Broken Open

3 weeks.

It’s hard to believe that’s how long it’s been since my last post.

Here, at the end of Week 3, I am beginning to feel really good.  Any discomfort is manageable (although I miss being able to lay on my tummy).  The bruising is subsiding.  And the incision is closing nicely.

I’m spending my days taking care of myself.  Been getting out for my daily walks again this week, and I spend a lot of time cooking as I experiment with healthy, cancerass-kicking recipes.  My garden is thriving under my now-more-consistent-care, my home is getting mini organizational makeovers, and – if you take the whole “C” word out of the equations – I feel very peaceful and in love with this new softer paced life.

Here I am in that Grace Period between What Was and What Will Be – which, at least initially, involves another surgery one week from today.

This isn’t a bad thing.  I was amazingly relieved to learn that the sentinel nodes that were removed did not contain any cancer cells.  And while the tissue my doc removed was larger than expected, (one tumor was 2mm, the other area 6mm) she was able to get a “clear margin” of 1mm around it all and keep my breast looking very “normal”.  Perky, even.

It’s just that 1.5mm to 2mm is the gold standard where margins are concerned, so Friday she’ll reexcise through the original incision and remove a little more tissue.  Widen the DMZ, so to speak.

And hey – I’m good with that.  For one thing, she’s not looking for something new, praisethebabyJesus.

But more importantly is that this second surgery delayed the chemo timeline and gives me more time to figure out what the HELL I want to do.

This is where my heart is broken open before God.  See, I can face anything if I know that it’s The Divine Plan.  But I gotta KNOW.  I mean, that kind of knowing that gives you peace, even if it means facing the fires of hell.

And in this case, that’s a pretty accurate description.

Once I learned that women were dying in large numbers from what I have without the current treatments available, I’ve not been so quick to throw those treatments out with the Side Effect Ladened bathwater.  Breast Cancer isn’t a one-size-all deal.  It’s not just about “Stages”.  There are a half dozen types of actual cancer pathologies with another handful of characteristics that make up the full diagnosis.  These cover everything from indicators on what the tumors are sensitive to, to genetic risks to aggression numbers.

But.  Right now?  The tumors I had are GONE.  They were successfully removed and when the nodes are clear, there is a very low possibility the cancer has metastasized somewhere else.   So, anything I do from this point is to try to keep it from coming back, and to kill any little floaters that escaped that may….MAY….be somewhere in my body.

Basically, it’s all a fucking crap shoot.

So what is “easier”?  Where are my intentions and prayers and visionings best placed?  To believe for my complete healing and remission by just accepting the surgery and taking my chances?  (Well, along with dietary/lifestyle changes and supplements and whatever else I can think of…)

OR, would my faith be better placed in the recommended treatment plan – a plan that has proven to be very successful –  and just pray to God that I can jump over all the potential issues caused by the 4 treatments themselves?  Each of them – chemotherapy, Herceptin, radiation, and some sort of aromatose inhibitor – is reported to have some pretty icky side effects,  although not everyone experiences them and some are temporary (hair loss, for example).

I’ve learned that many of the potential side effects have to do with the HEART….which is kind of interesting.   I come to feel that with this being in my left breast and all, the cancer metaphysically morphed as a result of heart related issues.  The SOUL kinda heart, not the organ.  Things like betrayals, self sacrificing, over nurturing of others, stress and a deep soul tiredness.

Do I have what it takes to believe that I will be one of  lucky/blessed/graced/fortunate/protected ones 4 times over? Or, will the surgery and my own efforts – with God’s blessing – be enough to keep the wolves at bay?

That is the question that I must answer, and that I carry around me with me every moment of every day.  My hope is that when the time comes when I MUST decide, I will know.


5 thoughts on “Broken Open

  1. So glad to hear that everything is going well so far. I love the ‘clear margins’ declaration. I will pray you get the right insight as to whether to proceed on further treatment after the next round of margin-widening.


  2. Grace, I am so pleased to know that the prognosis is a good one and that the results are showing signs the Lymph nodes are clear. That is great news..
    And I am pleased you are taking life back in your stride as you walk and connect with Nature.. ‘When your outside in the garden if the weather is warm enough try going barefoot as often as you can’ It really does ground you as I am sure you are aware and Mother Nature can be helping bring in those healing energies.. .. Have you ever seen on YouTube the Film Grounded Well worth watching about Healing when grounded to Earth.

    I know you must be facing a dilemma about the chemo.. You must do what your intuitive feelings tell you to do Grace..

    I know my sister had a Mastectomy of one of her breasts when she was 36, she had to have her lymph nodes under her arm removed also, which led to her under and upper arm having no feeling.. She had the chemo way back in the 90’s and I know its come on leaps and bounds since then, plus the 5 yrs of tablets. She is now 55, and goes regular for health checks and is all clear…. And still smiling.. And like you, once you face the Big C… every other issue diminish’s and she lives life for each day..

    My thoughts are with you Grace for next weeks surgery, and you have the right attitude of mind.. Its GONE.. vanquished.. Finished with.. Your body is now clear and free to heal and get stronger .. I know your intent of mind attitude, along with your diet alterations, you are doing everything right..

    Sending an added HUG though.. with some LOVE waves <3 <3 to give your energy a boost..
    Love and Healing thoughts my friend.
    Sue x


  3. I am so happy for you! The prognosis looks good.
    Enjoy this time of being with the unknown yet with reassurance.
    The decision on next steps is an important one.
    Trust that you will know. It is part of the journey.
    Hugs xoxo


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