Saturday, August 21, 2010
Choosing to Walk, to swim ... to live
So yesterday Mary and I met with my doctor at Mayo clinic and the surgeon. I wondered why my doctor still wanted me to meet with the surgeon since the pathology report from the MRI biopsy was benign, but she explained that I have two separate lesions: one that was seen on the MRI and the other that is palpable and was not seen from any of their imaging tests. It feels like the lesions/lumps I had back in 2009 where I ended up having two surgeries to remove them. The findings: atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) both in May of 2009 and then again in December of 2009. This week's biopsy confirmed that the new lesion that was visible on the MRI was benign. "We still need to monitor the palpable mass". Unfortunately due to a hematoma that had formed during the biopsy the surgeon wasn't able to feel the mass. I told her I would continue to monitor it and if it changes or continues to grow I will let her know. Apparently I was "lucky" in 2009 when a lump was formed around atypical cells (the stage where cells start going awry and showing abnormal behavior; the stage before they turn to what doctors call "cancer"). "Atypical cells normally don't cluster or form lumps", my doctor tells me. So twice in 2009 I was "lucky". I choose to view it as my body communicating loudly and clearly with me to stop, slow down, listen. "The problem", she goes on, "is that because atypia normally doesn't form clusters, there's no way to tell if there were more atypical cells in the area outside of what was excised. And the fact that on two separate surgeries, both found atypical cells, it means that the cells in your breast are changing and something is going on. We really need to be diligent and pay close attention."
So the plan and recommendation is a 6 month breast MRI followup to monitor changes and if the palpable mass grows, to come in sooner with the possibility of another surgical biopsy to remove it if it does not show up on imaging tests again. For now ... I have a 6 month 'break' from tests and procedures surround my breast "issues" :) unless the palpable mass changes ... for now, I'm continuing with my choice of 'close surveillance'. Next month I have my 6 month followup with my GI doctor to check the status of my pancreas. He'll be happy to know the enzymes are working and that I'm no longer losing weight and I'm not feeling fatigued anymore.
I'm grateful for the break from medical tests and procedures ... I will continue to be proactive with my health in others ways ... working with my energy healer, my therapist, nutrition, exercise (bikram yoga, strength training, running), writing/journaling/blogging, meditation, massage ... and next week I also made an appointment to go back and see my naturopath. Mary and I have also said that we are going to return to WildQuest next year to swim with the wild dolphins! I personally still believe that that IS the best medicine!
I'm excited about how my life is unfolding. I'm excited about life. I'm excited about new adventures, new friendships, deeper love and connections ...
While walking on the beach last December in Marco Island with my partner we saw this older couple walking out in the ocean. There was something so beautiful about it and I had to capture that moment with my camera. What a gift to have a life long partner .... today, I am grateful for Mary and for how she continues to show me that she is here for me, and she will walk by my side no matter what. And when we were in Bimini swimming with the dolphins we were often surrounded my moon jellies ... beautiful, hypnotic and mesmerizing. They would also sting. It didn't hurt too much, at least most of the time, but to me they are like the lumps that cluster around atypical cells in my breast, the digestive challenges i've had with my pancreas ... they are reminding me to pay attention and to listen to my body.
The truth is ... we all don't know how much time we have here on earth. What we do have a choice about is how we choose to live our life and every moment. And I am choosing to dive head first into the deep blue ocean because who knows ..... I bet there are a million miracles lying below the surface!! :) And I don't want to miss out on being a witness to the wonders around us, every second, every moment. I also need to remind myself to simply stop and slow down and to look around me. There's beauty and life right next to me. And the little girl in me has this fantasy ... if it's it not so good, maybe if I touch it, it will turn to gold. The little girl in me wants to be loved and she wants to play ... well, I think it's time I let her out to play!
For all you following my blog and walking with me on my journey ... thank you.