Thursday, August 30, 2007

One year ago...

One year ago this weekend, one of my best friends was given some very bad news. She found out she had breast cancer. She has always said she "felt" something like this would eventually happen to her. SH and I had already planned on a visit to see her and her SH that weekend, we always visited them for Labor Day. When we arrived at their house, she was already home and was outside with her neighbor. We thought it odd that she was already home from work, but didn't really think much else...until we saw her face. Something was not quite right. We all went inside and she sat us down at the table as if we were her children and delivered the news. We spent the entire weekend researching on the internet and doing as much as we could to learn about what she would be going through in the months to come. The doctors weren't 100% sure yet, an MRI, genetic testing and a biopsy still needed to be done, but they were pretty sure of what the diagnosis would be. She had noticed a lump months ago and went for a mammogram when she turned 35 and her insurance would cover it. Her doctor basically dismissed it saying she had "fiberous breasts". FF to last Labor Day weekend. The lump had continued to grow (it was roughly the size of an egg at this point) and she decided she better get a second opinion. When all the test results came in and were read, the findings were clear. She did have a cancerous mass in one breast, had another small mass in the other, was a carrier of the "cancer gene" and would possibly have additional cancers come up in the future. Because of this, she opted to have a hysterectomy along with a double mastoctomy. She soldiered on through several months of draining chemotherapy. SH and I were only able to visit a few times during this period and seeing her soo weak and frail was extremely difficult. Her physical strength was diminished, but her inner strength was stronger than ever. Her SH and family were always there to tend to the house and her. She finished her Chemo in February and has been slowly recuperating from that. Her hair is slowly growing back and she is starting to look more like herself. She is scheduled for breast reconstruction breast next week. Because of the double mastectomy, she was left with virtually no skin on her chest to hold implants. Over the past coupla months, she has been undergoing a procedure that creates extra skin to hold the implants by means of ballon expanders. From what I understand, they placed balloons under her skin that are slowly "inflated" with fluid. I think every few days/weeks they put more fluid in until the pocket is large enough to accommodate the new mams. They will tattoo new nipples on the skin too. How crazy is that?

I am so happy she has finally made it through to the other side. It is amazing what can transpire in a year. She has soldiered on knowing that things had to be dealt with only to move forward. She has kept her sense of humor and almost the entire time she has had a positive outlook. I am sure she has had some moments of negativity and dejection, but who wouldn't? D, you are a superhero to me. I love you and can't wait to see you...and the new tits!!!

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