It Was Almost A Good Day
Today was an almost pretty good day. Good news first - This morning I showered and dressed by myself. Who knew it could be so empowering to manage on one’s own! And the rest of the day felt pretty normal. I went for a decent walk with Mom and Dad, and we even managed our way to Target for a promenade through the aisles. I still don’t have my official shopping shoes back on, but it felt good to have even a little retail "fix."
But after dinner tonight, things took a turn for the worse. I can’t wrap my brain around the information that I just received. My doctor called me around 7:00 p.m. with the pathology results from last Friday's surgery. It appears that I am in worse shape than was originally thought. The known tumor in my breast happened to be hiding another tiny tumor causing the margin around the known tumor to be decreased. Additionally, I went into surgery on Friday aware that one lymph node in the axilla (or armpit) was cancerous. During surgery, Dr. Meric came across four more lymph nodes that felt firm which raised suspicion about them being cancerous. By the end of my surgery, 24 lymph nodes had been removed, and of those, ten were cancerous!
So what does this mean? Initially, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer - tumor and a cancerous lymph node. But with this latest information of all these extra cancerous lymph nodes, I now have Stage 3C breast cancer - a quick-moving, aggressive contained breast cancer.
Tomorrow morning, Nat and I will visit with Dr. Meric at 8:30 a.m. She will walk me through what will happen when I return to surgery on Friday morning. I know that I will have another “scoop” of breast tissue removed so that the margins are “cleaned up.” No further lymph nodes will be removed.
During Friday’s surgery, I will also have a port-a-cath placed – I believe this will go near my clavicle. This will be the port where I will receive my IV chemo after I’ve healed from surgery. (Nat looks on the bright-side of my port-a-cath because he thinks it's cool to look like a Cyborg.)
At this point, the thing I’m dreading most is having yet another IV put in. When I look down at my left hand, I count seven spots where other IVs were attempted on Friday and Saturday. Makes my stomach lurch just thinking about it! As far as dealing with the news that I received tonight – I’m not sure how I feel. I’m going to go tomorrow, see my doctor, see the anesthesiologist, go to bed tomorrow night and head into surgery on Friday. I will proceed with life one step at a time; take things as they come; deal with them the best that I can, and certainly try to maintain some beauty and light-heartedness in my world. Lots of love to you – Lisa
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Cancer Bites! Lisa, I got an update from Nat, and this message is a little premature because you haven't posted an update for the rest of your team. Do you remember how R. used to tease me about "my village"? Of course...you are a card-carrying member! Well, you have a village too! I've always wanted to be queen of something, so for this moment, I will be the queen of your village. And when the queen speaks...cancer cells listen! You can beat this thing! Do not let this setback with the pathology report dictate your healing. You are a strong woman...maybe a little doped up...but a strong, doped up woman! Oh, I have a funny...I had a slight confrontation with someone today and she was giving me EVERY excuse in the book as to why she messed up on something. After she gave me her last excuse (I think it was a dangling participle) I looked at her and said...my friend has cancer and I come to work every day. Then I turned my back on her and poured my coffee. You would have LOVED the moment!!!!! She just walked out. A million hugs, M.
PRAYERS! Lisa, I will be praying for you & I'll say an extra prayer that your i.v. is put in very smoothly, on the first try. Love, M.
Hang in there! Lisa and Nat, You don't know me, but I'm a friend of Prue's who was treated for Stage IIIc breast cancer in '02-'03 and am glad to be here to tell you that you will get through this. Yes, both the diagnosis and the treatment are really scary sounding, but you will get through them. I am so sorry that you've joined this club that none of us wants to be in. If there is anything I can do to help please feel free to get in touch directly with me. Give 'em hell Lisa! Sending lots of healthy energy your way, C. S.
I love my sister! Lisa- Know that I am sitting on your shoulder with you the whole time. I am sending you a HUGE hug! I miss you tons. Kelly
Hey Lisa! Hi Lisa, I have been really touched by reading these care messages. You are a beautiful person on the inside and out - great picture on the first page. I am praying for you and your family and think about you a lot. Take Care and we miss you at Goodson! Lots of love, J. T.
