Stacey Vojvodich My beauty is my soul

First post: Mar 29, 2017 Latest post: Apr 15, 2019
Dearest family and friends,

On March 23, I went to the mobile mammogram unit for my annual mammogram. During my drive to work I felt uneasy-something was wrong. 

I received a call from a pleasant soft spoken nurse at St. Mary's Hospital a couple days later to inform me that my mammogram was abnormal and she has scheduled me for an imaging  mammography, weeks end, at St. Mary's Hospital Women's Van Dyke Center. As mentioned, I knew something was not right. It's amazing how sometimes we just know, isn't it?  Therefore, I really wasn't shocked.  When I went for my mammogram I was told that if there were any areas of concern they​ would take me to the ultrasound room.  As I expected, the nurse told me the radiologists felt an ultrasound was warranted, and I went to the ultrasound room with a delightful young tech whose smile was one of encouragement. 

In the beginning of the following week, I received another call from the same kind nurse sharing that a biopsy needed to be scheduled.  Mid week, I went for my biopsies (by the way, for those that imagine it being one needle freezing one spot and one vacuum probe snipping some tissue to remove for analyzing-not so). It was an hour of numerous, very uncomfortable Novocaine injections throughout my right breast to numb, and probing numerous areas to get tissue samples. 

The next day, Mar. 23, I received a call from that ever so thoughtful nurse, to ask how I was feeling, tell me there will be extensive bruising, discomfort, to use the ice packs she provided and that they found cancer in my right breast.  She explained what the doctors knew at that point. Those of you that know me well, know when faced with a problem, crisis, trauma...I kick into a 'let's figure this out mode', I'll have time to feel later.

Since then, I have done what I do in all adverse situations-think, process, gather information, ask questions, assess, make informed decisions and plan. Those of you that know me well, know I believe knowledge is power, and therefore am an information/research geek to a fault. Note to self: search for information on kidney stones, birth, dementia, arthritis, so on- NOT breast cancer. That's when the emotion surfaced. I, I, I, have breast cancer. Me. Stacey. Breast cancer. Really!?! Seriously, what else!?! 

Today, Mar. 27th I went back to St. Mary's Hospital Women's Center for a blood draw and an MRI imaging IV contrast of both breasts and underarms. After an hour of laying on my stomach, with arms above head and breasts in a trough, I slowly connected back with my surroundings, while I was greeted by my Nurse Navigator, Deb. A genuinely caring, thoughtful, intelligent woman that will help me "navigate" through this next chapter of my life that I have unwillingly​ begun. Deb sat with me until my MRI was read by the head of the Radiology Dept.. St. Mary's Breast Center requires 4 radiologists read every woman's breast mammograms and MRIs. I'm impressed and grateful. I can begin taking the plethora of small steps toward being a breast cancer survivor, with confidence in myself because I have confidence in my team. I have the best of the best caring for me and working with me.  Deb, my nurse navigator, my surgeon, radiologist and oncologist. The mammogram, ultrasound and MRI contrast pictures where on screens for me to see.  All findings were explained to me in great detail. 

Here are the facts:
-invasive lobular carcinoma on the side of my right breast
-estrogen receptor + {not good}
-progesterone receptor + {not good}
-her2now -result {jump for joy}
-KI67 test 0 being slow growing cancer/100 being fast growing; I'm at 9! {jump for joy}
-The last two tests are good prognostic indicators.
-I will definitely have surgery
-I will definitely have radiation Monday-Friday for  6 1/2 wks
- I will definitely have a sentinel lymph node procedure
-I will definitely have one treatment of chemo: Oncotype DX {to help me make a more informed treatment decision following surgery by predicting the potential for recurrence}

So, welcome to my CaringBridge website. Read or ignore as you wish. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Repeating everything is way too much work and I recall everything when I write. When faced with a life-changing event, each of us handle it differently.  The decision to not keep this private is something I need to do.  If I keep it private it makes me feel as though it's something too awful to share.  I have one other reason why I decided not to keep this private-you. I hope it will be a constant reminder to pay close attention to your body, treat it with care, and pester each other to get regular check ups. It is with utmost gratitude that I thank you for your support and encouragement. I am grateful to my husband Peter and my daughter Sadie for their unwavering love, support and encouragement- my two precious little ones, Louisa and Noah, who's hugs and laughter are a constant reminder of what is important in life.  I have made a well-thought out decision to not tell my mother. As difficult as it is to not have her by my side to feed off of her optimism, feel her love and be comforted in her arms, I do not want her to worry about me. If you speak with her or visit, please respect my request. Thank you for visiting my site. I will write updates when I have anything new to share. Take care of yourselves and each other.  

CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey. Learn more about CaringBridge.

To interact with Stacey’s website, sign in or register today.

By registering with CaringBridge, you will join over 300,000 people a day who are supporting friends and family members.

Sign In Or Register