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Dec 17, 2017 Latest post:
Mar 13, 2018
Hello once again to our CaringBridge family. And those of you not present for the first time around, welcome. Almost ten years ago we became acquainted with the CaringBridge organization. They provide a platform for people facing serious medical challenges to blog, disseminate information and correspond with family, friends and community support. In 2008, as our son Liam was facing his battle with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) we found a lot of peace and strength in using this platform to express our struggle as well as finding a wellspring of support from some fantastic people. We love our caring bridge community and welcome you back. We hoped we would never have to say that.
Lisette has been teaching 6th grade homeroom/math for the past several years in Beaverton. She is an amazing teacher and puts in 110% every day. She doesn't have time to get sick or worry about aches and pains. However, in mid-November the pain that had started a week earlier in her left breast elevated to a level that it became a concern. We got an appointment on the books but after a few days of escalating discomfort, enough was enough and Lisette went into urgent care on the 29th of November. It was there that the nurse practitioner communicated with the doctor's office and set up an imaging appointment outside of the doctor's office as well, just to ensure it was expedited. On the 30th of November, Lisette went to the imaging office and had a mammogram and an ultrasound. There was a mass. The next day, December 1st, Lisette met with our GP and he got up to speed. Looking at the size of the mass (4cm +/-) he expedited the schedule for a biopsy. Tuesday, the 5th Lisette went in for a biopsy and we recieved confirmation on Thursday th 7th that the tumor was indeed malignant. So it was that Lisette was diagnosed with Stage 2B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, cancer of the breast. Then the real work began.
We met with the team from Compass Oncology (next to St Vincent's Hospital) and we immediately knew we were in good hands. You know, surgeons tend to have a pretty bad rap when it comes to bedside manner, a reputation we have been assured by our surgeons is very well earned. They were/are fantastic. Each of the stages and criteria for diagnosing stages were explained as well as our options for care. We were constantly reminded that this cancer is both treatable and the prognosis is good. At this point there are no wrong choices, it is all about how we want to go about it. Lisette had a couple more tests so our treatment plans were up in the air until Friday. We are scheduled to go in tomorrow, Monday 12/18 for a single mastectomy. To be followed by eight rounds of chemotherapy, localized radiation and then reconstructive surgery. This is just the very first step in a long, long process. We appreciate your support, comfort, love and prayers.
I (Brendan) will the primary pagemaster here on Lisette's site as I am relying on her to heal and work on her treatment goals. She will be making periodic edits/ comments and other such appearances here and will lovingly read all of your comments you wish to leave for her. In these first few days we have had many well-wishers and friends/family that are overwhelmed, concerned and motivated to help. We appreciate that greatly. I would encourage you to text, write or call Lisette if you feel it is due. However, please make sure that if you want to visit you call me first and schedule it. Lisette is going to be recovering from surgery and beginning chemo. Visitation needs to be on her schedule. This is an example of the best intentions gone awry. Honestly, a note here on CaringBridge is a very powerful and well received demonstration of your care. It means a lot.
Lisette, the children and I all appreciate your love and attention. Some times a loved one getting sick makes YOU feel powerless, upset and confused. You know you can't take the illness, the pain or their worry away and it makes YOU feel bad as well. There will be opportunities in the near future for people that would like to contribute to meals or what have you. That information will be disseminated via this site as well. I will post as soon as we have anything to say. If you know someone that would like to follow Lisette's story, please send them the link, and welcome.