I love my sister right back! I know you're by my side always - always have been; always will be. I miss you, too - and cannot wait to see you sliding past my bedroom sometime soon!!! Lisa
Hey Lisa! I just wanted you to know my family and I are praying for you! Keep on smiling :-)! Love you! K.
Good Morning! I miss you! Things are going great in the library. I have kids coming all day long to tell me TAKs words so they can get a "prize". These kids will do anything for a plastic top! Hang in there.
Good Morning Sunshine! It is such a beautiful day outside! No clouds, a light breeze, and wonderful sun. I hope your spirits are high and your faith is strong. I am praying and BELIEVING in your complete and total healing!! YOU ARE STRONG!!! Sending you big ((((HUGS))))
Hi Lisa, I think I just saved a blank message. Oh well, I just wanted to say hello and let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I look forward to reading the carepages each day. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. R.
Hey, Sunshine! Good morning, Lisa! I just wanted you to know that I (and many others!) am praying for strength, encouragement, and complete healing for you...You are an amazing lady! We miss your smiling face and high energy around here... : ) Have a good day- M. K.
Hi Lisa! Just wanted to say hi and that we miss you! Hang in there, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Are the nurses taking good care of you? If not, I'll have to kick some butt! Just kidding! Hope to see you back soon. O.
Thoughts and Prayers Hi Lisa, Just want you to know how often I'm thinking about you and praying for your quick recovery. Please call me if I can help in any way or answer any questions. Of course, treatments have changed and improved in the last 6 years, so I really know nothing except how you are feeling!! We miss you around here. Love, C.
Hey, Lisa-Lisa. Our family is rooting for you! I so appreciate being able to read your updates - I can completely hear your voice as I read. You are being thought about constantly here at Goodson. We are all praying for good news, pain-free healing, doctors who have your best interest in mind, and for peace. Think good thoughts - queso from Pappasito's, diet Coke from McAllister's, peanut butter on warm toast, talk radio, kitty kisses, new shoes, a good haircut, a wedding at the Alden, your parents’ "take-out" from Souper Salad, and most of all - a friend's love. :) (I'm feeling a little better after writing the list...hope it helped you, too.)
Our Family Just wanted to let you know you are in our thoughts and prayers daily.
Hey Friend Hey Lisa, Yesterday the counselors spent the day in the TAKS "closet." R. plans on wearing a mask in there today because the dust is so bad:) After reading your latest update today, I am actually looking forward to closing myself back into the closet for another day~ Stay strong and hang in there. I hope you can feel my positive "vibes" heading your way. You will continue to be in my prayers. Love, M.
thinking of you Lisa Just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily. Stay strong and attack this thing head-on. You give us all strength. J., S., L., and L. L.
My dear friend Lisa I am really sorry to hear you'll be going back into the hospital. When you describe the trouble with the IV, it saddens me that you even have to think about that when you have so much going on. Remember I, along with everyone else who loves you, am sending warm, positive thoughts out into the universe. Remember when we used to have little post-it notes of affirmations on our bathroom mirrors? (Actually, I think I had to have so many affirmations to address so many issues I couldn’t even see myself in the mirror anymore...), well, that's what pops into my head when I send out positive vibes to you: post-it note affirmations. There are lots of them floating around right now. Lisa, I have watched you go through very large challenges and come out victorious in the end this is simply one more of those challenges life throws out at us. I know your strength, determination and the love you share with everyone in your life will be the qualities that help you conquer this new challenge. I love you and I'm here for you- C.
Rally the troops Just want you to know that I am thinking about you this morning. I know you are so stunned, but you are such a strong woman--this is just not the fight you expected. Draw up the new battle plan! I've rallied all of the language arts team leaders and department chairs to pray for you and think good thoughts about you, the surgery, and your care. We love you, Lisa.
Hi Lisa Hi Lisa, I wanted to say hello and let you know that we miss you and also that we are praying for you. I know that it must be difficult to receive the report that they gave you yesterday. Unfortunately, I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but I'll take a chance and share this with you anyway. There are precious promises from scripture that encourage and strengthen me. My hope is that you will find these a better and surer report than the one the doctors gave you yesterday: Psalm 103 A Psalm of David. 1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. ____________________________________________________________________ Isaiah 53 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. _________________________________________________________________ May God bless you with peace and healing. We love you and are looking forward to your return! C.
