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Mom’s Cancer Diagnosis and Double Mastectomy

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My double mastectomy was scheduled for Wednesday morning. How did I end up here? I was hoping the MRI results would show the lump was contained and we could proceed with a lumpectomy. That wasn’t exactly the case.

Mom's Cancer Diagnosis and Double Mastectomy: My double mastectomy was scheduled for Wednesday morning. How did I end up here? I was hoping the MRI results would show the lump was contained and we could proceed with a lumpectomy. That wasn't exactly the case. #cancer #cancerdiagnosis #homeschool #homeschoolmom

I was diagnosed with cancer on July 13th.

The cancer appeared contained from what we could see, BUT there was far more of it than we would have guessed.

8.5 cm X 4.1 cm to be exact. The breast had to go. There was no saving it.

How did I go from a clear mammogram last year to such a large mass this year? We have no answers.

It’s scary.

So because I know myself, how quickly this cancer has grown, and my anxiety, I’m opting for the surgeon to take the other breast too.

Mom's Cancer Diagnosis and Double Mastectomy

Mom’s Cancer Diagnosis and Double Mastectomy

I had my double mastectomy on July 27th. Just 8 weeks after I discovered that suspicious lump. I thought the surgery was going to be tough, But in hindsight, it was the recovery and not the surgery that was hard. After all, I was asleep for the surgery.

The recovery, however, has been painful both physically and emotionally.

Limited range of motion and not being able to shower for the first week was just the beginning. Removing the two drains was awful! I have exercises that I must do daily in order to regain my range of motion.

But peeling off the bandages and seeing what lay beneath was one of the hardest days. Forty staples from armpit to armpit were a shocking site to see. I felt like one of Frankensteins’ experiments. It is a testament to modern medicine that my surgeon was able to perform this surgery but the angry red line across my chest also showed its limitations.

I cried, folks. My husband held me while I cried. And yet I was so grateful at the same time.

This journey has run the gambit of emotions. Many times those emotions don’t seem to make sense. I’m grieving what I’ve lost. I’ve given my two pounds of flesh so to speak but will it be enough?

Mom's Cancer Diagnosis and Double Mastectomy

Mom’s Cancer Diagnosis and Double Mastectomy

I’m thrilled to report that yes, indeed, it was enough. I went to see the oncologist and she said my double mastectomy surgery was a success! I am cancer free!

Let’s just sit with those words for a moment. I AM CANCER FREE!

Everything moving forward will be for preventative measures to keep the cancer from coming back.

The oncologist has ordered a test that helps determine the likelihood of the cancer returning. On a scale of 0-100 if my test comes back 20 or less then no chemotherapy will be needed. But, if my number comes back greater than 20 then we have to have serious discussions about chemo and I’d probably be looking at 5 months’ worth.

Also, because my own hormones grew my cancer I am looking at daily pills and monthly injections to block my hormones. This will continue for the next 5-10 years and will put me into early menopause. This will be my new normal.

Mom's Cancer Diagnosis and Double Mastectomy

How You Can Help

My plea to you is this. Please do regular self-breast exams. That’s how I found my cancer. Please go get your yearly mammogram. Go get that suspicious lump checked out. Don’t think that you are too young or that it can’t happen to you. I am only 42 and had no risk factors. Please hear my plea. It just might save your life.

And please continue to pray for me as I heal from my surgery and as I anxiously await the test results that will determine if chemo is in my future.

Many of my homeschooling friends from across the country wanted to help me in this time of need. Since they all live far away and cannot just pop over for a cup of coffee and a good cry or bring me over a casserole, they have opted to create a GoFundMe Page to help me with the financial burden of not being able to work while I heal from surgery. If you are inclined, you can donate or share the GoFundMe, which helps too. Every little bit helps. Thank you.

You may enjoy these other posts about my struggles with anxiety and depression:

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