Saturday, November 7, 2015

I haven't forgotten my quest for Years of Happiness

A wonderful job teaching middle school has kept me away from my blog, but life has thrown a curve ball at my family. Seems like a good time to remember my quest for years of happiness. In the coming months, I'll have some time to devote to focusing on what really matters . . . connections with family and friends.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in late October. She has adenocarcinoma ductal and lobular invasive breast cancer (invasive just means that it is not contained in one tumor that it is in surrounding tissue). She is stage I (good because it’s early), 1.5cm (good because it is small), and grade 3 (aggressive, which is not great). Her lab reports indicate that she may qualify for a treatment that is in the trial stages. This treatment option means fewer side effects and less invasive treatment. 

Nov 11 she will have a procedure to check her lymph nodes. If the cancer has not metastasized, then she is eligible for the trial, which includes a lumpectomy and radiation at the same time. If lymph nodes are involved then she will have a lumpectomy and  radiation 2 times a day for 4-6 weeks. Long way of saying, we have several hurdles ahead. This is the most common type of breast cancer with a very high recovery rate. The C word is alway loaded with emotions, we all deal with it differently. I deal by doing things, and I’m not sure that I’ll have much to do other than be there (it is hard for me to just be).

My coworkers are AMAZING. So no worries about my students being taken care of. They will be in great hands. I will be at work as much as possible because it grounds me. But I’m taking wise advice from trusted souls to let go of work to be with my mother as needed.

My mom’s husband has been on Hospice since last Thanksgiving with congestive heart failure and Alzheimer's. Cancer really does have a sense of timing. 

My wonderful husband has canceled at least one major business trip and will be running the show at Shambala (the name of our home). I’m an only child. My aunt, who lives in Oregon, and I will be taking turns caring for my mother and Bill. My support network is in Birmingham, but I’ll be in Virginia. Thank goodness for telephones and text.

I hope my Fitbit friends will taunt me if I do not meet my step goals. 12,000 steps is my goal for each day—no excuses!!