February 14, 2011. Valentines Day. The day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. WOW! What a shock. Here I am getting into the best shape of my life and now I have the C-word! I am still not sure that the shock has worn off yet... So here I am sitting in Stanford Cancer Center getting my chemo and starting a blog. My amazing girlfriends and I wanted to start a blog so that we can team up together to keep in touch and share the details of my journey with all of my amazing friends and family...My Army...My Team!
It was January 2011 and I was hard at work on my New Years resolution, mastering push ups. I have always struggled with push ups and my trainer friend had been encouraging me to conquer them. I had been working hard and I was sore and tight in my chest area and the top area of my breasts felt firm....strange!?! I waited thinking that the firmness was a result of my hard core push up training. Then after a little over a week the soreness and tightness were gone, but my right breast was still very firm...it felt like a golf ball was trapped inside. After another week and no change in the golf ball I called and set up an appointment with my primary care doctor on February 5th. My primary doctor felt the golf ball and was surprised at the size and the short time in which the golf ball had appeared, she stated that she was pretty sure that the golf ball was a cyst and could be removed or drained (gross!). The doctor also examined my left breast and felt a small growth in it and then suggested that the best course of action was to have a mammogram and ultra sound on both breast.
February 8th, 2011 I went in to have the mammogram and ultra sound at Palo Alto Medical Center in Santa Cruz. The radiologist was shocked as I described my discovery of the, according to him, “3.9cm wide” golf ball size lump in my right breast. He asserted that "we need to biopsy this and figure out what this is"...Ohh crap! I thought we were all sure that this was just a cyst? Now I was signed up for biopsy on each breast for February 10th. I was completely freaked out. I requested sedation. Needle insertion into the breast…need I say more it was unpleasant. Fortunately I had taken some time off of work. It was a Thursday so that meant we had to wait until Monday for the results…Happy Valentine’s Day!
I spent the weekend mostly trying to distract myself, stay busy, drink wine, all those great “coping skills”. Hahaha! “Remember your coping skills” that’s what I tell the kids at work. Peter and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Sunday evening because he was going to have to work late Monday night. I spent the beautiful sunny afternoon cooking for our romantic night. I took a moment that day and sat out on the deck in the sunshine, which was playing a game of peek-a-boo using the clouds to momentarily hide and then burst through with its warmth and light onto me…I felt something greater than me and then an epiphany. I suddenly knew what the news was going to be for me the following day; it was going to be Cancer. I asked God “Is this what you need me to do? Is this what I need to go through?” . The warmth of the sun covered me and I felt the answer and I felt my faith. Whatever this journey was going to bring I believed what my Aunt Anna told me “If he brings you to it He will bring you through it”.
Monday morning came, I went to work and was greeted with Valentines from my co-workers. How did I such a wanna-be Martha Stewart forget to bring Valentines or atleast some candy or cookies for my co-workers?!? If you know me this was SO out of character for me!I went on with the work day with the anticipation of my test results weighing heavy on my mind. I was on my way to a important meeting at The Department of Children’s Services when I received a message from my primary care doctor that she had some results for me and “it was not good”. What the heck!!??!! “Not good”! So now I had to sit through a 2 hour meeting wondering what “not good” meant. I hopped in the car after the meeting, called my doctor and headed over Hwy 17 to get there asap! Realizing I didn’t want to hear the news alone I tried to call my Dad…no answer. Then I called Becky, my amazing step-momma, who of course rushed over immediately to be with me. Umm yeah my step-momma is way cooler than yours all I gotta say! Becky was awesome she held my hand and held me up as I heard the hard news…you have breast cancer.