Reality Slap

Not going to lie: things are a bit rough right now. Deviating from the 4-hour pain management plan yields excruciating results. A furiously itchy case of dermatitis has cropped up any place surgical tape or antiseptic cleaner  touched my skin. The antibiotics are…unpleasant. Emptying surgical drains is a test of marital commitment, twice daily. No one is getting much sleep. I can’t take a shower.

Our Lady of all the Patience, pray for us.

Home again

Got sprung from the hospital late Tuesday afternoon. Really glad to be home and receiving TLC from my dear husband.

Pain is manageable but I hate the loopiness that comes with taking opioids. Just another factor among many that ensure I won’t ever turn into Rush Limbaugh.

Also released from medical captivity? Lucy the cat. We dropped her off at the vet on our way to the hospital on Monday. Turns out she has kidney disease, poor pusser.


Pump it up

Yesterday hit me like a truck. On the pain scale, I’m in the middle. Am currently hopped on goofballs.

But  it sounds like things went as expected. Skin spared,  just one lymph node removed.

Whomever invented the morphine pain pump is to be showered with praise and gold coins.

Christine Update

I was just visited by Christine’s surgeon, and he said everything went well. She’s currently in with a plastic surgeon doing a preliminary procedure. All in, everything going as expected.



High Anxiety

Last night’s dinner at Proxi was a great call. As was meeting up with a friend at the sexy new bar in the Merchandise Mart after work. But perhaps seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on their Skeleton Tree tour was a little too intense for right now.

Or maybe it was just what we needed? Cried through most of it, went home feeling completely knackered.

Surgery is scheduled for Monday afternoon. No food after midnight, blah blah blah.

I’m so grateful for the stunning array of kind gestures extended by friends, family, and colleagues. But I’ll admit to feeling overwhelmed by the attention and generally anxious. Mostly I want to hide in my cave.

Póg mo thóin*

Life is unfair.

Today I heard about the unexpected death of a college friend. Listening to Public Enemy on your buddy’s Walkman in the back of a bus driven by an man with achondroplasia on your way to a the ancestral home of Ireland’s Liberator is a guaranteed way to cement both friendship and an appreciation for the voice of the oppressed.

But I am not oppressed. Just…sad. Surgery is about 10 days away and I’m feeling sad. Like a pre-mourning kind of sad.

*Kiss my ass, bad news.


Last week I scheduled my surgery for June 19th. Sincere apologies to my brother for stealing your birthday thunder.

Still many unknowns to account for. Will I need chemo? Don’t know. Will I need radiation? Don’t know. Do they need to take out some lymph nodes? Won’t know til I’m on the table.

Something I am certain of: Will be reading labels more carefully to avoid the pinkwashing industrial complex. Just because it’s the name of your cat and is on sale doesn’t mean this is the rosé you want to drink all day.


After 4 mammograms, 2 MRIs, 2 biopsies, and a genetic blood panel screening, we have a diagnosis and the start of an action plan.

I need a unilateral mastectomy due to multiple instances of invasive ductal carcinoma.

Surgery will probably take place in mid June. Not sure yet on treatment (chemo, radiation, or both), as the pathology from surgery will determine the best approach. Also not sure on the type of reconstruction that I’ll want. Pretty sure I’m not enough of a badass to forgo reconstruction, but maybe I’ll surprise myself.

Scheduling a consultation with the plastic surgeon today.

There it is

Thursday’s biopsy results came in Friday afternoon via phone call, which I took from the privacy of my desk at home.

The kindly nerd doc clearly did not relish this part of his remit; his cumbrous message was delivered gently and I honestly felt bad for him.

The suspicious-looking spots are more of the same: invasive ductal carcinoma. Whoomp.

A heart-to-heart with my oncologist’s nurse later in the day was helpful if sobering. Sounds like mastectomy might be on my horizon. Her prescription for the weekend: dig in and do my research and allow myself as many distractions as possible. Thanks to husband, IKEA, and dear friends who delivered on that last one.

Plan of action to be developed this week.

May the 4th Be With You

So, MRI biopsy happened today. Took a long time. Have never felt more  uncomfortable or vulnerable in my life. Was deeply touched by the gentle care from nurses and technicians.

I was momentarily concerned that the 5th-year resident doc performing the procedure didn’t get my lame “May the fourth be with you” joke. Like, had never actually heard it before despite his claim of being a Star Wars fan.

Decided I preferred that his nerdy focus had been on hard science.

Results are due by Monday.