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So...an update

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lilies21 posted 3/1/2019 14:22 PM

Hello all. I havenít posted in a while and I thought I would post an update for those who remember me.

The Good

DS is great. He recently won an award at school for being an outstanding student. Each class had a recipient and it was based on votes of students and teachers. His recent parent-teacher conference was great and every teacher heís ever had has told me that their day would be so easy if all their students were like DS. Heís excited to start ďrealĒ baseball this spring where he gets to wear a uniform and their games will have a concession stand .

Work is going well. I got a raise and a bonus this week and Iím on a newly formed committee. I recently paid off my car, which was a huge moment for me. Still volunteering, still teaching photography classes, still in dance, and bought my own kayak for whenever winter finally ends here in the Midwest. Itís been my first winter with a garage so Iím tickled every morning I go out to my car and donít have to clean it off. DSís Cub Scout nights are also so much nicer now that Asshatís girlfriendís son has moved on to Boy Scouts so I donít have creepy stalkers staring at me for an hour every Monday night. Everything is pretty much the same and going well except....

The Not-So-Good

Stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Fancy phrase for breast cancer. If itís true that youíre never given more than you can handle, someone somewhere must think Iím a badass. It feels like life is determined to drag me through every single patch of dog shit it finds along the way. If there is a ďgoodĒ cancer to have though, apparently this is the one; itís very common and it was caught early.

No one knows. I donít have anyone to tell. I guess thatís what prompted me to post. The only family I was close to was my aunt but she moved hours away. The only friends I have locally are more dinner/shopping-after-working-overtime friends, not confess-your-medical-diagnosis friends. I havenít told anyone at work but I submitted FMLA paperwork recently so my supervisor and HR know. I already had surgery early in February, which went well, and I started chemotherapy this week. The only side effects I had from the first round of chemo were fatigue and crazy nausea that knocked me flat the rest of the day. Aside from those side effects, Iíve felt fine all along. I just happened to scratch my boob one day because a new bra was bugging me and hello, tumor. Guess I kind of owe that itchy bra though.

So...thatís my update. A lot of good things and one not-so-good thing that Iíve named Earl. The first song I heard after the diagnosis was Goodbye, Earl by the Dixie Chicks so it seemed appropriate to name the cancer after it. I think I'm handling it fairly well. A few years ago, I would have been crying and moping and probably posting daily that I don't have anyone to go through this with me. It just feels like...oh, okay, something new I have to deal with now. Hope everyone else is doing well.

Phoenix1 posted 3/1/2019 14:32 PM

Hey lilies! Good to *see* you again!

Glad things are going so well with DS. Congrats to him for his award! And congrats to you for your work accomplishments and paying off your car! Woo hoo!

Sorry to hear that Earl entered your life, like the unwanted guest he is. BUT, the good news is that you caught it VERY early, and that makes for a much better prognosis. Keep the faith, lilies. Having a positive attitude is a big part of the healing process.

Maybe you should bronze that bra to give it the recognition it rightfully deserves...

Hang in there!

WhoTheBleep posted 3/1/2019 14:47 PM

Hi lilies!! Great to see you again. If anyone can kick Earl's ass, it's you. You are indeed badass, lady. Sending love and strength and a few swift kicks for Earl from my own personal bitch boots.

And way to go, DS!!

Catwoman posted 3/1/2019 14:54 PM

Breast cancer survivor here--coming up on 4 years this year.

I worked the whole time. Only missed one day and that was because Neulasta is the most evil concoction ever invented. Even took my laptop and worked through treatment.

I will say this--I had such a genuine outpouring of help from the most unexpected corners. One of my vendors (I'm in Procurement) offered to drive me home (I commute into a major metropolitan area via train) if I felt I couldn't deal with the train (it would have been horribly out of her way, but she was willing to do it). Friends offered food, rides, you name it. One of my neighbors offered to cut my grass if I didn't feel well enough to tackle it. So if I've learned anything, it's that people *want* to help and taking them up on it is not weakness.