North Country awareness Lisa your news just arrived here penetrating the new falling snow. D. and I are so sorry to hear about the medical reports. One thing for sure is that there are a few doctors in your tribe who can enable the very best professional connections. I do believe that miraculous technology combined with positive thinking will guide you out of the crisis. If fresh maple syrup would be a helpful ingredient let us know. We send our concentrated thoughts to strengthen your campaign for well-being. P. and D.
Thinking of You Hang in there. Not the news you wanted but I know you will stay strong and defeat this. No hurdle is too big for you. This just jumped up to a LoTi 10. Higher-level problem solving, real-world authentic and relevant, collaboration with community, patient-generated questions, no-limit to technology...and so on. :) There are lots of good vibes coming your way from all over the U.S., and I hope they help keep you smiling. You will be in our thoughts and prayers tomorrow. I know you will have a great attitude and all of the thoughts of encouragement and healing will nip this in the bud. We are all cheering for you.
Thoughts and Prayers Lisa, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, and I will be thinking of you Friday. You are going to beat this. You have such a positive attitude, and you have so many people praying for you. We miss you at Goodson. Love, P.
missing you Lisa, We all miss you so much and cover you in prayers daily. As I was sitting at the TAKS Exemptions LPAC this morning (4 solid hours of "fun"), I thought of you. I'm sure you don't mind missing that one. :) We love you and think of you always. Sweet girl, you are amazing!!!
One day at a time Lisa- You're right. You can only do this one day at a time and enjoy the beauty in things when you can. We will be praying for you this weekend and thinking of you and Nat. C. and me.
To a DI buddy! Lisa, Your picture is so pretty! I would want to use a picture of Ashley Judd for me. In fact, I actually submit her picture for mine for the yearbook. So far, no one believes it!! No matter, I feel lovely!! I am praying for you every day to have strength and peace and to be well. L.C.
Prayer Lord, you are going to have to squeeze Lisa a bit tighter. This ugliness that has invaded her body is obviously not going to go away so easily. Guess you could say it is going to go out kicking and screaming. My prayer is for you to be with Lisa in that operating room tomorrow. Wrap your healing arms around her and her doctors. Through them, you are going to bless Lisa and her family with your healing grace. Give Lisa, Nat and everyone who loves Lisa so, strength, stamina and endurance to get through this new challenge. I ask that you bring upon Lisa tomorrow, comfort and a sense of peace before she goes under; let her sit in the passenger’s seat while You drive. You tell us not to worry about anything and I am not. I know that you are with her and her family and that you are going to take care of this. Amen Lisa, I will be thinking about you tomorrow. It is just a hurdle. Remember, in life, nothing is ever just easy. When it rains it pours. But the blessing in that is the beautiful rainbow that comes at the end. May the Good, and most Precious be with you and your family tomorrow. We here a Goodson surely will:)
A big bear hug! Sending you big bear hugs, well wishes and lots of prayers. I'll keep you, Nat, your parents and doctors in my prayers. I can't wait to hear how you've conquered this cancer once and for all, and I know you will! Try and rest tonight, conserve your energy for the big fight. We will be delivering some home-cooking (not too much of mine...I think I've already let it slip and you know I'm not the best cook) when you're home and up for a quick visit from C. and me.
prayers and hugs to you thinking of you and Nat and sending lots of love, prayers and good thoughts your way. E. W.
Hey Girl Whew!!! Be glad you’re not here right now. This end of the year stuff will just about send me to the funny farm. I messed up an appraisal on the computer today. See aren't you glad you don't have to listen to me today? I'm sure you wish you could edit this for me - you probably just cringe when you read my messages. All my prayers and love are going to you right now - you keep that chin up and if you need to take one hour at a time you do that because you will come out of this with that smile on your face. I have absolute faith in you. Talk to you soon. Love, S.
Hugs and Kisses to You! Hey! Just got home and I'm thinking about you and saying a prayer! I heard you were having some more surgery tomorrow. Some people will do anything to miss out on TAKS and EOY LPAC's! Hang in there, kiddo! We are sending you lots of hugs and kisses and looking forward to lots of good days on the other end! Love, M.
