Friday, January 2, 2009

I'm living pink!

I am a breast cancer survivor of three months. I am very blessed that the cancer was detected by a routine mammogram and it was very tiny. I had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on November 26th, my mother's 80th birthday. I had this surgery as opposed to a lumpectomy because I tested positive for BRCA-2 gene mutation, which increases my chances of recurrence by 55-60% instead of 10%. Now, my chances of recurrence is down to 5-8% and with the pill I will be taking it is even lower at 1.5-2%. My dad died of pancreas cancer and when they did all the preliminary tests they found a cyst on my pancreas. It was aspirated on Dec 18th and found to be normal. So now I am ready to move on. The lymph nodes were clear so I did not require any chemotherapy or radiation. There are a few more surgeries to complete the reconstruction and remove my ovaries so I won't have to deal with the chance of ovarian cancer. I am 55 and do not plan to have any more kids. I have three grown children and they have four grand kids between them so we're good to go. That surgery will be after the other is finished. That's okay, I have a great faith in God and all this has been part of a bigger plan. My family is taking precautions and having the gene study so I know the cancer deaths in my family and the survivors are saving the lives of the rest of our big brood. My dad had a lot of siblings and they have a lot of offspring so there is a bigger purpose in place. God has used me to save my family. I feel special for having been chosen. He knew I could handle it and as painful as it was after surgery, I am feeling so grateful today for being an instrument of God.

The pain is pretty much gone or minimal and I go back to work on Monday. That should be fun. I've been laying around and getting up late for five weeks so I don't know how I'll make through 8 hours but I'm going to try.

So, now I'm thinking pink. My jewelry I've been making lately has a lot of pink ribbon themes. My clothes are pink. I'm not trying to show off, it's just that pink has a whole new meaning for me. I totally understand it now. So many breast cancer survivors came up to me and offered support. It's like a club you don't want to join but you find the nicest group of people once you get in. I was welcomed with open arms and caring hearts. What a great year this is going to be.

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