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Every time I take a really deep breath or lean over with my head hanging lower than my waist, I feel pressure in the little hollow that sits in the middle of my sternum. I was feeling a little anxious because I’d never felt this discomfort before having my port-a-cath installed, so I wanted to be sure that nothing was “going on.” I was able to get in this afternoon to see Dr. Brown – the doctor who installed my port.
His first response to my concern about deep breaths and bending over with my head hanging down was to stop doing both of these things. He contended that this would solve the problem. Mind you, this is coming from a man whose voice is like SNL’s Stuart Smalley’s and who also sports a Mickey Mouse watch. He so cracked himself up when he said this. This is a guy whose manner is warm, funny, understanding and calming, so it was easy to hear his straight response regarding my concern. He reminded me that the port-a-cath’s tubing goes up and into the jugular vein, makes a u- turn, shoots down past another vein that sits somewhere behind the sternum. This would explain why I was feeling the discomfort. Nothing about which to worry. I’m glad I went to see him!
After we returned home, I pulled up my e-mail to find a note from Dr. Meric sitting in my inbox. I decided to open all the other e-mails I had received before opening hers because I had a sense that she had received the pathology report from last Friday’s surgery – the one where she scooped out a little more breast tissue to get what we all hoped would be a clean, cancer-free margin.
Here’s what she said:
“Lisa, Good news. No more cancer in what we re-excised – margins now are widely negative. RIGHT-BREAST RE-EXCISION - No residual carcinoma present”
I’m still absorbing this news. My insides feel quiet. I’m relieved that I won’t undergo another surgery. I’m relieved to know that as soon as I heal from my past surgeries that I’ll move into the next phase of treatment. Another surgery would have meant a delay in treatment.
I feel especially tired though. I think waiting to get these results has weighed more heavily on my mind than I realized. I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely optimistic about what the results would be. I think this is due to the fact that I’ve been dealt so many pathology reports, each one worse than the previous one. This is the first report so far that offers good news. I am easing my way into the news – much in the same way I make my way into a pool of water – first my toe, then up to my knees, then up and over my head. I will let the words, “no residual carcinoma present,” wash over me, surround me, reassure me that there will be an end to this. I will be just fine.
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Fabulous news! Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Answered prayer for sure! It is difficult for me to type because there are continuous tears streaming down my cheeks right now. You couldn't have gotten any better news. The encouraging words of your doctor is just what was needed right now. You can truly focus more than ever on the treatments ahead and focus on healing...keeping your eyes on the goal. Check your in-box. Something in there you might be interested in! HeeHeeHee! Just take off your administrator's hat when you read it. Love you, C.
HAPPY!!!!!!!! ECSTATIC!!!!!!! JUMPING UP AND DOWN!!!!!! Oh Happy Day! Just the news we were all hoping for!!! I have just spent the most frustrating hour plus making a flight reservation with a carrier that I don't normally use, and I'm soooooo glad I checked in with your Carepages before I headed to bed. I love your doctor's humor!!!!! I was thinking the same thing!!!! No yoga for you!!!! While you are picturing putting your toes in the water...I would love for you to also picture yourself standing beside a horse in the middle of the pasture brushing him/her while feeling his strength and embracing his gentleness. Yep! I'm Colorado bound and taking my first step to getting certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. I'm such a big dreamer, and I can't wait to sit down with you and Nat. There are so many ideas running through my head, and I need a "Lisa fix" to pull in the details!!!! (I hope you are ready for a little distraction.) I keep remembering that time that Nat was following you and me when I was taking you guys to look at my friend's houses. I felt like I was on a speedway with the way that I was getting us all lost and going in circles around all of the messed up I-10 closures! Nat was pulling up beside us making all those "kind" comments out the window, and you and I were laughing so hard! I couldn't even see the road I was laughing so hard! Tell Nat to get ready because I can do the same thing I did with directions...going all over the place...but this time with ideas. I can't wait to see you soon! By the way, I called C. today for an appointment. She was just crushed when I shared with her what you are going through. I gave her your cell number, and she said she was going to call you right away. She's doing house calls now. I think she wanted to jump in her car and go right to your house when I told her what was going on. You live in a great village!!!! A million hugs! M.
Hellooooo! You are going to be great!!! Such good news, Lisa. I am so happy for you and your family. Phew, you conquered another mountain. I knew you would!
I was thinking about you last night as I watched a Sex in the City rerun...the one where S. has had breast cancer and chemo, and she's wearing a wig and sweating profusely from hot flashes. She's standing up in front of a roomful of women who have had breast cancer, trying to give an inspiring speech, but the sweat is running down her face, so finally she says "F--- it" and rips off her wig to show her beautiful bald head. One by one, other women in the room stand up and rip off their wigs, showing their beautiful REAL selves, and soon everyone is standing and clapping. I thought, this is so Lisa! I wish she was watching this with me, cuddled up on the couch with a 1/2 pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Frozen Yogurt (it's better for you than ice cream, you know) and laughing out loud at these bald women. Hey, lately, I've come to realize that there are a lot worse things in this world than a bald head. My husband has one....... Anyway, great news. I love you. Stop bending over. C.
I'll be brief and to the point... Yeah!!! That is dynamite news.