Hey, my buddy! Today was the principals' meeting. S. is doing just fine. You gave her everything she needed to do a great job. Next week is the BIG one. TAKS. The poor counselors are running around trying to find rooms or cubby holes to put kids to test. I have a great picture of B. with the Easter bunny. He is smiling soooooo big. My backyard is again full of birds. For a while I thought they had forgotten me. I have bluebirds, blue tanagers, chickadees, mourning doves, brown-headed cowbirds, and some that I don't know what they are. When I forget to put seed out, it seems they look in the window asking where the heck I am and to hurry up. I have had an invitation to attend the Harvard Leadership Academy this summer. It is very expensive, but they do have scholarships. Maybe I can do it. It would be fun to have a t-shirt with "I attended Harvard." Don't have to say that it was for only a week. I was on an interview panel yesterday all day interviewing hopeful AP's. It was fun listening to them. I know that you were really shocked and disappointed in the current information about your cancer. I wish I could make it go away for you. Go on a journey in your mind to a quiet, calm place with beautiful mountains and clear beautiful rushing water. The side of the mountain is covered with bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush and yellow calendula. The butterflies are flitting from flower to flower. The birds are calling each other softly. In the distance you see a large cloud coming slowly toward you. As it nears, you know that the white color is coming down and surrounding you with healing. You know as the white slowly goes away that the cancer went with it. You are so happy that you skip down the mountain to Nat who is waiting at the bottom of the mountain. Think about this when you feel scared, lost or not able to wrap your mind around what is happening. You need beautiful thoughts and know that you are surrounded by love from so many people. You know me. I want to "fix it" for you. Make it better. I can’t but know that I hold you close in my thoughts and in my heart. Know you are loved. P.H.
Ask God and believe and you will receive. Lisa, My prayers today are for you that you will have a restful sleep this evening and that God will guide the hands of your surgeon tomorrow as all of the tumor is removed. I pray for a complete and speedy recovery. Lord, please be with Lisa and Nat, Dick and Ann and Kelly this evening and throughout the day tomorrow. I believe in my heart you will beat this Lisa. Keep that smile on your face. Love, A. P.
Thinking of You I need to come up with a catchy title - that is usually my forte! I was watching Oprah (as I have little to do all day but watch television), and it was a show about happiness and the "secret" of life. Essentially, it all boiled down to thinking positively on everything that life deals you, and you will essentially attract positive elements in return. I think you are doing great with the "secret"! The blow you were dealt this week is rough, but the attitude that you are showing is amazing. I know that this attitude/faith and family will help. Just a quick note on staying at home: stay away from the television! It pulls you in and before you know it you can quote the commercials and reruns. In fact, you don't even realize how much time has flown by and what little you have to show for your day. I never realized how much I enjoy working until my time off. So, grab a book or work on a hobby! Keeping your mind busy should be a huge help. C. A.
Good Luck in the morning!! Hi Lisa, Definitely not the kind of news you want to hear. It’s like hearing you have 10 more miles to go on the GRABAAWR when you think you’re done! Our thoughts and prayers are with you for the surgery tomorrow, we will be looking forward to a "positive posting update". Love, S. and T. D.
Hi Lisa and Nat Thinking of you tomorrow as you face new challenges, and know that your spirit and the love of all these friends and family will carry you through. much love M. and T.
Sending Good Vibes Your Way Hello Lisa, I have been thinking about you and your family for the last few days as you move through this series of personal challenges. I will be thinking about you again in the morning as you go through surgery. My thoughts and prayers are with you. L.
Dr. Meric Lisa, I think you need to let Dr. Meric know that she's seen way too much of you lately!!!! When I was in a sorority in college, we always used to make jokes about the "crest upon my chest". (Referring to the sorority pin that we proudly placed for all to see.) You probably missed out on that experience going to an all girl's Catholic college. Tell Dr. Meric to tattoo a crest upon your chest that says "Cancer Free". You know my heart and right now it is wrapped around you and Nat. TAKS or no TAKS, I'm just a phone call away! A million hugs to my friend and family.
Lovely Lisa We are thinking of you, giving you strength and all of our love as you face this challenge. Sending you a bouquet of get well wishes. J., R. and boys
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