When I was in 3rd grade, as part of a creative writing exercise, we had to write in the “Good news/Bad news” style. Except this was called “Fortunately/Unfortunately”. It went like this:

Fortunately, I had a chocolate chip cookie in my lunch!

Unfortunately, it fell on the ground!

Yes, it was as compelling as it sounds, and could go on for many, many sentences in that up/down approach. Scintillating even.  I thought about dusting off that old technique and using it to share the updates from my two Dr’s appointments today….

But then I realized I have too much to share, and it was too tricky to comply, so please forgive me for the lack of color and detail, I’m just not up to it today.

It’s not you, it’s me.

Oncologist: I met with the wonderful Dr H in Marin.  Given the data from the final pathology, most of my readings are really good, (Stage 1a, HR/PR+, ER-neg, 0 lymph nodes) but there are 2 things they are concerned with, mainly my young age at onset, and my Ki67 score which is higher than they’d like. Based on these factors, she laid out the scenarios for treatment. To prevent systemic occurrence (somewhere else not in the breasts thats local recurrence and the bilateral mastectomy took care of that), further treatment is necessary. Whether that involves Tamoxifen or Chemo + Tamoxifen remains to be seen. There is a reduced potential risk if we do the combo treatment, but much is unclear. I need to have one more test that will take 2-3 weeks (oh yay The Waiting Game again – hello old friend) to get back. Based on that, we hope to have more information that will help guide the treatment scenario.

Ugh. Of course chemo is what I was totally hoping to avoid, so hearing it was like a huge punch to the gut. Take my boobs away and now my hair too? Not my happy place. It also means postponing reconstruction plans, or at least slowing the process down quite a bit. And adding 12 more weeks of feeling yucky. Crap, crap.  We go back in mid December, so for now, I heal, and we wait. Sigh.

Plastic Surgeon: This afternoon I went to see Dr K in the city to get my last 2 drains out. This is the ‘Fortunately’ part of the story. The ‘Unfortunately’ part is that my left breast (where the TT was – note at 1.1 cm it’s no longer Teeny Tiny Tumor, just Tiny Tumor.) is not healing as well as they’d like. I have a special cream to put on the skin and they want me to come in every week so they can check on it. This means my expansion process will be delayed until my left breast is totally healed. Grrr.

And even more on the ‘Unfortunately’ side of things…

  • Because of the concern over the healing, there is a scenario where I have small surgical procedure to repair the skin. Yes, another surgery. Pre- expansion, pre-Chemo.
  • If we do end up doing the Chemo route, then my exchange surgery and  reconstruction will take a back seat to the cancer prevention treatment. More waiting.
  • Worst-case scenario, the timetable for all of this could be pushed back which means I won’t be done until next September.

So, today isn’t a half-full sort of day. I’m sorry to say that I’ve given in to the dark side and am feeling kinda crappy with today’s news.

But alas, I can’t quit you and end this way, so as a promise heretofore, are the “Fortunatelys’:

  1. Lucky made new friends and had a nice morning with cousins C, L and J.
  2. I enjoyed a delish homemade Turkey soup from BW. Yummers.
  3. Went shopping for some A-Cup padded bras. (I got the kind that have pads and pillows in them Super Duper style) so I can start to look like a normal-ish person.
  4. Won my Fantasy week even though RGIII pooped the bed. Bam!
  5. Came home to a scrumptious chili dinner with all the fixings (Hello Cornbread – where have you been all my life?) courtesy of JG (yes there is another with my initials).

Gotta go – I think some more cornbread is calling my name.



9 Responses

  1. Ugh. Sorry to hear the unfortunately part. Your CJ now J is taking a crappy path (unfortunately) but you will get through this because you are you (fortunately). Xoxoxoxo

  2. Got home and spoke to CM late last night and got the scoop. I had a feeling it had not been a “perfect day”. Fortunately, you look fabulous! Really!! Fortunately, you have the cutest dog ever! and Fortunately, you have a family and friends who adore you and are at your service. Loved meeting B! We love her. Love you JG! More than you know!

  3. Sorry so much stress for you right now. i am so thankful for your updates and continue to be here cheering you on. Cancer is a yucky thing!!! We are leaving for Africa on Saturday for 3 weeks. i hope to keep up with your posts but who knows when. In the mean time we send lots of love and healing thoughts. Suzy and Bruce

  4. Waiting for the Oncatype can seem like years. It was the most frustrating part of my treatment. Even after the wait, I scored a 22 which falls into the grey area of we aren’t sure you would benefit from chemo. We met with several oncologists each who had different opinions. More stress again. I hope yours come back in the white. Thinking good thoughts for you.

  5. Whatever path you take, we will all be there for you and you will make it through and recover completely (fortunately) but it just might take a bit longer than expected (unfortunately). Sending positive thoughts your way!! XO

  6. Crap- so bummed your unfortunately list grew. We love you. Still much to be thankful for.. The cj is now a yucky j. Xo. Anne (& Spencer)

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