YEAH!!!!!!! Wonderful News!!!!!! Hi! It's H. I've been visiting your Carepages, but haven't responded before now. Want you to know that I think of you every day and am praying for you! Great news from your doctor!!!!
Hey girlfriend So glad so see you have some good news! You deserve it. I so wish I could write like you we can just feel everything you are feeling. I can feel your deep breaths as you take this good news and absorb it. Have a wonderful Friday - we will start our last day of testing!!!!! Yeah! I know the counselors have been waiting for this day for a while. Back to normal on Monday. Enjoy your patio this weekend, it's slated to be a pretty one. I will get out and pull some weeds this weekend as C. is off to Padre with her choir. Talk to you soon. Love, S.
Yes! I'm so glad to hear the good news! God does answer prayer. He probably said alright already I hear all of you! God must be using you as some sort of vessel, you seem to be reaching so many people with your positive attitude in a time of uncertainty.
Well TAKS is over, YEA! I'm with D....waiting to hear our test results to see what kind of teacher I've been! Take care of yourself.
Good News Hi Lisa - Congratulations on the good news you received yesterday!! I will let D. know the good news. As I read your messages each day I sensed frustration, anger, sadness, of course some sense of humor and then yesterday I sensed JOY in your message. Lisa, you will experience up and downs but the important thing is to keep a positive attitude (I know at times it will be difficult to do)and be strong and determined!! We will continue keeping you and your family in our daily prayers. Love, J. & D.
Great news, Lisa! And great imagery. Now for a good rest. All best, J.
OH WOW OH WOW OH WOW
What wonderful news. I have to admit that given your history of the last few weeks, when each piece of news was worse than we expected, I was not confident what might be in that path report. HUGE sigh of relief from all over Ann Arbor, can you feel the breeze in Houston??? Have a lovely day and enjoy the relief!! Much love from Ami and me. Prue
congratulations on the good news. keep doing what you are doing. i enjoy reading each one of the updates as you are extremely well-written as one would expect.
:) Lisa, All I can say is PRAISE GOD.
Lisa The news is wonderful. I am so relieved. You are on the way now. Nothing can stop you now. Today was the last day of TAKS. Social Studies. I am so glad, the kids are so glad, and the teachers are so glad. I think we will be ok. Help me remember: C. wants me to give you a recipe and to pick up her dishes. Have you gotten a package yet? Maybe it is too soon.
Today started with parents wanting me to waive the State law about attendance. Of course, I can't do that, and they don't understand why. Then a parent said to the Superintendent's office that I wouldn't talk to him. I have never heard of him. I called him, and he said he had never called me. Spinning, spinning, spinning. I am doing para summatives all day today along with some teachers. Interesting times.
S. is leaving early today to take cupcakes to her daughter's class for K's birthday. I went shopping for her girls because both have birthdays this week. I bought dress up costumes for them, and one is a bathing suit with a hula skirt. It is a scream. All the TAKS stuff will be in by this afternoon. Then it is back to normal again. I hope I can remember to tell you all the stories that I have for you. It isn't fun if you can't laugh. See you tomorrow. I love you. P.
Good News Hi Lisa, I'm so very thankful for your good news. Now, try to rest and prepare for the next step. You can do it!! I'm praying for you.
Hey, Granola. Hope you have a nice peaceful weekend planned. I'm going to have 18 children at my home (and 32 of their parents) for C. and C.'s 4th birthday party. So...I doubt peaceful will describe my weekend. Fun - but not peaceful. The weather is supposed to be nice, so I assume you'll be enjoying your patio. Take care of yourself, take care of Nat, and enjoy your great news. Love to you from the S. Family.
Lisa --great news!! I am so pleased at your latest report. I must tell you that you I really love reading your postings --they are so well written and convey so much true feeling and emotion --I think you have a real gift. Continue to write! E. W.
Happy Dance We are all doing the happy dance!
Wonderful news! That is such a relief! Now you can start on your journey to recovery. Congratulations! Guess what... G. learned to smile this week. She now smiles in response to your smiles. It definitely brightens your day to see a baby's eyes light up with smiles!
Yipee!!!! Lisa, I am glad to hear your good news! I know things will move along with ease now and soon you will be thinking back on all of this and wondering where the time went. Love, L.
Enjoy your day. Whew! Good news, hooray! I met with 6th grade teams on Thursday, and everyone sends their love. Today I am hanging out with K. at my house. Her parents are moving into their first house, so this is a really big day for the family. My only job is taking care of the Kbug. Enjoy your day. We've got to talk soon about getting your CAbi to you. Big hugs!
Thank you, God! What great news! Glad to hear your fantastic news. I do believe a little celebration is called for. Have a great weekend enjoying everyone and the beautiful weather. Love, A. P.
Thanks I'm grateful and appreciative to be able the see your "CarepageS". Love and best wishes. O. L.
Being Yourself You have such a gift for making this whole "adventure" so comprehensible, so clear, so much yours - yet something you are able to share. Do keep writing, you're opening worlds to so many of us. Great news on the report from Dr. Meric. All your good focus on the daily things that are worthwhile and beautiful must've been working, along with science, prayers and hopes. We send ours, too -- and so much affection for you. As you imply, you're taking each of these steps reasonably, thoughtfully, and your patience and care for others - as well as yourself - is bearing you along. Thanks for keeping us so well up to date. Love to Nat, Ethan, and you. -- M. and R. P.
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