Nellie"s Needles

Friday, June 29, 2012

Good News

 Through the Door  26"x20 (2002)

Just before we left Knoxville in mid-May, an irregularity showed up in a mammogram. A sonogram a few days later showed that further investigation was necessary. I decided to have that done in Michigan just in case....  Not that I don't have good friends in Tennessee, but I have a number of longtime friends here, as well as family close by. And then too, the summer weather on the shoreline of Lake Michigan is a lot more preferable than the sweltering heat of Tennessee.

A needle core biopsy was performed on June 13th at the Betty Ford Breast Center in Grand Rapids. The pathology report indicated cancer. My husband and I had a meeting with the surgeon the next day to find out the extent of the cancer and my options for getting it "out of there." The cancer was small, about 1 centimeter. Although it was an invasive one, it was encapsulated (contained) within a milk duct and slow growing. I had an MRI on both breasts to make sure it's the only one and to give the surgeon more specific information about it's location and size.

Surgery was two days ago and all went well. The cancer being encapsulated in a duct could be removed by a lumpectomy along with just 2 lymph nodes.  I'm grateful for that rather than a mastectomy and many more lymph nodes having to be taken out. I'm lucky it was small and had not spread.

I'm to take it easy for a couple of weeks while the two incisions heal. I feel okay right now, but then I'm on pain pills. The only ill effect so far was nausea until the anesthesia wore off. In August, six weeks of radiation will start. Those daily treatments will ensure that no loose cancer cells have survived.

The prognosis for me getting through this and going full steam again is really good. One day at a time will get me there. My feelings are reflected in the quilt at the top of this post ... it's a little bit dark, as well as stark, in the room where I'm standing, but I'll soon step across the threshold into the sun filled one.

Never again will I be reluctant to have a mammogram. I had this one as part of a physical ... which I got only because I had turned 70. I urge each of  you who read my blog to have one if you, too, have been putting it off.

25 comments:

June Calender said...

Best of lucky, Nellie. You were lucky and also wise. I moan and groan when the notice of the scheduled-a-year-ahead-if-time mammogram appointment comes up, but I go. Thoughts of skipping it will disappear quicker after reading your post.

Heather said...

A good thing everyone acted so quickly too Nellie. It all sounds very positive and I send you my love and best wishes for a complete recovery.
I love this quilt - the irregular border and the back of the chair add so much.
Keep looking through to the sunny room.

Elena said...

Oh Nellie... I'm so sorry to hear about the cancer but so glad the surgery was a success. The title of your post reflects your optimism as does the message in the quilt. Best of luck to you!
--Elena

Vicki W said...

I am so glad to hear that it went so well!

Beverly said...

Oh, Nellie, I am so sorry to hear this, but glad it was small and relatively simple to deal with. Please rest and take care of yourself- you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Deb said...

I so glad to bit the bullet and got it done. I consider myself warned. Years of "no findings" have a way of making one complacent.

Quiltdivajulie said...

So far so good - wonderful news. Take as much time as you need to recover and finish out your treatments. Hugs and best wishes to you on this journey!

paula said...

well you know i am thrilled and glad to hear it...as i've written you personally.
i have to say nellie this is a most interesting piece..it really messes with my eye, very 3D feel, i still can't look at it without getting pulled into wondering where/what. interesting what inspires us and how it plays out!

Rian said...

We love to hear good news like that. Congratulations on your success and may your recovery be swift and complete!

Meg in Albuquerque said...

congratulations on your positive diagnosis. breast cancer is something most of us will get if we live long enough. Mammograms are so important I hope everyone gets 1. I had a needle biopsy 10 years ago and it was not pleasant but the news was good and I'm glad I still get a mammogram every year. Good luck with your treatment.

Julie said...

What a shock for you Nellie but so good that it was picked up quickly and the outlook is good. I had a mammogram a few weeks ago and it was a very painful experience but we are so lucky to be able to get this test done. (I was lucky, mine was clear). Get plenty of rest and heal well and I hope the radiotherapy goes well.

PAMO ART said...

Thank you for sharing Nellie. I'm glad you have friends, family and health care professionals to help you through. And I'm so grateful all is going well.
You are one tough lady! You always inspire.
The quilt, as always, is beautiful.
Love and hugs,
Pam

Karen Christensen said...

doing the happy dance!!

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

You have the right attitude and determination to get you through this and in that garden through the door. You are a strong woman and one that I admire.

Teodo said...

Dear Nellie, I'm sorry to read about your mammogram but I enjoy reading that now you are better.
"Through the door" is the correct title to let us understand that you went in and came out, through a door that many woman use.
A big kiss and hugs.
ciao ciao Linda

Sue Spurlock said...

You're right, one day at a time, one step at a time, will take us through everything. Heal quickly, and blessings and peace to you.

Trish said...

From one who IS experiencing the sweltering heat in Tennessee, I am so glad to hear the optimism in your 'voice' and wish you a speedy recovery and complete eradication! Take care...

darcey said...

Ahhh, Nellie....
Blessings for you as you recover.
Darcey
xxoo

McIrish Annie said...

Nellie, I have been down this road with almost the same scenario as yours. I am on the cusp of my second anniversary from surgery and all is well.

You can do this. Radiation is tiring but manageable. Take one step at a time and one day at a time. A positive attitude and mental strength will get you through this with support from family and friends.

You are in my prayers! Cancer sucks but you will beat it just like I did! Hugs to you from one survivor to another.

Maggie R said...

Nellie you are in my thoughts and prayers.
xoxo
((((hugs))))
Maggie

Pixie said...

thanks Nellie for your story. I shall book my mammogram tomorrow. Lovely quilt, thanks for sharing. be well!

Michele Bilyeu said...

I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this, but so grateful for modern medicine and that they were able to do this as least invasively as possible. I have been down this road with others, and seen so many wonderful results and I know what a strong woman you are and that you will beat this.

Know that you are in my thoughts always! Take good care of yourself and see yourself in that light and beauty of a full life again very soon.

Virginia said...

Praying all will be well, and you'll come through just fine. I've been putting off my mammogram, but I'll book it tomorrow... promise,

Allison Aller said...

God speed, Nellie...so glad this is looking good. I'm calling my Doc tomorrow for a mamogram. Thanks...xoxoxo Kiss that lake...or those beautiful Rockies. Wherever you and that Elvis Man are... ;-)

Anonymous said...


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