When my daughter called me about four weeks ago, I knew life would probably never be the same again. She had just received a report from her specialist stating that ‘yes’ the lumps on her breast were malignant. He said it probably would take up to six weeks before they could do the surgery, but fortunately she was bumped up because she also has Lupus.
My heart settled at the heel on one foot, the other heel numb with shock. Cancer is not rare anymore, but when it strikes a member of your family, it is devastating. One in six to eight women will develop breast cancer in their life time. It seems that the numbers are increasing yearly.
Through self-examination, she detected a lump six months before causing her concern. She called her doctor immediately, had the mammogram, and he said there wasn’t anything to worry about. Six months later, another lump surfaced. Now it was time to take biopsies.
She arrived home following three days in the hospital. The doctor convinced her to have reconstruction as well so that she wouldn’t have to have that done later. She agreed; however,since she is very thin, where would they get the fat to fill in. The incision is about three inches on her right side of her back, across the entire front below the belly button, and around her back again. They call these flaps. She has four tubes draining into plastic pockets. They need emptying twice a day and measured. Her husband has become her nurse.
I am staying with them for the time being. Meals need preparing, dishes and kitchen cleaned up, and clothes dealt with for a family of four, excluding myself and another son who is away in college.
She is the healthiest eater I know. She gardens, cans and freezes, and buys organic.
I am very disheartened but there is nothing I can do to lessen the pain and the nausea. This is just the beginning. Following eight weeks of healing, chemo will begin.