Essay Non-Fiction posted September 11, 2010 Chapters: Prologue 1 -2- 3... 

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Update on my next surgery.

A chapter in the book Breast Cancer Journey

Diagnosis: Breast Cancer

by barbara.wilkey

September 11, 2010

Cancer - "a malignant tumor or growth caused when cells multiply uncontrollably destroying healthy tissue." Webster's College Dictionary, second edition.

The word 'cancer' causes fear to dwell in people's hearts and minds. When the doctor called after my initial biopsy and said I had invasive breast cancer, I thanked her, hung up the phone, and yelled, "SHIT." This may not seem strange, but I do not swear.

Many of my FS friends already know what I'm facing but for the rest of my fans I'll bring you up to date. My first surgery was July 29. They removed the cancerous lump, two centimeters of extra tissue surrounding the lump, and four lymph nodes. I was only facing radiation treatment.

When I returned for my one-week checkup, I learned the follow-up biopsy showed noninvasive cancer in the top and bottom margins of the extra tissue and invasive cancer in one of the extracted lymph nodes. Silently tears rolled down my cheeks. The only thing I was sure of at that point, was I needed to get myself together before I faced Andrew, my twenty-four year old son, who sat in the waiting room.

The following day, I found a quiet place to cry and yell. After my daylong pity party, I realized I had no option but to fight this dreaded disease. I feared I wouldn't find the strength. Through prayers, well wishes, and blessings of my friends and family the strength found me.

Fan Story has blessed me with friends on six continents, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South Americas. How could I not find strength with that many friends pulling for me? THANK YOU!!!

My next surgery is September 16. I'll have a segmental mastectomy and an axillary lymph node dissection. Bottom line is I'll lose more breast tissue and all the lymph nodes under my right arm. Chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapy are part of my future. According to my chemo oncologist, some sort of therapy will continue for approximately five years. Who knows when my life will resemble normal again?

God blessed me with four wonderful sons. I've often joked when I make it to Heaven I'm going to ask, "Of all the women on Earth, why was I given boys? I am a girly girl. I love pink, romances, mom movies, am extremely emotional, and enjoy all things feminine." I know God doesn't make mistakes, and He does have a sense of humor, but please? To add to this irony, one thing that sets me apart from all this testosterone is my femininity. My cancer is estrogen-receptor positive - cancer that grows faster in the presence of estrogen. How ironic is that?

I've searched for the positive facts and have discovered a few. I have naturally curly hair. I keep it short because my curls tend do their own thing, no matter what I want them to do. Well, I've heard there's a good chance when my hair grows back, it'll be straight. Another positive fact; I've heard Chemo is a great weight loss program. I wouldn't recommend it for everybody, but it wouldn't hurt if I lost a few pounds.

For all the friendship and love you have shown me, I thank all of you and my prayers are with each of you.

Again, please remember I am not a poet, but this came to mind.

Cancer cannot instill fear.
I believe in myself.

Cancer cannot conquer my body.
I am an instrument of God's Healing.

Cancer cannot invade my soul.
I will fight back.

Cancer cannot cripple my love.
I feel loved more each day.

Cancer cannot steal my body.
My friends offer me strength.

Cancer cannot corrode my faith.
God promises to answer my prayers.

Cancer is a spawn of the Devil.
It cannot survive in God's Light.

Cancer cannot control me.
Jesus is my Lord and Savior.


The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
Hubert H. Humphrey

I want to apologize to all my Australain friends. I am so sorry I left that goregous country out. It will not happen again. All of you have been very gracious about my mishap.
I agree with Hubert H. Humphrey. I have felt the healing power.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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