My breast cancer journey begins

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by kath, Nov 10, 2020.

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  1. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    It started with a dull discomfort, from which I discovered a lump, about a month ago. Within a week to my PCP, who sent me to imaging. A week later: mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy. Because I had signed up for an electronic health portal (sure, why not? I figured), my email pinged when the pathology report was completed and posted to the portal. Which means I got to read the report before anyone else did, including my PCP. So I was reading “invasive ductal carcinoma” on a Monday evening, after-hours and on my own, trying to decipher the report in its intractable medicalese. It would be over 48 hours before I got to talk to an actual doctor about the rest of the alphabet soup on the report, or about what would be coming next, which was a rough time. My memory of how I spent it is already hazy. A lot of just pacing in the house, I think.

    The tumor is aggressive, and large. But it's one of the types for which there is a “targeted” chemotherapy that is very effective, or so I am told. My new surgeon said it is urgent that we start treatment immediately, on the fast track. So balls began rolling across multiple floors in one wing of my local large hospital... my surgeon had already “assembled my team” before I had even walked in her door. So I have a “team” now. Yay. Go team!

    I'm now about two weeks into my diagnosis, and still in the stage where every medical appointment spawns three more, and the days fill up. Genetic testing. Surgery to install a “port” for delivering the chemo soon to come. Baseline echocardiogram. Patient navigators and support networks. Calls to my insurance company to make sure the providers are covered. Trying to find a second opinion. Everything has to happen as soon as possible. Chemo will probably start next week. So much information. So many phone calls to and from the hospital. The first person I told was my mother, a breast cancer survivor for over 45 years. No better source for perspective on how far modern medicine has come.

    So I'm grounded for a while I guess. I can't count the number of posts I've read here, encouraging struggling people to take care of their health and healing first, and worry about flying second. It's a good speech, and if you don't mind giving it just one more time, I could probably use to hear it one more time.
     
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  2. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Prayers for both your rapid and complete recovery and even more adamantly for comfort, peace and support for you (and your husband) during this process. Health first, then flying for sure.

    Enjoy the memories from the wonderful (if a bit longer than scheduled) trip you took (and I enjoyed vicariously) for breaks from the mental grind that is dealing with cancer.
     
  3. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    sorry to hear this @kath , take care of yourself and i am hoping for a speedy recovery and back to flying in no time
     
  4. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Hang in there, Kath, my wife went through it about eight years ago. We were helped by a co-worker of mine who'd had the surgery several years earlier. See if you can find a similar guide.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    the monkey is your friend and will always be there to listen to you and cheer you up. so will the rest of us monkeys. hoping for a speedy recovery!
     
  6. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Stay positive!

    A friend finally finished chemo and radiation. His frustration levels with his docs and feeling like they weren't telling him the whole story, really led to a very high stress level.
     
  7. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Kath, prayers and good wishes coming your way. You impress me as a fighter so fight the good fight. You likely have a long road ahead but with a positive attitude it will all work out for you.

    Rich
     
  8. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Kath, your narrative is reminiscent of when prostate cancer paid me an unexpected visit, going on two years ago now. I'll never forget those awful days and sleepless nights between reading the pathology report on the portal (and then scouring the internet to try to find out what it meant), and finally getting the return call from the PCP. It sounds like you're taking the right steps, with the right attitude.

    As your treatment progresses, your path will cross with other patients, inspirational people of great courage, whose presence will brighten the day and lighten the load. And likely somewhere along the way you will fulfill that role for someone else who needs it, as well. Perhaps you already have.

    Prayers for complete healing; for strength and peace for you and your family.
     
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  9. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

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    Sorry to hear Kath. Best wishes and prayers for a speedy and successful treatment and recovery. Flying will be there waiting for you.
     
  10. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    @kath, my turn to wish you the best. I wish you a speedy recovery and complete remission of the cancer. Stay positive, I/m glad you have a good team working with you. That includes your POA'er friends...:)
     
  11. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    @kath woof, that sucks. But sounds like it's beatable and you've got a lot going for you. Wish you the best!
     
  12. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Well wishes. You will find friends which you didn’t know you had. Stay strong!
     
  13. pmanton

    pmanton Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Prayers and best wishes. Get well !
     
  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    F--king Cancer, our best wishes.
     
  15. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Kath, sending best wishes and prayers. Not an easy diagnosis, but I know a couple of folks that dealt with a similar diagnosis and came through with flying colors.

    Take care of yourself - it sure seems like you have a good medical team! Get better soon!
     
  16. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Hope you recover quickly.
     
  17. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Kath, I too am terribly sorry to read this, and I will keep you in my prayers and send wishes for the best possible result and recovery. Breast cancer is very survivable if caught early, and it appears you acted quickly. My mother and sister both had breast cancer and both are quite well (my mother is 86, my sister is 56) and cancer free now.

    The plane will wait for you, and your reward once done with treatment will be the ability to take flight once again. Maybe you'll do another circuit around the lower 48? And maybe you'll hang round Southern California long enough for me to catch up and buy you a big steak and a beer or three. (8 hours bottle to throttle, y'know.) :cool:

    Hang in there, Kath. Thoughts and prayers your way.
     
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  18. JoeSelch

    JoeSelch Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Kath - I will be keeping you close in my thoughts. Godspeed on your journey.
     
  19. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You will recover, and you will fly again.


    Attitude matters.
     
  20. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @kath, I am so sorry to hear this. I just told Leslie and she was sad too, but she is a doctor (even if she is an animal doctor) and she said that breast cancer is beatable. Listen to your team. Do what you have to and worry about flying later. Advances since your Mother had this have been phenomenal.

