Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good News. Bad News. Cancer News. Revisited.

After 8-hours of being on the road and going back and forth between doctor’s offices, we once again have good news and bad news.

Good news:

I don’t need chemo.

I don’t need radiation.

I don’t need any long term medications.

Not So Good News:

Although the area that is cancerous is contained (in other words, it doesn’t appear to have spread outside the milk duct where it started) it turns out that it is quite a bit larger than they first thought, extending into a “second quadrant.”  Since removing the entire cancerous area would be the equivalent of removing something the size of a man’s fist, the doctor said there would be very little tissue left over when he was done. And therefore a mastectomy on the left side is the only reasonable option.

I was going in there this morning with cheerful little thoughts that I would just opt for the lumpectomy/ radiation route if nothing unexpected showed up on the MRI.  To say that Steve and I were a bit taken aback and a little emotional would be an understatement.

After talking with the surgeon/oncologist for a while, and then going and spending some time with the plastic surgeon,  I have decided to go ahead and have a double mastectomy.  With my fifteen year history of biopsies, scans, scares, and false alarms (on both sides) I just figured I would get it all taken care of at the same time.

I’ve been pretty teary today, dealing with varying feelings of grief.  But I’m at peace with what I’ve decided.  Steve has been wonderfully supportive and loving and strong throughout  it all. (The surgery will be Friday, April 23.) 

As if we didn’t have stress enough, we just found out that our landlord has found a buyer for the house we’re renting. If we can’t buy it by April 30th, this other person is going to.  And we can’t buy this house unless we sell the house in Smithfield.

The thought of moving and having cancer surgery and recovery?  Not anything I want to think about very long.  It’s just all a bit too much.

Thanks for your prayers for us today; I felt comforted knowing we were being carried by the compassion and concern of our many friends who read this site.


43 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Marshmallow Woman said...

Oh Becky, I'm so sorry. I'm not sure this will make you feel somehow better, but I have been thinking of you since this morning, checking here every hour. I'm sending you a big hug from Italy, a bit sad this is the best I can do for you.


PS: As you might remember, my mom had a mastectomy almost five years ago and today she is as annoying and impossible as she was pre-diagnosis. ;)

MaryH said...

Just checked in before I left the office. Becky, I can only imagine your grief over the upcoming surgery but I feel you made a very wise choice. I had a friend many years ago who made the same decision and she did have to receive chemo. She is healthy and happy today. As far as your house goes, I am stunned - I am sure you are more stunned. I feel prayers for a resolution to this situation are paramount over the health issues - so, I hope you understand if my prayers switch in priority. I can not imagine you having to leave your lovely new home. There must and will be a buyer found for your house in Smithfield. Prayers. I hope you can get some rest.

bearie1 said...

Becky, so sorry to hear the news. Both about the cancer diagnosis and the house situation. I've been thinking about you all day, and responsible for many of the "hits" on your site today.

With your history, a double mastectomy is probably a wise decision. Hugs, Elaine

Anonymous said...

I also think you have made a wise choice. And that is great that you won't need radiation or chemo.

Now I will pray your old house SELLS quickly. That is stressful. But you know what, things WILL work out for you regardless of what happens with the house. You will be taken care of, I feel sure.

Anonymous said...

Dear Becky,

Many prayers for you continue. As I had a thrilling afternoon getting my MRI I was praying for you knowing you were in the midst of getting results from your MRI.

And I'm shocked about the house news on top of everything else.

Praying for peace for you in the midst of all of this!

Lisa in San Diego

Sharon said...

you will be in my prayers for only good things to happen all around... ITs been a hard day thats for sure

Lisa Abraham said...

Dear Becky, My prayers will continue for you and your beautiful family. May our Lord care and comfort you and send you peace that passeth all understanding.

Bethany said...

I am sorry that the cancer was larger than originally thought, but I am celebrating the fact that it is still contained and you will not need to face chemo or radiation. You made a brave, courageous decision. I will hold you and your entire family in my prayers. May God wrap you in His arms like a Blanket :)

Lisa said...

So glad you're at peace with the decision you've made, hard though it was to make it. And I'm praying for divine intervention for the matter of your home. God is able to do EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL that we ask or think!


Tammy said...

