CaringBridge Is Funded by People Like You

Make a donation to CaringBridge

Honor Abby with a tax-deductible contribution to CaringBridge today.

Click here to make your donation.

Abby’s Story

My story will bring you back to the beginning our newest life's challenge.  It is meant to answer the many similar questions people have asked, such as how was the lump discovered? Journal entries will give you the "day in and weeks out" of what is to be called my journey..  Thanks for being a part of this with us.

February 9, 2013

On a Friday in early January, my primary doctor found a lump of concern during an annual check-up for my heart meds.  With the instant messaging system now used via computers, he requested a diagnostic mammogram ASAP.  The following Tuesday this was done, leading to a biopsy on Wednesday, and news that confirmed a cancerous breast tumor on Friday.  (Bam.)

Because I have discomfort in my chest from the vascularspasms and also deal with back pains, the following Monday additional tests were ordered: an MRI of both breast and a bone scan.  Both of these were negative for cancer in any other area and allowed me to make the decision to proceed with a lumpectomy.  (Simple.)

This surgery took place on January 22.  A clear margin around the 1.5 cm tumor was obtained, and the single lymph node removed tested negative for cancer.  We were encouraged and optimistic that treatment of radiation and hormone therapy would be the end of it.  (Nope.)

As we anxiously awaited the report from California on tumor specifics, I added in a colonoscopy during my recovery time.  My mom’s cancerous tumor in her secum, many years back, puts my sisters and me at a higher risk.  Though I was very aware of the presence of the scope during this procedure (that’s another story) my intestines were given a “clean” bill of health. (Wink.)

On February 7, Tony and I made the trip to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for a radiation consultation. At this point, I was debating the necessity of radiation and hoping hormone therapy would prevent future recurrences.  Little did we know that this simple option would not even bea consideration later in the day. (Dang.)

That afternoon, the oncologist’s appointment provided information that we had not even considered.  The HER2 positive, “comedo” ductal tumor was given a high risk rating for ‘distant’ recurrence elsewhere in the body. This added the word‘chemotherapy’ into the necessary treatment plan.  We were totally caught off-guard; the box of tissues was emptied as the reality set in.  The ‘nasty’ cancer tumor removed may have sent small cancer cells out into my body, and now they need to be dealt with aggressively.  (Crap.)

The journey has taken an uphill climb…I’m getting FIERCE!  Thanks so much, to all, for the love and support already given to allow me to proceed with GRACE.  Angels watch over us!  (Amen.)