Saturday, July 21, 2012
I usually don't make a big fuss over my birthday, but this is a landmark: in everyone's reckoning I am now officially OLD (bona fide senior citizen). In honor of the day, I'd like to share a birthday peom written by Garrison Keillor and adapted for my speciics.
A BIRTHDAY POEM
by Garrison Keillor (2007)
It was a birthday I had dreaded for months,
The threshold to Ancient and Historic,
Brooding over how I was so young once
And never would be again.
And then came the day itself, so very ordinary,
Quiet, dappled with sun, delightful
One fine plain day on our excellent desert
And the ordinariness was its great gift.
Nothing happened. Coffee, Fried eggs. Turkey sausage.
A hot shower, the ordinary stuff of happiness,
To which I hope every morning to awaken
Until one day I don't, which is not for me to guess.
You turn thirty, forth, fifty, and then (O my God) sixty-five,
And it's all the same: to be simply, deliciously alive.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Just back from my appointment with my medical oncologis to go over recent test results: bone density test to give us a baseline at the beginning of my hormone (arimidex) therapy showed I have the bones of a normal 40 year old woman (not bad for the rest of my 63 year old body), and the oncotype dx test (for predicting potential return of malignancy) gave me a score of 8 with the odds of a recurrance at only 6%. This is actually 3 tests done on the tumor that was removed during surgery that gives a score of 0 - 100. A score of 0-18 is good with little likelihood of returning cancer, score of 19-30 is iffy, and with any score of 31 or above they definitely recommend chemo (12 weeks of infusing your body with a cocktail of toxic chemicals). I'm breathing a big sigh of relief - no guarantees, but prognosis definitely looking good.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
After putting in 6months as an office operations supervisor for the Census, I retired for the third (and final) time in June, then began getting caught up on all the things I'd put on hold due to the time demands of the job. At my annual mammogram, they noticed an anomaly and I had an ultrasound which showed a tumor in my right breast. Core biopsy showed invasive ductal breast cancer and so I began my new career as a full-time patient. In the past eight weeks I've been screened, irradiated, tested, counseled, and supported. Next was amassing a team - needed surgeon, radiologist, oncologist in addition to my internist. I had surgery to remove the tumor and sentinel nodes, decided on the brachy (internal) radiation treatment and device to administer it, and set up the schedule for treatments. I've read several books on the disease and treatment option , have a fantastic support network, and have kept up with healthy eating and exercising (limited a bit). In a way, I feel like a bit of a fraud - as soon as someone hears I have breast cancer, they start walking on eggshells in their dealings with me. I FEEL GREAT! I'm probably in the best shape of my adult life and I fully intend to do whatever is necessary to remove the cancer and keep it from coming back. I'm not a "poor dear", I'm a survivor with a positive attitude and am hoping to participate in this winter's 60 mile (3-day) breast cancer Walk For The Cure. Not exactly my first choice of topic for this blog, but just wanted to vent a little.
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