Sue Manzo

First post: Oct 25, 2017 Latest post: Nov 20, 2017
Hi all.

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

     Many of you know that my first brush with Breast Cancer came almost 20 years ago when my mom was diagnosed at the age of 69.  She survived this disease for 9 years before her passing in December of 2009.   My personal journey started back in February of 2017 when I noticed some changes in my left breast.  My doctor assessed me and was not concerned at the time and as life got in the way it was just forgotten.  Recently, 3 months ago I noticed the issue again and decided to follow up with my doctor.  She referred me to a breast care specialist and the last 2 months have been a blur with some positives and negatives happening between the anxiety and stress of waiting for results.  In a nutshell we went through a mammogram, several biopsies and a few MRI's to determine where we stood with regards to this disease.  It was determined to be a 7 cm DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ)  a stage "0" non-invasive form of the disease.  After several visits with exceptional doctors in the Atlanta area we decided on Dr. Patrick Luke as our general surgeon to remove the tissue and Dr. Randal Rudderman to complete the lengthy reconstructive process.  
     This year marks the 25th wedding anniversary with my best friend and husband, Rick.  We planned a wine and food tour through Italy almost a year ago and as this cancer saga began to unfold the trip seemed to be off the radar with no chance of celebration.  We called it off probably 3 times before all our results came back and our doctors said it was safe and would be the best thing for me mentally to get away from this for a few weeks.  To Rick's amazement the trip was back on and we set off on October 5th for the best trip of our lives.  Although I continued to say that the perfect vacation for me would be somewhere on a beach he showed me the itinerary and all the mini adventures that were planned and i started to warm up.  So glad I did.  We flew into Rome, took a basket of wine and cheese on a train to Venice and worked our way back to Rome.  Three days in Venice were incredible as we walked miles through the canals, rode a Gondola and caroused through St. Marks square.  Then off to Florence to visit El Duomo, Michelangelo's Square and even a roof top bar overlooking the city.  Next we cruised through Tuscany, Sienna, Montelcino and Montepulciano  including 4 wine tours topped off by a cooking class where we made pasta and biscotti from scratch.  Finally we took a train back to Rome for 3 days of archaeological tours, two more wine tours and more great food.  It was sad to see it end especially as we sat in the airport and they announced our 10 1/2 hour plane ride home.
    Today is the day.  We arrived at 8:00 am for pre-op with surgery scheduled for 1:00 pm.  After what seemed like a long morning our doctors showed up, we finalized prep and they rolled me to the OR.  Operation and recovery will be most of the afternoon with an overnight stay at Northside with my daughter Becca.  I will come home on Thursday and have 2-4 weeks of recovery before going back to work and beginning to get back to reality.  I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey to this point and those that will become a part of the journey from this point forward.  This disease is scary, but treatments are much more advanced than even 18 years ago when Oma went through it.  I appreciate all of you who have sent prayers, taken me out to divert my attention from all that was whirling around me and just reached out with prayers and well wishes.  I would never have been able to get through this without my faith, my family and my friends.  You all are amazing and have lifted me up beyond my wildest dreams.  I hope that this surgery will be the end of this scare in my life, but only God knows where this will go.  Please continue to pray for me and for all those involved in trying to find a cure for this disease.  Join this site and follow my updates as we go from here through my recovery.

Love you all and appreciate you too.

Love Sue


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