General Script posted June 18, 2017


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To My Friends

by Just2Write


I apologise if this little note is not correct in the posting etiquette at FS, but I wanted my friends here to know that I have an OR date on Thursday, Jun 22 2017.

I have often referred to people's adversities, especially mine, as dragons. I met my most fearsome dragon in 2013 when I discovered a lump in my left breast. It turned out that I had a very rare form of breast cancer called a Phyllodes Tumour (pronounced as fel-oh-dees.) The odd name comes from the Greek and means that the cells of the tumour have a leaf-like architecture. It is also a sarcoma, vs. a carcinoma - another word originating in Greece and which means fleshy growth. Sarcomas travel through connective tissue, and carcinomas travel through the blood. Make no mistake, both can be deadly.

Some Phyllodes are benign, and at first doctors tend to treat them like they are no big deal. Like some ugly bump that is an annoyance, but not anything to worry about. However, mine was not something that would be ignored. It was extremely aggressive and grew at an astonishing rate. Within three weeks from when I first discovered it to when it was removed, it had gone from the size of a grape to the size of a golf ball. I have had to be equally aggressive in fighting back - not only because I have had to fight the cancer, but I have also had to battle the medical professionals that seemed to be dragging their collective feet. So far, I have not found one doctor who knows much about, or has successfully treated an aggressive Phyllodes tumour.

The dragon and I have been engaged in battle on and off ever since February of 2013. This year, I was told that despite having five surgeries, which have included a lumpectomy and a mastectomy, as well as 25 bouts of radiation, the dragon that I thought I had defeated had left me with five little dragon's eggs to deal with. She had hidden them in my left lung. Thursday will be my 6th major surgery.

Getting this particular surgery is good news because I was told by several doctors that the new tumours meant that the cancer had progressed to what it known as stage IV cancer, and worse, it was in-operable due the number of tumours I have and how DEEP they are in the lung. I was also told by a chemo-therapy oncologist that chemo therapy and hormone treatments have no effect on this particular dragon, so she would not be offering it. It appeared that there was nothing more that could be done, other than to wait and see - and to do regular CT Scans to track how quickly the little buggers were growing.

Fortunately, after receiving this news in May, I didn't accept the lay down and die diagnosis and kept pushing for more options and was referred to a thoracic surgeon, who is a surgeon that specializes in lungs.

My thoracic surgeon has told me that he can indeed remove all of the known tumours, without having to remove either of the lobes of my left lung. Of course, there could be other tumours that may be invisible now that are just waiting to hatch elsewhere. He has said he will go after the ones that he and the camera can see and then we will just have to hope... and pray.

I will be doing just that.

Thank you to all the wonderful friends I have come to know and care about here at Fanstory. See you on the other side of Thursday.


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The photo is of a Rhododendron, which is a favourite of mine and grows in my little back yard. I often go to there for a bit of sanity and to collect my thoughts.
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