Thursday, June 5, 2008

My new club that you can't belong to!!

I guess the best place to start is to explain what started this whole thing, but first want to say that all my posts won't be this long. 
 One day about a month ago I found a lump.  Never in my mind did I actually believe I had Breast Cancer.  My mom and sisters all have/had lumpy breast and so that is how mine are.  Instead of making an appointment with my regular ND, I went to see a new MD.  She said not to worry, but anytime she had any hesitation she sent the woman off to Swedish's Comprehensive Breast Center.  Two weeks out, and I wasn't all that worried. All of my family and friends were all saying not to worry, "Its just a cyst."  I was joking around with everyone about it, and the worst case scenarios, throwing my life around as I didn't realize what NOT A JOKE this was soon to be.   
The folks at the Comprehensive Breast Center were great.  I said goodbye to my husband, as I got to walk into the world of woman in robes waiting to see a Doc.  We all just looked at each other in that warm room with suddenly unimportant magazines about what clothes are cool right now.  My husband said that he sat in his room with a bunch of scared men that he was totally thinking, he wasn't part of this club either.  My appointment seemed to get a little scarier when after the Ultrasound & Mammogram I was asked to sit in a little room.  I asked, "Is this the not so great room, should I get my husband?"  They let him come back with me.  The Doc told me she wasn't certain either way, and wanted to get  what's called a Core Biopsy.  She also asked me if I wouldn't mind getting a tag implanted into my breast, just in case in the future I needed surgery.  That didn't go so well. 
 This was the first time that I medically (and I didn't realize it until now) got to make a decision about my little body that I would have NEVER considered, and I didn't for too long.  I told her, "No way" was I going to have someone put some foreign thing in me.  If I got Breast Cancer then we'll go to those drastic measures.  That was on a Wednesday, results take 2-3 days, so I had to wait until Monday.  This was the weekend I started practicing becoming a Yogi, and I hadn't realized it yet.  We went to the Hoh Rain Forest and the little lovely town of Forks (there are good things about it, like the ocean and the forests).  This was just the trip we both needed.  Even last night when we couldn't sleep, we both remarked that the Ocean's beaches of this area is what was helping us to relax.  Anyways, so here came Monday.  The call, " Heather, unfortunately you do have Breast Cancer.  You need to come down here right now.  We have an opening just for you at 3."  
I just couldn't believe it.  In one moment Our Lives had Changed.  We both got dressed in a fury, and numbly walked into a new Zone.  When we first met we used to call it The Zone.  We'd just look into each other's eyes and suddenly our spirits would start flying in a reality that seemed to only exist with each other.  Now, I was experiencing this but in not a loving way.  In a Twilight Zone way.  My husband, (from now on will be named D for short) "Okay, we don't know anything.  Let's not panic.  We just know you have Breast Cancer," says D.  Right, we don't know." As we got to the front desk, I was hit so hard.  I couldn't talk.  I just started crying.  This was the first time I was about to utter the words of cancer and my name.  The lady was so sweet.  Saying to me calming and caring words.  Words I simply cannot remember now.  I got the strength to say, because it was important so important for me to say what I had to say.  " Hi, my name is Heather __ and I was just told I have Breast Cancer."  Phew!  It was true, and I said it.  I think D new that I needed to say this.  He gave me a Kleenex and walked with me to start filling out all the paperwork.  
We met with my Doc, she was going to be my Surgeon they told me.  I found her to be incredibly confident, a wonderful communicator, personal, trustworthy, and again confident.  For the first time in my medical history, there was no feeling of being rushed in there.  She made us feel like we were the center of the world and took lots of time with us.  Even as I just sat there and wept, I just couldn't believe it.  This was so much to take on within a few hours.  The team at the Comprehensive Breast Center Rock!!  I left there not floundering at all, and had the miraculous experience of having all my Scans scheduled for me, this week to boot!  I left there totally knowing, if I chose to stay with them that I was going to see my Oncologist on Monday and have surgery on Friday the 12th.  Incredible!  We felt completely deflated as we left, but for the first time empowered with the information we needed to start doing our own research.
We got home and just cried.  There are no words to express this than utter despair.  Shock.  Disbelief, why me, why you.  The Why's started to kick in.  So we started cleaning the house, both of us.  Taking control of what we could, and started kicking around those why's and how is this possible.  
For those of you who don't know me, I am a bit of a Health Fanatic.  I love to fast, eat only Organic everything, exercise, love yoga, I mean I love to be healthy.  I took this approach since the age of 17.  On my own, I worked at a health food store in Kodiak, AK and started learning about my new life path.  One of healing my body and one of being a Healer.  I got my first massage from a co-worker.  As this massage was happening, I heard a whisper in my ear, a calling I was soon to realize, that I was to not go to College, but instead go to Massage School.  I looked up thinking that maybe she- the massage therapist had whispered this, but no she was down at my feet.  I have been a Healer since 1994, and have even studied Cancer Massage.  Since a few of my clients had/was going through this journey.  I loved working with these woman.  Their range of motion wasn't so great in their little arms and they had lymphadema.  My massages really helped them and that is what my life is all about.  So, how could it be that I am now part of this club.  As D put it, " A club you didn't want to belong to."  I corrected him,    " A club we didn't want to belong to."
