the big C

My goal with this whole NaBloPoMo thing was to write some random funny anecdote for each day. For that reason, this post doesn’t really fit in with the rest of them at all.

My mom has breast cancer.

That’s what yesterday’s post was all about, and thanks to the people who emailed me to check on me and make sure I was ok. I wasn’t trying to be cryptic, but the news sort of stunned me and I couldn’t figure out how to put everything I was feeling into words.

Here’s what I know:
Sometime last month, my mom found a weird bump on her nipple. She went to her general practitioner about it, who gave her a round of antibiotics, and told her that if it didn’t go away completely by the time she finished them, she should come back in for a mammogram. It didn’t, and so she did. Her doctor looked at the mammogram results and said she was pretty sure it was nothing – a cyst, maybe, nothing to be concerned about. But just to be safe, she referred my mom to a breast surgeon.

The surgeon took one look at my mom’s mammogram and said she was 95% sure that she has Paget’s disease, a very rare form of breast cancer. They took a biopsy, and we’ll find out the results either tomorrow or Monday.

I knew about all of this as it was happening, but I have to admit that the news really shocked me. My mom has had some weird skin things in the past, so I figured this was along those lines. Some minor skin problem that she’d need an ointment for, but otherwise nothing. When she called me yesterday to say that it’s cancer, I almost dropped the phone. I was absolutely gobsmacked.

Her prognosis is excellent. We have every reason to believe that it was caught early, so she should be fine. However, because this type of cancer is in the ducts of the breast, it means she’s looking at a full mastectomy, and possibly a preventative mastectomy of the other breast as well. Again, this is all stuff that we’ll know more about after the biopsy results come back.

My mom is staying pretty positive about it so far. She said that when she was my age, the thought of losing her breasts would’ve been the end of the world, but now it doesn’t seem like such a horrible thing. She’s mostly dreading the surgery, because the anaesthesia always makes her ill, and then there’s the pain afterward, etc. My sister is planning to fly down to help out when she has the surgery – I really want to go, but I think that with Cate there, I wouldn’t be a very good nurse, and I certainly don’t want to add to my mom’s stress level.

Mostly, I’m worried about my dad. He is such a worrywart, and he’s so dependent on my mom. He’s trying really hard to be stoic for her sake, and I’m afraid that with something this big, he’s going to silently fret himself a stomach ulcer or worse.

So that’s what’s going on. If any of you guys are into praying or sending positive thoughts or whatever, they’d really be appreciated right now. I’ll update with more information as I know it.

P.S. I’m definitely not pregnant. But y’all are funny for thinking that’s what I was freaking out about.

8 thoughts on “the big C

  1. I’m sending love and TPM-vibes your way and to Mississippi. I bet your dad will be a lot more capable of coping when the chips are down. Besides, he has you, T and your brother– and that’s a pretty great support network.

    Since we’ve got to find the positive spin, your mom can ask the surgeon to give back her boobs from when she was 19. High and proud and perky. There might be some geriatric-underwear modeling in her future.

  2. Two of my grandmothers and my mother have all had different kinds of breast cancer.
    Send me an e-mail if you need anything, want to vent, have questions, etc.
    I’ll be thinking of you all…

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your mom, but it sounds like things are looking good for her. Match her cheeriness (this is what I did when my mother had breast cancer 4 years ago).

  4. Oh, Cindy. I’m so sorry this is happening. I’m sending you a big mental hug and a virtual casserole to your mom.

    The good news, at least as your dad is concerned, is that ulcers are officially and scientifically proven to be caused by bacteria, not stress.

    You right now: Um, WTF, Angie?
    Me right now: Just sayin.’


    Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one thing at a time until your family and doctors have a plan of attack.. From all the videos, stories and photos you’ve posted, I can’t think of anyone better qualified to co-host a Boob Voyage party (if needed) than you and your sister. And no one will be able to cheer your mom up like Miss Cate. She’s got good women (and a girl-baby-future-woman) on her side, pulling for her. Count me in, in any way I can help.

    *Kindly recall that I am nocturnal, for real, and able to talk in the middle of the night if you want some company. 🙂

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