So over the Christmas break Sarah went for a routine Well-Woman check up which included a mammogram to check for breast cancer. We didn't think anything of it even after they called back a few hours later and asked her to come in and do another scan. It sounded like they just didn't do it right the first time. So when they said they needed to do a biopsy to investigate some abnormalities, alarm bells started ringing. But even this seemed like it was just to check out something, something that was going to be non-cancer-y. The biopsy results would come back in 3-5 days they said. So when they called back the next afternoon and told Sarah she had Breast Cancer it was really fucking shitty news.
We spent over a week waiting for more test results all the while spiraling into panic and terror while trying to read anything we could about the situation. The internet is not somewhere you look to find good news apparently. We were utterly terrified. We have two kids, Willow aged 6 and Phoebe aged 18 months. We are barely holding it together looking after these two without bringing Breast Cancer along for the ride.
Eventually we found out that Sarah has been diagnosed with Triple positive invasive Breast Cancer. Which isn't great. We are still waiting on some more test results to determine the type of surgery she will require but what's definite is she is about to start 6 months of Chemotherapy followed by surgery and then possibly radiation therapy. That's the bad news.
The good news in all this is that the type of cancer she has is very receptive to a drug called Herceptin. Its extremely successful at stopping the cancer growing to the point where it starts destroying the cancer cells enough to make surgery more successful and the chance of the cancer re-occurring much less likely. The other good news is that it was caught early. It's stage 1 breast cancer and its rare to catch breast cancer this early. In the US they scan for Breast Cancer from the age of 40, but in the UK its not until you're 50. So if we still lived in the UK she may not have been diagnosed for another ten year. One more reason why we love living in Portland. I guess like Cherry Coke, Seinfeld and over priced coffee, the UK even gets Cancer years later than the US.
So this is a web journal for people to stay updated with her progress. We have a lot of wonderful friends in Portland but we also have a lot of extremely worried family that live thousands of miles away. Hopefully this will keep everyone updated with any progress and give Sarah a break from sending a thousand text messages at each step of the the journey.
We are about to embark on the hardest year of our lives. Those of you who know Sarah know that she is the strongest person they have ever met. She is an amazing mother to our daughters Willow and Phoebe, and has always taken everything on by herself. They'll also know that asking for help is not something that comes easily for either of us. But we need help. The thing we are most worried about at the moment is how we are possibly going to keep our kids cared for while Sarah fights Breast Cancer.
Our wonderful friend Peg Serena has set up a GOFundME fundraising website that we are so grateful for and that we will use to pay for childcare and medical expenses.
For people who want to help but don't know how, please consider checking it out here: https://gofund.me/698kq4f8
It will help us out tremendously.