As I am feeling, hearing, and reading, this Cancer thing affects everyone in our family.  We are ALL living with Cancer now.  Not only has our marriage come from 3 (each of us representing ourselves, and a 3rd-the spirit of our marriage) but now, I feel on an energetic level a 4th spirit, kindof like a ghost in the room that is now claiming its presence.  We need to call Ghost Busters!!  So, where was I.  Yeah, yeah, the picture of health.  Seriously.  The picture of FREAKIN HEALTH.  What more could I have done. Seriously.  I can't remember who now, but one of you Angels said to me, " Heather, there is nothing more you could have done.  You couldn't have been better.  You couldn't have done anything different.  You did everything your supposed to do."  
Enough of the self-indulgent behaviour!  We both needed to start telling our parents and siblings and dear friends.   That is when the tears really started to spill.  Disblief, sheer and utter disbelief.  But now Support.  At some point we went to bed, crying and trying to start finding the postitives in a sea of unknowns.   I woke up at my now new time, 5 AM.  It seems that this is the time that my mind starts to race and I start thinking not positively so I get up, and START DOING STUFF (heres that D in me not my husband, but as in DISC profiling).  I emailed everyone that I knew could help me with the new daunting task of finding the best Doc's.   I then went back to sleep and was awoken by a call from a Dear Friend Steve.  He is an amazing athlete, a so far 2 time oh, heck what is that crazy race he does.  The one that would kill me, the one that takes almost 3/4 of a day to complete, the uhh..IRONMAN!! That's it.  He literally (as if I was trying to run the race next to him) grabbed the back of my neck as I was crouched down in almost a fetal position, and stood me up.  And looked me in the eye and said, "We are just getting started here, friend.  Gather your strength, let's get going.  You can do this."  I told him to call in the horses, I mean Calvary and he started Networking like all extraordinary Networkers do.  
Steve asked if I was going to get a second opinion.  I was so exhausted, my spirit was exhausted.  For those of you that don't know me I like to think of myself as 2 animals, Tiger from Winnie the Pooh and a Hummingbird.  I love to do as many things I can at once, I love to be busy.  But this was gone, momentarily.  So, I said no.  They know what it is.  I have decided now my second opinion will come in the form of my treatment.  
Jumping ahead, Tuesday the day after being diagnosed, was spent with my phone and laptop on me at all times.  You little worker bees!  I will tell you that I have not felt so Support and Love as I have in one day as this day.  Except the day I got married.  Slowly, D and I got pumped up more and more.  As you all, started resourcing for me.  Everyone that said what can I do, just let me know.  I said, " I need to find the best Doc's in this city.  Not that other's aren't but, I wanted to know who everyone has gone to.  My little list was being made.  Soon, I found 3 Docs names that kept coming around and around.  I want to mention here, that there are a lot of Best Docs but I wanted the ones that have been doing this a LONG time, and that is what I needed.  So yesterday (Wednesday), I called the Breast Place and told them, " I am calling to break up with you guys."  It truely felt/feels this way.  I know that everyone supports me making my own health care decisions but I had a connection with these folks and I knew I was with good hands. But for those of you that don't know me, I am a little Type A and in DISC a D.  Okay, I hate to say it, but here it goes, alright... yes, I am a bit of a Control Freak.  
  I needed to know that if it(breast cancer) comes back for a 2nd visit, that D and I can look into each other's eyes and say that I did everything I could.  I saw everyone I could, and should've and I would more importantly have no regrets.  So the KICK ASS ROCK STAR team was formed through the help of a few Key Players, calling these Docs and getting me in.  I am not going to mention anyone's names as I do not want the other KICK ASS Doc's being thought of as not good.  This was just my team that I needed.  I feel that My Angels brought them to me. Thank you Angels, as you know who you are.
So yesterday, was the Team Together day, YEAH!! and my first day of Scans.  I got to have a Bone Scan.  I am excited to get these results as its my little body and I have absolutely no control over the fact that either the Cancer has or hasn't gone anywhere else.  This is going to either way be a fact, and I will face those challenges when I face the.  So, D and I go into the little room that they will soon inject me with RadioIsotopes AKA F18.  I looked him in the eye and we both had a little psychic moment.  We both new that in no possible way would I have EVER  in a million years agreed to allowing someone to pollute my body with Radiation.  The Doc said that it similar to what I would get if I had flown to NY.  I said, " Can I fly to NY instead."  We all knew it wasn't like that.  My tongue a day later can tell you it isn't the same.  I have a nice Metallic taste, mmm...
Before I go, I want to say how we are.  We are only surrounding and reaching out to folks that are seriously not giving us any Negative energy in the tiniest amount.  I am going to not only make it through this, but I am going to be transformed and am looking forward to my new growth in every aspect.  I believe I am on this earth to GROW and I have attacked my life thus far in this fashion.  I am opening my heart to a new path as a Healer whatever may come.  I feel that suddenly I am a Yogi.  For years meditation has been nearly impossible for me, as I am a little Hummingbird.  But I feel a new animal coming into my life.  I and We are only being in the Present.  I know we all know its important to do.  But now it is all there is.  No looking ahead at things we do not know if I even need to think about.  Like a wig.  Like maybe just I'll be bald.  Because I may not need Chemo.  If I do, I will get to cross that path.  So, if anyone does comment, please do not go ahead.  Practice with us, simply being in the moment as that is all we all EVER REALLY HAVE.  Lots of love and light and tears and love to you.


