Sunday, March 30, 2008

Surgery Monday 31, 2008

For those of you who interested, the mastectomy is Monday 31, 2008. Maimonides is 4802 10th Ave near 48th St in Brooklyn. Hopefully I won't be there too long. You can call my home number to get more info.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

saw doctor again yesterday

Saw dr again. Surgery again soon,

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Everybody lies" or "Nobody is Interested in the Truth"

I haven't written in awhile and I am sorry. I just haven't had anything good to say lately. And what do they say? If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all.

I was reading other women's blogs the other night and I was struck by their honesty. Touched by it really. And, I was also struck by their courage and grace. To receive a diagnosis of cancer is a very frightening thing. The most frightening aspect is that you are truly dependent on the pathologists opinion. So, lets hope s/he is having a good day. Because, everything else snowballs from there. So what do we know?

What we know is that everyone has cancer in their body. How do we know that? Because cancer is simply a cell that has gone wild. It is a cell that hasn't decided what it wants to be when it grows up. And, so, it never grows up. It remains in a very primative form. The immune system is supposed to carry this stuff out. But, it just doesn't always do that because of various break downs and sundry reasons along the way. We also know that cancer is a rapidly dividing cell--so what the heck does that mean? It means bunches of cells can develop quickly. Estrogen plays a role in breast cancer--too much could cause a cancerous environment. Insulin resistance can also contribute. But how do you get this stuff under control?

You let them cut off your breast and give you a plastic breast, because that is how they "cure" cancer. Then they give you lots of scarey drugs and if those drugs cause problems, why, they cut something else off and give you more scarey drugs to control that. If you are intelligent and have lots of faith in yourself and aren't so scared, you look for alternatives. But, me, I am scared of dieing of cancer--altho, why? We are all going to die of something. And, if you could look into the future and see your body failing as you get older and older and more and more feeble, would you really choose to fight for life on this mean and nasty planet?

And cancer, my friend, is an industry; it is big business. It keeps people employed.

Thus, the title of the post. Years ago when I was still quite blunt with the self righteousness of youth and on the never ending quest for absolute truth, I had yet another disagreement with one of my bosses about something I can't even remember now. What I do remember is that I was frustrated because I was right and yet getting nowhere. And, I said to her, "but it's the truth". And, her being equally frustrated by me, simply said, "Noone is interested in the truth, Denise".

And, I'm going to guess that she is probably right for the most part. I'm also guessing that my graphic description is probably not comfortable for most people--but it is the truth!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I have decided to do the wider excision on Thursday after all. Let's all pray for the most positive outcome. Deni

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Deal or No Deal

As my friend Natasha, partner Linda and I were watching the popular television show, Deal or No Deal, the other night, I was struck by how similar my life feels to this game of chance right now. The basic premise going into the game is that the contestant has a 50-50 chance of winning a million dollars. There are 26 suitcases—13 cases with the million dollar amount and 13 cases with varying amounts adding up to the million dollar mark. With each pick of a suitcase the odds of winning the million dollars changes; so, every now and again the contestant is offered a cash amount to get out of the game. At this point they can continue to play for the million, “no deal”, or take the money, “deal”, and run. The risk, of course, is that they could walk out of the game without the million dollars and in some cases nothing at all.

In my mind this whole ordeal, like “Deal or No Deal”, has been a game of chance with risky choices to make along the way. At the beginning I had a 50-50 chance of being cancer free with my lymph nodes and my body in tact. This was the million dollar prize for me. What that entailed was starting with the sentinel node biopsy, suitcase number one, followed by chemo therapy, suitcase number two and then suitcase number three, a lumpectomy. Suitcase number four was to be radiation. Now, none of the doctors I saw ever ruled out a mastectomy; that was always the “deal” I was offered along the way.

A few weeks ago I was walking down Broadway, crying mind you, trying to decide between the wider excision and the mastectomy with reconstructive surgery, asking for a sign. What to do? What to do? If you know me, you know I hate making decisions. So, out of the blue, I ran into my friend Samantha, who I hadn’t seen in months. Her mother had a double mastectomy eight years ago and she is fine. My friend also told me about several of her mother’s friends who had lumpectomies only to have the cancer return. Every where I go, I seem to run into someone who has had recurrent cancer.

I’m very fortunate in that there is no lymph node involvement and there is no cancer anywhere else in my body; unfortunately, there is cancer still in my breast. So, I’ve decided to take the “deal” and get out of the game.

In the end it’s really an emotional decision, isn’t it? I don’t want to have a mastectomy; but I sure don’t want to have cancer either. And, while the risks are also low for recurrent cancer for people who have lumpectomies, my “lump” is not so clear cut or easily defined. The one factor that is variable is me and we really don’t know what’s behind this suitcase. That’s where the risk is and that’s why I’m taking the deal.

Of course, I’m disappointed that I’m not a bigger risk taker, but I’m also relieved to have made a decision. Thank you all for your continued support, good wishes and prayers