I think that was a wise (though very difficult) choice you made Becky. Once is all said and done, you can live fear free from breast cancer and that will be a good thing! A very brave decision! Big hugs and prayers continue!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear that the size of the cancer is larger than originally thought. I have never posted before but reading your post made me want to let you know that you are in my prayers. I have been following Sarah's caringbridge site for several years and have prayed for her often. She and several other neuroblastoma children are the reason I went to nursing school and became an oncology nurse. Your family has been an incredible inspiration to me! Sending lots of prayers your way!!


becky in buffalo said...

i want to say all things happen for a reason...and in the end they all work out. i know it must be stressful but know that your never given more then you can handle...if the idea was to rent to own why did the guy keep looking for someone to buy the house??? just seems a little unfair.

Marysienka said...

Becky, I've been thinking about you all day! You had to make a very difficult choice today, but in the end, it's probably the best one. And as if that wasn't enough, I'm so sorry to hear about the house :( I really, really hope you get to sell the house in Smithfield very soon.

I'm sending warm hugs your way,


becky in buffalo said...

have you ever thought about maybe renting your house out to at least cover the mortgage your paying on it?? it would be better then having to pay two or move back...maybe Nathan has some friends that need a home away from home they would like to rent???

Saffyres said...

Oh, Becky - I'm so sorry. But I'm also SO GLAD you've opted for the bilateral. I made that choice (and they found precancerous tissue in the so-called "good" breast) over four years ago. To this day I do NOT regret it. I didn't need chemo or rads, either. Aggressive surgery, yes. But so worth the peace of mind. I had delayed reconstruction - the recon process is definitely uncomfortable (the mastectomy wasn't as bad, pain-wise, since there was no muscle-cutting involved), but I'm also glad I did THAT. Don't forget to check my blog. I still haven't posted pics of my faux-nips - nor have I taken the time to get my niptats. foobs4stef.blogspot.com.

I'm available ANY TIME you might have questions. :)

Anonymous said...

Will be thinking of you during the tough days ahead. Warm and positive thoughts headed your way, as always.


Michelle said...

Last October, my sweet mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer, and treatment has been rather aggressive, as it is not contained. I'm so glad yours IS, Becky. That is good news! I believe you are wise with your decisions, and everything will be just fine.

Although the timing of your house sale(s) is bad, you WILL get through this. You have love and support all around you ... not to mention, TONS of prayers!

Lisa said...

Still praying for you and your family.

LizW said...

Becky, prayers, prayers and more prayers for you all. This is all just so unbelievable. The decision to do the double mastectomy cannot have been easy, but is a very wise one. I am so glad you will not have to have chemo or radiation.
If I were a rich person, I would buy that house of yours in Smithfield right now, and put you out of this house misery. God be with you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Becky, I am so sorry!! Sorry that the cancer is larger than you expected and sorry about the house. It is stressful but I pray God will give you peace! I will also be praying for a buyer for your old house and for a change of heart for your landlord. Big Hugs from Atlanta!


Anonymous said...

I have been checking about every hour all day for your post. You will be in my prayers on the 23rd. This I'm sure seems so overwhelming for you but maybe the Lord just helped you make the right decision on treatment. I know I would do what you are having to do know matter what the MRI showed. I guess I am just a breast cancer scarey cat and would say "take them all". We will also be praying about the house situation. You don't need any more stress.
Love you,
Sandy (your cousin)

Melanie said...

So sorry to hear the news, but yet thankful it is contained and there will be no long term treatments or chemo. And, the house... what news to receive he same day as the cancer news... wow!

I'll continue to keep you all in my prayers.

Kellie said...

OH Becky, I wish I could give you a big hug right now! You have been through so much recently. You have such an amazing family to help you through this as they did with Sarah's cancer. I am so sorry that you have had to endure all of this but please know that your faith in God has been so evident and is such an inspiration to so many. You will continue to be in my prayers!

Beverly said...

Better days are coming...this too shall pass.

Lori said...

For what it is worth, I think you made a good choice. You have had too many problems. I'm sure it was not an easy decision but hopefully it will be the right one.

I can't believe they sold the house out from under you! I hope some nice buyer in Springfield wants to get under contract before April 30th and you get to stay where you are.

Unknown said...

Oh Becky....I am so so sorry about everything you are going through. I pray that your house sells quickly so you don't have to move during your recovery. Stay strong.

Sue G said...

I know it isn't happening to me, Becky, but I am actually relieved about your choice. You HAVE been having questionable scans for years now, and this will relieve any doubt about the other breast and so much more that accompanies a breast cancer diagnosis.

I have been reading the site lately of a young woman (40) who had a similar situation...contained in one breast...questionable cells in the other breast. She opted for the double mastectomy and then beginning reconstruction immediately (one surgery followed the other). She had the surgery Thursday and I believe she was doing so well they sent her home Friday? If not Friday, Saturday, but I believe it was Friday. I was shocked. And she is doing great.

