Monday, January 10, 2011

Latest News: The Good and the Bad

So, which do you want first?  Good news or bad news?  Well, I always like to concentrate on the good, so I will start with that.  I have been accepted into graduate school at the University of Buffalo.  Yaaay!  It has been something I have been working on for at least the last couple of years, and the effort finally paid off.  I am not starting this spring as planned, though.  I am pushing it back to the Fall due to my "bad news".

I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Yes, breast cancer at the age of 42.  I have gotten over the shock of it all after three weeks or so of ruminating about it.  I count myself as VERY lucky.  They caught it on a routine mammogram with no symptoms and, although I won't know for sure until my lumpectomy, it is most probably Stage 0.  In other words, it looks as though it is still confined and not spreading anywhere.  They used to consider this a pre-cancerous tumor, but they have changed their approach and are now calling this cancer.  I will either need radiation or a mastectomy.  I am definitely feeling better about it all, thus I am now able to write about it.  I will be having surgery next week and will know more then.  I figured I needed to get this off my chest and explain to all my followers why I have been very absent lately.  I was on a roll with my writing too!  Oh well, sometimes life throws us curve balls and we just have to adapt and change accordingly.

I have a very important message to all of you out there.  If you are a woman, get your mammograms as soon as you are able because they need to find the cancer BEFORE symptoms appear.  That means every year after 40, or before 40 if you have cancer in your family.  To the men, if you have a lady in your life, urge her to keep up with her mammograms as well.  I am so thankful that I started mine at 39 and have been up on them every year.  They found it as soon as they could.  Please don't listen to the insurance companies' recommendations of starting after 50!  They have ulterior motives.  And, by the way, there is no breast cancer in my family, I am pretty darn healthy (never smoked and drink only occasionally), eat mostly organic and try to live as healthfully as possible.

So, now that I have that off my chest, I want you all to know that I am still here, working diligently on my diet and exercise routine, and plan to be a better person when all is said and done.  Sometimes it takes a scare to force a person out of complaisance, and I see my cancer as a warning.  I do know that what I have been doing with my blog is the right thing and I wish to continue in the future.  I am also excited about returning to school and continuing my research on Austen, Gaskell, and Forster and the relationship of their writing to the architecture and decor of the time.  If you don't see me much over the next few weeks, it's because I am busy with my health, but, count on it, I will return.


Avid Reader said...

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m beyond thrilled that they caught it so early for you, though I’m sure you still have a rough road head. My thoughts, prayers and get well soon wishes are winging their way to you. I hope you have peace as you go through surgery next week.

TheWingchairTraveller said...

Avid Reader-Your kind words really mean a lot to me. Just another road block to get through. Such is life. Thanks for the get well soon wishes, and you'll see me back here soon!

Christopher said...

I am so glad that you and your doctor(s) are on top of this and dealing with it aggressively. I just know that all will be well with you, your health, and your wonderful long life! My wife is very faithful about her mammograms. This is a disease that I really want to see brought under control even in my life-time, and I'm in my mid-fifties.

Hang tough, my friend, and know that I am sending all kinds of positive thoughts and feelings your way! Keep us posted as you can. We care immensely! Cheers! Chris

TheWingchairTraveller said...

Christopher-Yes, it really is amazing how far medicine has come with breast cancer, especially if they catch it as soon as they can. I feel fortunate to be taken care of by some wonderful physicians, and I am starting to take much better care of myself. I started doing an hour of cardio daily and am now a vegetarian (something that I have always wanted to do for philosophical reasons). I really believe it is all up to me now to do whatever I can to fight. Plus, having cancer has given me an even better outlook on life and appreciating happiness when it comes my way. Beside, now I have even more to write about ;). Thanks for the positivity, care, and concern, Christopher, and I am hanging tough! Susan