Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I haven't written for a while... I just couldn't get myself to do it. I think I have officially crossed over to the dark side, as Yoda would say. I guess that sounds a little well...dark. Truth is, I have been struggling with the deepest, darkest depression I have faced yet. I have spiraled to a new all time low.

This weekend was awful. I think I had what some would coin a "nervous breakdown". I couldn't stop crying or cope with anything. My Mom (bless her heart) came up for the week to help with the girls and give me a break. Waiting for the biopsy results and then deciding what to do was far too much for me this time around. It was far too reminiscent of a year ago. I still haven't decided what to do.

As for the biopsy results, they were negative. They showed scar tissue and connective tissue...which I guess is basically scar tissue. There were no malignancy cells found, in fact, there was no breast tissue in the sampling what so ever. I was relieved...but then again, the first biopsy I had showed no malignancy and I was full of cancer.

I talked explicitly with my oncologist about what to do. He explained several options. We could watch it closely for growth or change with mammogram, etc. I could get a PET scan, which is a metabolic test, which lights up tumors in the body. However, it can also light up infection, inflammation, etc, and could show a false negative because I just had a 6-stick needle biopsy. Or they could do a MRI of the breast and look for a mass that way. Thing is, we already know there is a mass there, we just don't know if it's wise to trust the biopsy given my history of "misdiagnosis".

I am good friends with my doctor and his wife and I flat out asked him what he would recommend if it were his wife. He showed great difficulty answering, but said he would recommend a total mastectomy. I guess I was kind of floored by that response. Floored, but find of relieved. I don't have a problem with a mastectomy because of the great reconstruction they can do. The problem I worry about is the PAIN! I am still in pain from the lymph dissection and lumpectomy, not to mention the radiation...I worry about recovery. I just want to be recovered. I still fell like I haven't totally recovered from this whole damn thing and I don't want another setback. I know...real reasonable of me.

I CAN'T go through this "drama" and fear the rest of my life. My mental health can't handle it. Do I take a chance and watch it? Do I chance that it is cancer and letting it stay and grow in my body for months? The kind of cancer I had was very aggressive and do I take the chance of it metastasizing somewhere else in my body? Is a boob really worth that chance? Do I go through all the tests (which are also VERY expensive) and agonize over the results? Do I get a PET scan? If it comes out negative...fantastic. If it lights up just a little then we are obligated to figure out why. Do I get a total mastectomy and reconstruction? And if I get a I do a double because they reconstruct them to look the same. So if I get surgery on the other side wouldn't it make sense to just get that one cleared out as well? Frankly, surgery makes the very most sense, but I just don't want to go through it and I don't want to deal with it. I just want to pretend I am just fine and move on. I am sick of cancer. I am sick of worrying about cancer. I am sick of freak'n CANCER! SICK, SICK, SICK!!! UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I can't handle this!

So there you a nutshell. "Nut" being the key word here! And to those of you who have leant much love and support through cards,emails, and chocolate...thank you so very much. Your thoughtfulness has meant the world.


Lori Miller said...

I wish there was something I could do for you that would bring you some form of relief.

I think your dealing with what is being dealt out to you as sanely as possible. That means what your being dealt is totally insane. First you think your going in one direction then its time to go the other. I think your response to this is normal.

If God gave you the ability to step outside of yourself, and you could (in 3rd person) watch yourself intermingle with the Docters', could be this... might be that, should do this... or wait let's do that. I think you should say the hell with it and respond the way your body needs to.

I commend you despite all that you were going thru mentally you had the ability to look ahead and know that you needed help from your mom. That is something to be proud of. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

p.s. anxiety medication? They have helped me thru parts of my hell.

Love you Dana

Carolyn said...

Dear Dana,
I have been thinking about you tons and checking in on your site daily. I am thrilled to hear that the results were negative, but so sad that you have to deal with all the uncertainty and frustration and stress. It is incredible to me that in the midst of this all you are able to express yourself with such wit and honesty. You are an amazing person.
Whatever you decide will be the right decision. And you have a lot of people out here rooting for you.
All my very very best.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Larry Miller said...

Dear Dana

I am Cary Miller's father. My wife Flo had a double mastectomy a few years ago. She gets calls from our local cancer center about this issue quite often. If you email me at we can share phone numbers so that she can talk to you about her experiences with the surgery and the reconstruction, if you would like.

Minerva said...

Dear Dana,
What a LOT of choices! You know what i would recommend having just faced such a decision? Go and see a plastic surgeon and get all the options from him as to what he can do given the future treatments etc...Once you know all the options, it will help. I know it shounds even MORE mad adding more choices but I promise you, it will help with the choices ahead of you...

Thinking of you,


Minerva said...


And I am not even DRUNK!

Anonymous said...

I'm in awe everytime I read your blog. I always wonder what I could say to you but always seem to be at a loss for words. I do want you to know that I think of you often. You have so many people who have given you great words of wisdom. Thank heaven for that kind of support! You have so much support not only from them but from those of us who even though we haven't experience your pain, we love and support you just the same! You're not alone! You have big decisions to make but you know that you don't have to make them on your own! Hang in there --we love you!


About Me

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Idaho Falls, Idaho, United States
I am a 36 year old woman, married to a great guy, and together we have three beautiful daughters. I am a three and a half year breast cancer survivor. This past year I have become active in the cause of helping those who are batteling cancer!