Sometimes I feel as if I've been giving up pieces of myself for the last six years, and in those six years it has been non-stop. But to be alive is an amazing gift.

And to be alive and be able to make plans for a week from now, a year from now, ten years from now--well, that's a gift to truly cherish for a lifetime.

As for the house, I cannot imagine having to move as all this other stuff swirls around your reality. All I know for sure is that God must have something truly wonderful planned for you, and He will reveal it soon. Trust Him.

I love you.

Debbie Couture said...

Becky, you will continue to be in my prayers. I think you are smart making the decision that you did. Not easy but smart. I'll pray that your house sells. You don't need to move with all this going on. You are a strong woman and have a great family and God to support you. In God's time...

Anonymous said...

Hugs and prayers, Becky. Have a good cry, rest in your husband's arms, eat some chocolate and trust. Just trust.

If worse comes to worse, you have a church full of people who will help pack, move and unpack. If not this house, there is another. Don't let the house worries overwhelm.
Given the housing market right now, I agree with the poster who suggested renting out your other house, conditional upon a sale. It would help out financially.

You've made a HUGE decision today, and it sounds like such a wise one.

Prayers, dear Becky.


lesley said...

Well for goodness sakes!!! I think a Pajama WEEK is in order at this point.
Don't swirl down the drain Becky. A month from now it will all be over, Nathan will be marching in whatever door you are behind and the summer will begin.
I am praying that house of yours will sell. Sell. Sell. Sell.

Anonymous said...

I think Lesley is onto something. We, the Smithellaneous Blog Readers, do hereby declare the rest of this week "Becky Smith Week" which shall be celebrated with possibly seven, but at least one, pajama day. You deserve it!

I'm glad you don't have to get chemo or radiation...and you know you will have a prayer army behind you when you have your surgery.

xo L in AK

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky,

I haven't commented on here before but, for what it's worth, I'm wondering if your church (at the regional or national level) couldn't temporarily make you a loan or even buy the house until you can sell your first one. Or alternatively, buy the first one and let you purchase the second. (My parents bought a house that originally belonged to a church).

Anonymous said...

prayers for your surgery... definitely sounds like the best plan for you.

I am so sorry and shocked that your landlord would even have your Manteo home on the market with your rent-to-own contract.

mrs pam

Anonymous said...

Becky the cancer being contained truly is wonderful news! I've thought about you a lot over the last week. A lady I worked with just recently finished the last of her surgeries due to a double and reconstruction and is doing just great. I understand though that is what we see from the outside nobody but another in the same situation will ever really understand the emotions that goes with it. You will stay in my thoughts and prayers and I am just thrilled to hear that you are going to be ok. Lots of (((((hugs)))))).
Dana in SC

SuziQCat said...

hang in there Becky...it sounds like the best option for you. Might as well be as aggressive as you can with it at first and hopefully be done with it. I just had a friend have a double, and she is doing just fine with it...she was of course sore, but she's back to leading the choir at church. Positive thinking = positive outcome! I'll be praying for you.

Lizz said...

Oh Becky it is just all piling on isn't it? Well, darn I have no idea what to say...again! :( I WILL be praying for a flawless surgery and a speedy recovery and also for your house to SELL QUICKLY! Please Lord let them sell their house so they can stay where they are! Love you!!

Anonymous said...

A lot of people our here on the internet care about your family. Please tell us what we can do to help on the house issue. Some sort of fund raising? We truly want to help. Please give us some ideas.

Vicky Elder said...

So sorry Becky. Not what I wanted to hear either. Please know WE are ALL praying for your peace! Thank heaven for your family that I know will be beside you through it all.

Shannon said...

Wow, I wouldn't have thought the landlord could sell under a contract. Saying prayers that your other house will sell, or could the church purchase your other house, sorta like a "relo" package?

As for the cancer news, my friend opted for total removal and back to back reconstrut surgery. She did wonderful and loves her "new B@@bs" parden the language!!

Keeping you in our prayers!!

SuperSuz said...

Thinking about you and praying for you! Wishing there was something more I could do...

Anonymous said...

Dear Becky,

Do you feel all the cyber hugs? I know you are facing some challenging times, but know that I am thinking of you and your family. Between the four of you is some amazing strength, which I am sure you will draw on.

Lots of prayers coming your way,

Debbie H. in Sacramento

TheDorothyFamily said...

Becky, we all love you and will pray pray pray specifically about all of the irons you now have in the fire. You are being refined aren't you?!! God Bless,


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