I haven't skipped a beat. Yes, I wish I could lose a stubborn 30-some pounds. I lost my hair and it came back kinky-curly for a while (that was interesting), but overall? Not bad. Not bad at all.

I dug down and found my inner badass and channelled that bitch for the better part of a year.


thebighurt posted 3/1/2019 14:57 PM

(((((Lilies))))) Nice to see you, but I'm so sorry you have to deal with Earl. I know, though, that you ARE BADASS and you have this! Just the act of naming it says a lot! Lilies, you have come a galaxy away from where you started here. You have all of us to share it with and to support you through it. I hope this was the worst chemo.

Two of my great friends have convinced me that: 1) things happen for a reason, and/or, 2) staying positive will affect how it goes.

Congrats to you and DS, but we all knew he would do this well with you for an example. And for keeping up with activities, paying off the car.... as well as having a place inside for it this winter! I hope you are enjoying your condo as well.

DS should enjoy his activities more now without Asshat's presence at every one. Better for you, too. So no wedding yet, then.... but how many more kids.....

((((((More Hugs))))))

tushnurse posted 3/1/2019 15:03 PM


Great news on your boy.
I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. My H's cousin was diagnosed right before Xmas and is more than halfway done with her first round of Chemo.
She is doing amazingly well.

She is using a site called Caringbridge, where you have calendars to ask for friends to help w/ meals, transport for kids stuff, and driving to and from appointments. This has been immensely helpful for her. She lives in Houston and it may part of MD Anderson's program, but research it, and ask about support groups in your area.

Try to keep a positive outlook. Make sure you are giving your body healthy fuel. Let others help you.

Rest when you need to. Let those acquaintance friends help. People are generally good, and willing to help.

((((And Healing))))

Lionne posted 3/1/2019 15:31 PM


I second this. Very useful.

I'm sorry Earl has invaded your life. You are right, it's the kind to have if you have to go through it.

Use the American Cancer Society help. Tons of resources. I'll bet there is one co=worker who would want to step up but I understand if you are reluctant to talk about it.

Use US. So much compassion and kindness here. We are with you.

Please keep us up to date.

Holding you in the LIGHT.

Catwoman posted 3/1/2019 17:04 PM

As far as resources, your cancer treatment center should be able to hook you up with anything you need. Seriously, most major medical centers (I thank my lucky stars I could seek treatment at one of the best hospitals in the world) have a huge network of volunteers who will do everything for you, including driving, house cleaning, etc.

My inner badass is also a stubborn bitch, so I didn't avail myself of any of these, thinking that there are more folks in need than I am, but it was there.

I know my neighbors (whom I barely know) would have loved to have helped.

My Chorale peeps wanted to do a meal train. I declined, but that was really nice. Had I a family, like you, I would have accepted. But since it was just me, I could manage.

Do what you are comfortable doing on your own, but don't feel like you need to go it 100% alone. DS is also old enough to help, and it would be a wonderful lesson in empathy and compassion to allow him to do so.

The outpouring of offers to help really stunned me. I am honored and humbled by all of them.


Chili posted 3/1/2019 19:51 PM


I was just thinking about you the other day - thank you so much for touching base and giving us an update. The good and the bad and the challenging.

First - count me in as another cheerleader for kicking Earl's ass. This really struck me:

It just feels like...oh, okay, something new I have to deal with now

It's kind of amazing the resilience you find as you pass through those life-batting-you-around moments. I have no doubt your strength will get you to the other side of this.

And I also second to take help if you need it. I am horribly of the "no help me" camp and I've done myself a disservice from time to time being so closed to such offers. You deserve to be on the receiving end of a little generosity and others are right - people want to do *something* if they can.

So glad DS is doing well in school - must make you smile big time. You are in semi-new digs too right? How are those shaping up?

Looking forward to hearing about your Springtime kayak adventure lilies. So glad you posted.

k8la posted 3/1/2019 20:02 PM

I love this update! Not that you have cancer but that you know you're a bad*ss! And you named it Earl! One of the best people I have ever known named his colon tumor "Gomer" and asked everybody to have their children pray that Gomer would die! Because God listens to children's prayers more.

