Checking In

I’ve dropped off the face a bit… the last post I had written a week after my diagnosis, but didn’t mention my malignant situation, I think it was too much to admit even to myself and wanted to write about my phyllodes tumor lumpectomy before I forgot about the details, because the phyllodes tumor was so rare in and of itself (see previous post). My tumor was biopsied and I was told the news on the 31st of August that it was malignant with liposarcoma. Three days after my diagnosis, and after scrambling with some friends in the trade to potentially keep my business going on a volunteer-basis, I decided to close the shop because my treatment plan at the time was just too lengthy to manage. On the 3rd of September I decided to close the store and from that point on have never been so busy in my entire life. All of my doctors appointments were in the mornings and after 2-3 hours each loaded with exhausting amounts of information, I had to open the shop and chit chat with people all day long between fielding calls from UCSF about new appointments, second-opinions, testing, alternative treatments, it goes on and on. I apologize to anybody I haven’t contacted in the last month, I have been trying to keep my head above water under the circumstances.

I was finally able to meet with the sarcoma specialist at UCSF I’ve been waiting to see all month this last Monday, October 3rd, and he confirmed that none of this is make-believe, yes I happen to have saroma in my breast tissue. I have a tentative mastectomy scheduled on the 18th which will be followed by plastic surgery to insert a temporary implant. The surgery may happen early next week, I’m keeping my schedule and life open. What I’ve learned in the last five weeks is that flexibility is the name of the game with cancer, and it’s really the one in charge, I can’t swim against the course it’s leading me, only work along side it to get the best care necessary to make it go away. The senior oncologist wants to start my chemo two weeks after my mastectomy. The treatment is in-patient six days (in hospital), every month for four-six months. I’m preparing my life right now and today so it can be as simple as possible tomorrow and in the coming months. I’ve given my landlord notice after laughing deliriously about that decision Tuesday morning… laughing because moving out of my shop and last week and starting this week with the most intense doctor appointment during this current path, there is no way I could’ve considered moving again until waking up Tuesday morning. The pace of this thing is fast and I know there are things I need to do before I am put out from surgery or chemo. I plan to stay with my sister in the East Bay through my surgery and treatments.

One of my sisters is coming down from Tahoe this weekend to help me plan on what needs to be kept for the coming 8-12 months for daily living necessities, and what can be put into a storage pod. It’s been the most intense month of my life, but I know I will be fine, just need to set myself up now in order to have the maximum amount of simplicity and the least amount of stress.

That’s it for now… I will keep you posted! xoMichelle


4 thoughts on “Checking In

  1. I love you Michelle, your going about it the right way. We are all hear for you, please keep us updated on your blog and please ask us for help when you need it. This is what friends are here for.

    The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.

    When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile

    LOve you..
    Lauren J and little B

  2. Hi Michelle..As a cancer person..stage 3 (I don’t like to say survivor because it sounds kind of like clinging to a life raft or something) i want to tell you that you will be fine…honestly, I kind of feel these things…I know you will.

    and I have advice…

    Get wigs or scarves if you are goint to need them right now…it will just be another thing taken care of..

    Drink water like you have never drunk water before.

    DO NOT listen to any bad stories or negative stuff

    Forgive everyone for every dumb thing they do or say…remember you probabaly did that too sometime, but don’t be around people that don’t listen and aren’t funny

    Wake up every day and think of everything that you have to be grateful for..( I was even grateful for the Rosanne show, the tv, and my socks)

    Don’t try to second guess your doctors..if you chose them…trust them …stay off the internet about it…I ended up throwing Dr. Love’s book right out the window when I read that my prognosis was a very low percentage…and after that I started working out when I could and wrote a book…keep busy when you can…

    You are so right about traveling with it…it’s the best way

    Thinking really hard about you and want you to know if there is anything you need that I can help or get worried in the middle of the night…call me..949-673-8735

    Sandy Asper

  3. Michelle, You are one Hell of a fighter. I’ve always admired your courage to tackle any new situation, or city that comes your way. I know that you will prevail. I am here to help you if I can in any way. Please let me know if you would like a visitor up North and if there is anything that I can do to make your days brighter. I’m so glad that you started this blog so all of us can keep sending prayers your way. Much love to you!

  4. You are a beautiful writer, even on such a painful topic. I am glad you have your family so close. I am so sorry you are going through all of this. Please keep posting when you feel able.

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