genevieve said...

this is beautiful Heather
thanks for you
love love love

tamara said...

When I wrote to you after you emailed to tell all the girls, I told you I felt like I was going to hummingbird around you energetically. Like 'to hummingbird' is a verb. I had no idea that hummingbirds were already such a totem to you! So i think you now have a flock of little hummingbirds who have all come to flicker around you. Don't you love the way hummingbirds are so tiny but they are also so, oh i don't know, matter-of-fact and purposeful? "Yup, got to go over here and deal with this flower. Very busy being small and fast. Talk to you later." I love that. Reminds me of my bunny Marvin, who can somehow be fluffy and macho at the same time. I think you are like that. Such a lovely little flitty hummingbird, with such a core of braided steel.

karigo said...

I have also been touched by these very same things- my mom is battling also. She too speaks of the present and appreciating everything around you, always. I am taking in all she stands for these days. On June 21st we are walking to support the hope of a cure and our awareness, we will walk for you too. -Kari g

Brianna said...

I love you

Ms. Crosbie said...

"Being in the moment is all we ever have" these are wise words - i have just learned (like you) that asking why? only spins your head in circles. there is NEVER a final answer. i truly honour your respect for the moment and i am there WITH you, sending you much positive energy and vibrations. xxoo kt

Shelley Noble said...


I didn't realize how much we have in common. Especially the hummingbirds...

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Their delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life's sweetest creation.

Laughter is always the best medicine too.

Be Well. Good Thoughts.

F*ck Cancer! said...

Hello Heather,

A lot of what you wrote felt the same for us, in fact I saw our experience very similar to yours.

Except we are not health nuts, but it certainly has moved us more in that direction. We did the same thing, gathering information about cancer, getting a positive attitude about our new enemy.

I saw it as a fight, a battle for life. We felt better gathering our team together. We feel blessed about the doctors in our lives. When Becky first saw her oncologist Dr. Vinn she had a cyst and the tumor was next to it. Dr. Vinn was not sure that it was inflamitory not and your oncologist was asked to give his opinion on the matter. He did not think it was and it turned out he was right. So I know you are in great hands!

I look forward to your posts, I added you to my prayer list. What I remember is telling people at work about my wife's breast cancer. It was then I learned early to not talk about it too much. This was at the beginning and it seemed there were a lot of horror stories out there and pretty negative, so I stopped talking to people and realized that my wife's experience is unique to her and what happens to her is her story and not theirs.

Looking back on it, my wife did as I visualized her treatment going. I saw her getting through chemotherapy without a problem, and her mastectomy would be uncomplicated and then the radiation being easy with no problems.

And then I saw her as being cured. And so far it has been as I visioned. I refused to see anything negative for my wife and it has come true.

Thank you for your story, I look forward to reading about your journey.