Mar 10, 2006 Latest post:
Jan 12, 2019
My Story is the introduction to our CaringBridge site.
Be sure to read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.
Judy & Steve Erdahl
3630 James Ave. So
Deephaven, MN 55391
My story... Kind of a daunting way to start off a web site. What is my story? It's a little complicated and some of you know more about me than others. Let's just say I have been a survivor for a long time and this is just one more step.
On March 1st I found a lump in my right breast. I had a mammogram in December. As some of you know I don't exactly have a large amount of breast tissue to examine. In fact, I had not always been the best at doing exams, being under the misguided impression that you really needed larger breasts to have breast cancer.
A week later, after an ultrasound and biopsy the results came back; infiltrating/invasive ductal carcinoma. I remember asking the nurse to spell it out. Knowing the words would soon become intimate to me. The lump is small, approximately 1 cm. To further stress the point that you need to do self-exams, when I went to see the Dr. he did not find the lump until I showed him where it was.
I am learning new words; lumpectomy, mastectomy, reconstruction, grades and stages. I know what fear feels like and what peace feels like. I am still traveling between the two. Soon, I hope to stay with the peace and calm for awhile.
I am recognizing that maybe I am not just what I look like on the outside, but more of who I am on the inside. We have such great attachments to our bodies. If I loose this breast, I loose the breast that nursed my children. That is a hard and sad thought. And so I grieve the possibility. Grief is important. It honors a part of us we cannot always explain. It can be a complex emotion, wrapping the joy of memories with bittersweet sadness and gasping for air anguish. After a time, at the right moment I will choose to move on from the grief and look forward. I will not be bitter. I will choose hope and pray for courage.
This is a hard thing to do. But I know I can do hard things. I know that in the end, no matter what, this really will be all right.
At this point I am on a journey, I have no idea where I am going or how it will end. My plan is to learn something, help someone, and do the best job that I can to fight and survive.
Life is messy. We have to be willing to experience the messiness to enjoy the rest.