One of the things I have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving is that I still have a mostly-intact right breast. A few weeks ago, as I was finishing up a business trip in Paris, I received a diagnosis of breast cancer. This last Tuesday I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, and should be getting more lab results early next week. For the moment, it’s looking as if we caught it early enough that a month of radiation will suffice as follow-up treatment, and that I’ll be able to start that after the month’s trip to Australia (mid-December to mid-January) that had already been planned.

I did fine in surgery and am mostly just tired at the moment, from emotional overload as much as anything – cancer is a scary diagnosis under any circumstances. I have plenty of support at home, especially from my long-time partner-in-crime (and other crises), Brendan. I’ll keep everyone posted as I learn more.

Dec 1 update: No lymph node involvement and the tumor was completely removed, which is the best possible news right now. They’ll do a bit more testing on the removed tumor to see whether chemo may be a good idea – it was a pretty big tumor (25mm). And I’ll certainly need radiation and follow-up hormonal therapy, but in the meantime I can go to Australia as planned, departing Dec 16th. Time to pack!

later update: Yes, I will do chemo, starting pretty soon after I return to the US (from Australia) in mid January.

top: souvenir surgery socks

my breast cancer story (thus far)

5 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Alan Coopersmith

    Glad to hear everything went well and the prognosis looks good. I was wondering if we should worry after seeing your twitter comments on getting your affairs in order, but am glad it was not needed.

  2. Deirdre Straughan Post author

    I needed to sort out papers, make a will, etc. anyway – all those grownup things that we don’t do til pressed. I didn’t want to leave a mess for my loved ones to have to sort out. So… at least one good outcome was getting that done!

  3. Kat

    I haven’t read your blog in a long time but, for some reason, thought of it today. Really sorry to hear your news but so happy that the treatment went so well.

    I’m a fellow expat in Italy from your expat in Italy days. Your site is as great as ever.

  4. Alan Kavanagh

    Hi Deirdre, i am super happy that you are over the worse and are going to be ok, I am super happy for you and take care and see you soon in snowy Stockholm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.