CANCER ~ THE JOURNEY OF A COE
One Day at a Time



THE JOURNEY BEGINS

"Cancer is so limited . . .
It cannot cripple Love.
It cannot shatter Hope.
It cannot corrode Faith.
It cannot destroy Peace.
It cannot kill Friendship.
It cannot suppress Memories.
It cannot silence Courage.
It cannot invade the Soul.
It cannot steal eternal Life.
It cannot conquer the Spirit."
Author Unknown



My journey is about to begin. This is a nightmare I never would have asked for my worse enemy. I reached across my desk with my left arm, gently brushing the top of my left breast. Something hurt. I immediately went to the site of the tenderness and found a lump. I've had lumps before, but this one was different. Don't ask me how, but it was just something I felt. Something wasn't right. I had a discharge from that breast for a while and had a mammogram just 8 months earlier. Everything was fine. Something told me that I needed to have this checked out so I called my doctor and she scheduled me immediately. She checked the breast and decided we needed to have another mammogram. She also wanted me to see a special doctor with a Breast Center in our area.. This was just a precautionary thing. My mammogram was scheduled and a follow-up appoointment with the cancer doctor, who wanted me to bring my films of the mammogram with me to my appointment.

On February 6th, my OA angel and I went to my visit with the cancer doctor, just so I would not be alone. I went to the breast center to get a copy of my mammogram and was told, "The radiologist needs to check it again. We'll send it right over." That concerned me. I went on to the doctor's office and was put in the exam room. I brought my OA angel with me and told the doctor that where I go, she goes. He examined my breast and said he wanted to do an ultrasound. On the way to the room, we found that it was still in use so he steered us to the conference room. On the light box was my mammogram. I'll never forget the next words. "This is cancer. I'm fairly positive of it, but I want to be sure." I was immediately in shock. I couldn't cry. I just said, "Okay, get it out." He finally got me in the room for the ultrasound and found the tumor. He asked if he could go ahead and do a biopsy. I would get the results within the hour. I told him to keep going. I wanted to know.

The waiting was probably one of the worse things I've had to face. It was only 45 minutes to an hour, but felt like an eternity. I walked around the parking lot. I could not sit still. My friend and angel was a rock. She didn't cry at all, even though I know she was falling apart inside. Hell, I was about to collapse. My doctor's nurse was in the parking lot and I told her what I had heard. She was as upset as I was. We figured this was just another fibroid, nothing more.

Finally the moment of truth. My doctor called my friend and I into the conference room. He said, "Lee Anne, the biopsy tested positive for breast cancer. Now we have to have the talk." He said he could either take the breast and all nodes or do a lumpectomy with a sentinal node biopsy. If the sentinal node came back positive, then he would take more nodes. He was leaving the following week for Cambodia so I scheduled the surgery for February 10th. I did not want to wait or to drag my feet on this. I wanted this thing OUT OF ME!!!!

Cancer is something I've heard about all of my life. I work in the same office with someone who just had a brain tumor and has undergone chemo and radiation. This was not something that was going to happen to me. This was a disease that others have and that they have special hospitals and such for. Not me. I did okay until my orders were written. I saw my name and immediately underneath.... BREAST CANCER.

It was real.

~ Lee Anne



INDEX

PART 2


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