    Try to remember how many friends you have pulling for you; even friends you don't know you have.
     
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  21. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wish I could have liked this more than once. It is so true. "Attitude matters". You are young and strong. You can beat this.
     
  22. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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  23. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

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    It sounds like you've consulted with experts and they're telling you "you've got this" and I have no doubt that you do. Just think how great that first flight when you're back is going to be!
     
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  24. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I'm so sorry to hear of this news kath. In a pandemic year already filled with so many challenges it seems unfair the fates have added this one for you.

    Our household is not unfamiliar with the multiplicity of medical team consultations and endless visits to the hospital you described - my wife was diagnosed with an unusual form if melanoma just as the virus arrived in town earlier this year. The ongoing episode has impressed upon me how much cancer treatments and targeted therapies have advanced in recent years.

    Prayers and sincere wishes for positive outcomes and a rapid, full recovery, knowing your 172 will be waiting.
     
  25. Torque beast

    Torque beast Pre-Flight

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    Prayers from Arkansas, stay positive and you will get through this no doubt. Sounds like you are getting aggressive with it. Good luck


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  26. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Cancer sux, but you'll beat it. Stay positive.

    I joined "Club C" in 2008 and got through it, you will too.

    Listen to your team, the worst part is not knowing what's next. They'll help you through the steps.

    Did I say Stay positive?
     
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  27. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Will be praying for you, Kath. Strength, peace, comfort, and confidence in a positive outcome... May they all be yours.
     
  28. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    As a cancer survivor, I’ll just say take a big deep breath, decide you’re going to win, and then go kick it right squarely in the groin repeatedly until the cancer decides to quit because you’re better, meaner, and stronger it is.

    Then, nail it’s pelt on the wall to remind you and everyone around you who the boss is.
     
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  29. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Cancer sucks. I HATE cancer.

    @kath, you will make this thing your beyotch! Spare no effort to let it know you are the victor!

    I am praying for you, and against it.
     
  30. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Kath,

    Was happy to meet you and hear your talk in the DFW area. Hope you'll beat this and that that isn't the last time you fly through the lower 48!

    Ryan
     
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  31. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    We had that visitor in our home three years ago. So far, so good (though some bad effects from some of the lifetime drugs). Wish you the best.
     
  32. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    My mother beat the big C over 15 years ago. Consider all the advancements in treatment since then.

    You will beat this and will be in my prayers until you do.
     
  33. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Thoughts and prayers. This too shall pass...
     
  34. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Kath, I am so sorry to hear this. But we are damn lucky to be living at a time when new therapies - chemo, radiation, and gene - are being approved at a faster pace than at any time in history, and they are becoming much more effective than those in even the recent past. You will beat this. I was infected with HIV in 1980 and diagnosed in 1984 when the ELISA test became available. It was at a time when HIV infection was a certain death sentence. Thanks to modern medicine and great doctors my viral load has been undetectable for nearly twenty years, my CD4+ cell count is normal, and I have zero side effects from the anti-retroviral drugs I'm on.

    Hang in there; I'm rooting for you. It's been exactly a year since our photo shoots in Sedona with Jack. Time flies.
     
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  35. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Kath, I like the tale of your Skyhawk journey way more better. Diagnosis could have been better, but there are loads of really good treatments for mammary carcinomas, even invasive ductal ones. My sister had the same diagnosis and beat it just fine (got nailed by ALS shortly thereafter, no surviving that). I’m hoping for a full recovery.
     
  36. Michael Marra

    Michael Marra Filing Flight Plan

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    Prayers are with you, Kath....

    My young son (pictured here in my avatar) just beat a 5 year battle with cancer with the Good Lord's grace...

    Your family, friends and support group can really help if you allow them...and in our case, our strong faith in God pulled us through.

    Thing I learned...set your own expectations -- people will understand when you need to ask for help or simply demure from invitations and /or expectations.

    This is your journey, but people will want to help you, Kath - forgive them if they don't know how...you may have to be specific.

    At the end of this, you will know who you can count on the rest of your life.

    You can beat this! Keep us posted if you are comfortable with sharing...we care. Blessings. Mike
     
  37. Skywalker

    Skywalker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am so sorry to hear this. All the best for the next few weeks / months from Michigan!
     
  38. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Kath, I am so sorry to hear this. I will be praying for you and your medical team. I’m confident you will beat this. There will be lots more flying in your future, once you put this thing behind you. Please keep POA informed so we can share this difficult journey with you and continue sending up prayers for you.
     
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  39. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    I survived a stage 4 death sentence. It's a horror show that no one else can comprehend. You really feel truly and completely alone.

    The doctors really don't know anything. My two cents is block out anything you hear that is negative. If you have negative people around you, stay away from them.

    Do everything the doctors tell you, exactly how they tell you. Ignore any bad **** they tell you. They are probably wrong.

    Push down the feelings of despair and focus on the things you enjoy.

    Do some exercise every day no matter how crappy you feel.

    Put hope at the front of your mind and do everything to keep it there.

    EAT! No matter how upset your stomach is - eat something. Even your favorite foods may taste horrible. Eat some anyway.

    Don't let other people put their emotional burdens on you at this time. Become incredibly selfish and think, and put, your needs first.

    Find someone who has been there who you can talk to.

    I don't know you but I'm truly sorry for what you now have to deal with.
     
  40. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Haaaannnng in there........
     
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