Per a few requests, listed below is an update and all the known information.
Firstly, just wanted to thank you all again for your wishes and support for Mandi. She is recovering nicely and doing very well. Thank you for helping us through that tough period.
As for me, I fortunately went for a routine mammogram in late November. I elected to pay extra and have the 3d mammography exam done. I feel this is very beneficial and worth the extra expense. Something looking "highly suspicious" was thought to be found and I went in for an ultrasound. Unfortunately, two days later I was again called in and went for two biopsies on my birthday. The crummy "gift" I received was confirmation of breast cancer. This was all totally unexpected and a huge shock. The fear, unknown and worry then started. I was fortunate to be able to quickly get into UTSW which is where Mandi was treated. We have a skilled oncologist surgeon, an amazing and fantastic oncologist who gave us his cell number and took us to lunch in the doctor's lounge (thanks Dot) and a wonderful radiation specialist. This is really a phenomenal place and if one can be treated here, jump at the opportunity. They schedule each procedure and follow up with each other and while it seems like a long time from detection to treatment, they made the appointments and follow ups very effortless. They are on top of studies and the latest treatments and research which can only benefit one.
While it feels like the nightmare just started, I have probably spent 3 days each week for the last few weeks at UTSW. There were 6 biopsies and more scans, mri's and tests then I can count. I don't believe one part of my body didn't have some test or analysis done. Genetics also thankfully tested negative and my cancer marker shows I do not have cancer, but we know this is definitely not reliable or correct. Based on all of this, it was determined that I am stage 2 to low 3 but curable. Fortunately, this has been contained to where it was detected and has not spread outside of the breast or lymph node.
The treatment is chemo every two weeks for 4-5 months followed by surgery and then radiation each day for 6 weeks. This is followed by hormone treatment. A long road ahead but I am confident I can get through this. I appreciate all your offers of help and especially the support, prayers, wishes and encouragement. You keep me motivated and while I couldn't always respond, your thoughts and kind words made the tears and dark times seem so much brighter. Yes, it has been tough, yes it will be tougher but I will follow all doctor's orders and fight this the toughest way I can. Thank you to all of you for being part of this and making this easier for me while helping us get through this.
A big thank you to all that offered to drive, shop, make meals and hopefully be able to walk with me. I couldn't have done this without Carol Conway setting this all up and keeping me organized. Please know how much we appreciate all your help in giving of your time and supporting our family. Also, thank you to Barbara Kawalsky (who correctly told me to take one day at a time), Jill Bach and Robin Zweig for the wonderful advice and knowledge that continues to guide me and help me. You are all such an inspiration to me as well as tirelessly answering all the million questions I have. Thank you.
This has been a tough year for our family and while one doesn't always understand why things happen, having all of you behind us is a huge blessing. Again, I ask for your patience in receiving replies or responses but please know each and every message, text, call etc is so meaningful, helpful and important.
Thank you for caring. We are indebted to each and everyone of you, Belindy and family