What do you do after you get a cancer diagnosis???-May 2011

May 2011

… Go to Jamaica of course!

The sand, the salty air, a good friend, some sunshine and lots of frosty libations to make me forget the destiny of what waited for me back home. This trip could not have come at a better time. Just a few short days after my diagnosis I was headed out of the country far far away.

post diagnosis trip

post diagnosis trip

Kim Miller and Me

Kim Miller and Me

jamaica

I think I heard the earth Crack… May 19, 2011 (aka D-Day)

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It was as bright, sunny and warm morning heading south on interstate 85 on my way to see a customer in Union City,  having just left one of my physician offices when my phone rang, for some unknown reason I glanced at the time 10:12. Oops I am running late for my 10:30 appointment. It was Dr. Fine’s nurse practioner Julie Pryor.   For the life of me, I cannot tell  you her exact words because I stopped listening after she said, “yes, the mass is malignant”.  I said, I am sorry your going to have to slow down talking because I think I just heard you tell me I have CANCER… that’s when I am  sure I heard it… yep it was the sound of the earth cracking! I remember vaguely asking her, “what do you want me to do with that information?” and then I dont remember much after that but some how I ended up in an empty parking lot wondering what just happened! His nurse practioner would not give me any details, only said that the mass was malignant and that I had to come in right away.

How did this happen…? I am a healthy 37 year old hispanic woman in the prime of my life with no family history of gynecological cancers.  My only real assesment of how I got cancer… was it “spontaneous” or was it   years of living in an emotionally unhealthy and  stressful situation!

I spent that night all alone, in complete darkness both physically and mentally. I had only shared the news with my parents  brother and my manager Melodie.  It was an out of body experience, like the slow motion that occurs right before a car accident. It didnt feel real to me, like it was happening to someone else and  all I realize it was my diagnosis and all that kept replaying in my head  was that I was going to die and cancer would kill me.

DIAGNOSIS: Triple Positive  Breast Cancer: Prog+, Estog+ and Her-2+  , Invasive Ductual Carcinoma with a 3cm tumor growing in my breast. BRACA-1 and BRACA 2 Negative.

Not all breast cancers are the same. HER2+ breast cancer cells have more HER2 receptors (a particular protein found on the surface of cells) than normal breast cells.

  • Having too many HER2 receptors may make the cancer cells grow and divide faster, creating more HER2+ cancer cells
  • HER2+ breast cancer is considered aggressive because it grows and spreads quickly

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Wait for it 5/18/2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wait for it…

 

Wedneseday.. no news is good news??? That is what my mom said that morning. Of course I am not a wait and see type of girl so I called the office and Dr. Fine was in surgery and the girls at the office said he would call be back. Hmmm, I felt pretty good. Surely, if it would have been malignant he would have stopped everything to talk to me right? No problem… he can call me back when has a moment.

 

d-day maybe?? 5/17/2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

D-Day??? Maybe??

Today I should be getting my results. I am a little rattled especially since I have to go and push some pills help the sick and afflicted today with my manager, Melodie. Ride days with a manager are always a little tense, just because I want to do a great job but today was going to be EXTRA hard.  Good news, she is a amazingly sympathetic and supportive. She too was waiting on pins and needles with me. Every phone call we held our breaths.. Work day complete.. no word from Dr. Fines office.

 

let the testing begin 5/2/11

Monday, May 2, 2011

Let the Testing Begin:

So let me give a little back story on Dr. Fine (breast surgeon extraordinare). I consider him my “breast guy” because about 4 years ago I had a small fibroid cyst removed in my right breast. So when it came time to check out this new development… I went straight to the man himself. At this appoint I sensed something was wrong immediately.  He used an ultrasound to locate the area in question.  Dr. Fine said this mass looked quite different from the area he removed 4 yrs ago, this was a solid mass.  He said he did not want to jump to any hasty conclusions and explained that younger breast tissue can have dense areas. Nonetheless he scheduled me for a procedure called a punch biopsy and the dreaded “mammography’ with extended views.

mamography extended view

mamography extended view

i will get to later… tough mudder first

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I will get to that later…

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Around this time… I remember noticing the lump getting larger, more palpable  but not yet being overly concerned. I knew I had a busy month with work and I was getting ready to head to Chicago for a long overdue visit. I had not been back in over a year!! So I put it off and scheduled the appointment May 2 with Dr. Fine. This year had started off really bumpy. Alone for the holidays( long story), horrible flu in January,  homebound with ice storm in Georgia, then I was enticed over a few too many margaritas with  the divine idea and ‘New Years Resolution”  to do something physically challenging this year so signed up with my college friend Pierre to run the first GeorgiaTough Mudder (http://toughmudder.com) in Cedartown Georgia.  Considered to be the toughest event in the US. So off we went March 12,2011,  with 3,000 other people, mostly men  to  raise money for the WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT, trecking, running, swinging, climbing, crawling,cursing, jumping,  obstacle after obstacle, all topped off with a good ol’ dose and  ending of electorshock therapy as we literally crawled to the finish for what they advertised as a 10- 12 mile run but we stopped counting after mile 14.  And that is where I thought my physical challenge would end for the year? Ha..silly girl,  think again! God has a funny sense of humor Kimberly.

A funny mantra from Marcus throughout the day was, “this is the last hill Kim”…how that sentiment would play out into the next real life obstacle I was about to tackle. One more hill Kim…. and so it begins!

the first physical challenge of  2011..

the first physical challenge of 2011..

Tough Mudder

Team Phoenix Hydra Marcus, Pierre, Lynsey

Team Phoenix Hydra
Marcus, Pierre, Lynsey