Monday, March 31, 2008

A Piece of the Sidewalk...

Hi All,

It's me, Mike, guest blogger tonight.

You may be wondering why "A Piece of the Sidewalk" is tonight's title. I'll explain in a bit.

First, the news of the day...

We met with Dr. Mena today (Marla's Oncologist) to get some test results. The cancer has been classified as Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (10% of all Invasive Breast Cancers).

Now the good news is that it has tested positive for ER and PR -- estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors. While I won't go into the exact scientific explanation of what this means, I will tell you that Marla's cancer is hormone sensitive and will respond to hormone therapy which has been shown to slow or stop this type of cancer's growth. So, in addition to the surgery and chemotherapy, this hormone therapy makes for a good prognosis.

No news on how aggressive this little son-0f-a-bitch is -- we're still waiting on the Her-2 results. But, we're hopeful and optimistic that the Her-2 will come back negative. If the little bastard comes back positive, there is an amazingly successful medication called Herceptin which Dr. Mena has referred to as "god's gift to women"...funny, I thought that was me.

We'll get the Her-2 results next week -- and we remain optimistic. We WILL kick its ass.

Okay, so why "A Piece of the Sidewalk?"

Tonight we had the difficult task of sitting our little Sully boy down to give him the news. Marla and I had been practicing all day so we could tell him in the least fear-inducing manner. I won't bore you with all the scenarios, but we decided against "Sully, we accidentally threw out all your Legos...oh, and Mommy has breast cancer."

So, after Sully's special after-school trip to see "Horton Hears a Who" with his soon-t0-be new Grandma Sherry (we love this lady!), we sat him down on the sofa and began to explain it all -- that Mommy had a "little cancer" and we were going to remove it so Mommy would get better. We talked for a while, tears welling up in his eyes. Clearly, he was afraid that Mommy might not be around. He remembered Grandma Jackie...and Grandpa Ben...and Grandma Linda (they had cancer and didn't make it). We all understand his fear. A little kid shouldn't have to hear news like this.

We listened and talked some more until things were looking just a little brighter. We reminded him of "Grandpa" Eddie, our dear friend who was very sick with lung cancer and is now (thank God) cancer free. We reminded him that Mommy's cancer is small and we found it early. And we reminded him that we are a family and that everything will be okay... that nothing has changed except for this "little bit of cancer" that we must simply "get rid of" as we continue living our lives and moving forward.

We told him that it's kind of like he's riding his scooter down the sidewalk when all of a sudden, he comes to a place where a piece of the sidewalk is missing. It might stop him for a second or two. But all he really has to do is walk around that missing piece, get back on the sidewalk, and continue on.

We've simply come to a little piece of missing sidewalk.

And we're looking at the best way to get around it.

Soon, we'll be back on our scooters...and continuing on our way.

Ancora Imparo.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Start Spreading the News...

Now that we have received our news and begun to process it we needed to share it with those around us.

In addition to the immediate concern we received we got quite a few comments we just had to share.

The clear winner seemed to be "F*!K"
Followed closely by "Sh*t"

There were several who exclaimed "Oh No"

There was silence

There were tears

There were friends who quietly whispered "Oh My G-d"

There were heavy Sighs

There was a "Holy Crap"

There was a "Whoa"

and one "Mother F*!ker"

But we thought the overall winner was "Wicked Sh*tty!"

Needless to say -- judging from the reaction -- those in our circle were just as surprised as we were. And we thank you all for your support. We know we will need it in the days and months ahead.

The last time we heard so many interjections it was on Schoolhouse Rock!

Ancora Imparo
M & M

Friday, March 28, 2008

And so it begins...

First, we want to welcome you to our blog.
This is our very first posting.
So what exactly is "FIVE POKES?"

Five pokes were taken from a core biopsy last Tuesday which led to the discovery and diagnosis that I have breast cancer.

Mike and I got the news Thursday morning from our doctor. The words "there are cancer cells present" stopped both of us in our tracks -- all we could say was F*%K!
Followed by more expletives.
Which included a WTF and the exclamation that I am 43 years old!
Then tears.
More tears.
Followed by more expletives.
We went to our 1st doctors appointment at 11:45A.

What we know is that I have cancer.
What I know is that WE have cancer.
WE being the beautiful family I am so blessed to have.
My truly amazing husband Mike -- my soul mate, my true love, my knight in shining armor, the apple o'my eye (who will be writing this blog with me).
And our wonderful son Sully.

While it is inside my body, the fight to beat this -- or as we are saying "Kick its ASS" -- can only be achieved under the expert guidance of the skilled physicians and surgeons and the love and support from my dear husband Mike and our incredible support circle. It is the hope that this blog will be a place where we can freely share what we are feeling as we navigate the many roads and paths ahead.

We know that beginning Chemo and having Surgery are a few short weeks away.

We will continue to embrace the many blessings we have and the knowledge that it is essential to live each day to the fullest, to see the glass as half full, to appreciate the beauty around us.

Oh, by the way, after our meeting with the doctor, we had to go to our tax appointment. We hope you find as much humor in this as we did.

See you on the next posting.
Ancora Imparo
M & M