You've got this!

northeasternarea posted 3/1/2019 20:16 PM

Praying for successful treatment. And do reach out for help.

Chrysalis123 posted 3/1/2019 21:05 PM

Hi Lilies, I was wondering what was up with you too. So great to hear about your son and his success. All due to you!

I'm sorry to hear about Earl. You are showing your badass by naming it Earl.

[This message edited by Chrysalis123 at 2:39 PM, March 2nd (Saturday)]

Shockedmom posted 3/2/2019 09:36 AM

Hi lilies21.

It seems your son is thriving and Iím sure you are due all the credit!
Congratulations on paying off the car and the promotion.

You keep kicking Earlís ass with the chemo. Make use of the support available to you. You might even find some friends who have shared similar experiences. Thank you for the update!

lilies21 posted 3/2/2019 10:23 AM

Thank you, everyone . I know there would be a lot of ways to get help if needed but thankfully at this point it's not needed. I don't have to worry about outside maintenance since I live in a condo and it's just DS and me so the inside work isn't much either. I've been able to plan appointments around when DS is with Asshat too and I've used Lyft when I know I shouldn't drive. The effects of the chemo might make it difficult to keep it from everyone, especially if I start losing my hair, but I really don't want the attention. I don't want to suddenly become interesting to people just because of Earl, you know?

I haven't told DS either. There again, I know I'll have to if the chemo effects get too bad but for now, I just don't want to scare or worry him. Plus, if I tell him, I'll have to tell everyone so they're not hearing it from an eight-year-old. I've already looked up advice on how to tell him if/when the time comes. I've known other people with cancer and they've all used Caring Bridge but I don't feel comfortable with the idea for myself. It's strange: I was an open book with everyone about all the issues that led me to this site but I don't want to share this. Most people would handle it the opposite way. Go figure.

So yep, no marriage, no baby, and likely never for either of those which is good with me. The condo is great; we can see deer out our patio doors all the time and the fireplace has been the highlight of my winter .

tushnurse posted 3/2/2019 10:35 AM

Oh honey your son needs to know. It's not fair to him.
Please talk to the chemo nurses about what to say and how to say it.
Not telling him is lying by omission.

shakentocore posted 3/2/2019 12:42 PM

Hugs to you, lilies.

You ARE a bad*ss! If anyone can kick cancer's a$$, it's you!

I will say a prayer for your strength and healing.

I'm happy for the more positive parts of your NB. So glad you are in a condo and thriving at work and DS is doing well. Who knows, maybe without you to stare at, AH and his baby-mama will get tired of going to scouts and the son will drop out.

Keep posting here when it gets tough. You have a lot of friends pulling for you.

steadychevy posted 3/2/2019 18:45 PM

Sounds like the condo really is "home", lilies. Nice about the garage. Remember how you agonized over it.

Very nice about DS and how he's doing in school.

So sorry about Earl. I'm so happy you caught it early and have an excellent prognosis. Prayers.

BearlyBreathing posted 3/2/2019 22:20 PM

Kick Earlís tumourous ass!! ( but loved hearing the rest of your life! ) badassery looks good on you!

NEPAlady posted 3/3/2019 06:48 AM

For the longest time I was a lurker on this site. Your posts were the ones I most related to.
Our situations are different but the feelings were the same.
From your posts, I saw what a badass you are and I realized could be, too.
You have been my inspiration.

Kick Earlís ass!

OuttaCoffee posted 3/3/2019 07:15 AM

Almost one year ago, my youngest finally had Alfonso, her plrolactinoma, removed. She had just turned 15 at the time and had been on more meds than I ever knew existed. But she did it, beat back the CRPS that followed and all the additional rare and off the wall syndromes during that two year hell.
I know little about breast tumors but know the fear of what tumors bring. Going through that has undoubtedly made you stronger in the long run. Be good to yourself and take it easy. Such situations can halt progress in other areas if you let it. It doesnít sound like yours is that case though. Best wishes and good luck throughout all of the aftermath of it.

[This message edited by OuttaCoffee at 7:16 AM, March 3rd (Sunday)]

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