show Gordy who said all the right things about how it is probably nothing but to go have it checked just same, because that’s always best.

I apologized to my Ob/Gyn as I lay on the exam table fumbling to find my lump again…evidence enough right there that it was, in fact, the nothing these things usually turn out to be. She scowled her face in concentration as she palpated the area. Maybe something? Just to be safe (and because you said “lump”), we’ll get another mammogram — 3D this time and an ultrasound.

Well, that worked. They found “my” lump and three other baby lumps, all in a row, and that got everyone’s attention, enough to consult a surgeon and undergo a needle biopsy of the little buggers and, wouldn’t you know it, they are not the innocent nothings they were supposed to be: they’re malignant.

First, there is surgery. Tomorrow I will have a mastectomy of my right breast and removal of lymph nodes, if they have been invaded, which I deeply hope is not the case. Some things are known — that the lumps are highly estrogen receptive (that’s a good thing) and well localized — but the surgery and its pathology results will teach us more about what is in store for us.  Words like chemotherapy, radiation, reconstruction, Tamoxifen are flitting around, but none will settle until those results are known.

I have spent these brief days since the diagnosis feeling healthy and alive in the body given to me, grieving for the changes to be endured, and hugging dogs and horses and donkeys as if my life depended on it. Oh wait, it probably does. Gordy is being Gordy which means he is being my rock, my partner, my deepest and greatest love and friend. I have receive much love from family and friends which is both overwhelming and calming at the same time. I respect my surgeon greatly for his skillful knowledge and sensitive demeanor in appreciating that a breast is a tragically sad thing for a woman to lose. I am in good hands.

I want to live beyond this scary bump in the road. I want to meet it, engage with it, work with it in full awareness that I am and always will be bigger than, more than it. More than cancer. It takes the air right out of your body hearing such things, but saying it back out into the Universe is helping me take my power back, one word at a time, one breath at a time. Every speaking of it, announcing it to the world, if you will, knits it a bit more into my reality, makes it a bit less planet of the zombies, less other-worldly. So much is out of my hands right now, but I am hopeful. I would truly be most grateful for whatever good will and hopeful, positive energy you might throw my way. Thanks for listening.

Writing about what sings to me from a life made full with animals.

8 thoughts on “Bumps in the Road

  1. Lisa, I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but so glad you took swift action to address it before it became worse. You are one of the strongest women I know and know this cancer will not beat you. My prayers are with you and Gordy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa, I was taken aback reading this very personal and shocking blog. Bless your heart…thank you for sharing.
    I admire your attitude going into these uncharted waters. I will be thinking and praying for you as you undergo your surgery tomorrow. Sending a wealth of positive thoughts your way. I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this.
    I’m a firm believer that “bumps in the road” do offer us great opportunities to learn, to grow, to gain and to share. In your case, with your incredible gift of writing. You have the wonderful chance to can reach many. In you choosing to share your “bump” with all of us, we, right along with you we are also learning, growing and gaining.
    What you wrote today really spoke to the importance of airing on the side caution. If something isn’t quite right or you find something that is questionable, no matter how small. Get it checked out. Piece of mind is priceless if it turns up to be nothing. At the same time if it turns out to be something, catching it early can be life saving.
    Thank you again for sharing. You are in my thoughts and prayers~Jill❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful picture. Today is the tomorrow you mentioned, and all good thoughts are lifted up for you. Best to you and Gordy, and to the rest of the gang as you recover and navigate through this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience with this scary thing we don’t like to even think about–breast cancer. Your sharing helps other women to be more proactive to catching it sooner than later and reacting in a positive attitude. I believe in my heart you will be alright. You caught it early! You have wonderful doctors and a loving family to support you! You are blessed with many positives. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers each day on my daily walk with my pups. Hugs too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Keeping you in my thoughts and can’t wait for the blog that follows to let us know you are among the many cancer survivors.
    xoxo, Tami and Jim (5 year renal cell carcinoma survivor and 2 X melanoma survivor).

    Liked by 1 person

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