Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Life



This photo very much represents my life at this time ...

On August 9th, I had a meeting with a multi-specialty team of four doctors and a genetic counselor, plus a mental health counselor to determine a course of action to deal with cancer cells that lay beyond the area that was excised by my recent lumpectomy.  Several options were offered. Most of them involved more surgery, but only one would guarantee that I wouldn't be back for additional surgery within a few years ... that missed cancer cells wouldn't migrate to other areas to cause major problems. 

I sensed a relief from my surgeon when I chose the one solution that would most likely get me free of cancer ... a double mastectomy. Fortunately my lymph nodes are free of cancer cells, so a "simple" rather than "radical" operation took place this past Wednesday, August 15th.  Having this surgery also means that I will NOT have chemotherapy nor radiation treatments. Also, since I've opted NOT to have reconstructive procedures the healing time is faster.

My post-0p meeting before we left for Colorado had freaked me out more than a little. I'm grateful to have had the 5 weeks to think about and consider my options ... in particular living breast free.

I'm back at the cottage being well cared for by Lee, Terra, and Alicia. Other family members will be here over the next few weeks to tend to everyday tasks, too. I feel loved and well cared for by them. The good thoughts, prayers, and encouragement coming my way are very much appreciated. I'm in good hands and good spirits, and am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things soon.

33 comments:

Heather said...

What can I say Nellie. I am sure you have made the right decision and have chosen the best course of action. Your positive attitude will be invaluable. Sending you love and admiration.

Elena said...

Nellie,
You are in our thoughts. I can't even imagine how difficult this has been but I'm so glad you made the decision you did. It sounds like you're in wonderful hands. I can't imagine a better place to heal and recover than Macatawa.
Love,
Elena

Beverly said...

Nellie, thank you for letting your cyber friends know what has been going on. You have really been in my thoughts lately. I'm glad you are being well taken care of, I wish I could give you a hug (gently!) in person. I will be praying for a speedy recovery for you.

I wanted to let you know that I will be visiting a son in Chicago in September, and I've already told him he will need to drive me to Elgin so I can see Prairie Performance in person. Can't wait!!

Willa said...

Thanks for sharing this!
So many have been thru this and opted differently. I am glad to hear of this possibility.

God Speed in this journey! Heal. Relax.

All best wishes!,
Willa

Quiltdivajulie said...

Congratulations for making such a huge decision and for reaching the point that you are back at the cottage being cared for. Healing thoughts and prayers and well wishes to you and those who surround you.

Vicki W said...

My Mom just had a single with no reconstruction either. I am about to have my second surgical biopsy. If they find something (needle biopsy showed nothing) I will do the same as you. I have read enoug about reconstruction that I know I would not go through it and I would do anything to avoid radiation or chemo. I hope you continue to heal well.

Sue Spurlock said...

God's healing be with you. May his blessings and peace fill your life.

Linda said...

Gosh, you have had a lot on your plate! Glad you had time to think about all of your options. Also glad you have others around you to help get through a difficult time.

Julie said...

Look after yourself and get strong and well as soon as you can. This must have been such a difficult but brave decision to make and I would second not going for reconstructive surgery. Stay positive and celebrate your return to good health. My body, like yours, shows the history of a great struggle to regain health (not through cancer) and I am just glad that I have outlived the trauma by 26 years now.

Colleen Kole said...

You are well loved and cared for by many!

I am glad this part is over and you are now on the road to recovery. Rest and enjoy your beautiful sunsets-even in the storms.

hugs and love-

Kathy Kinsella said...

Wishing you an uneventful journey through surgery and healing ... with the hope of many healthy and creative years ahead. You have many online followers who are cheering you on as well!

Ali Honey said...

I am sending you healing wishes brave lady.

Maggie R said...

Dear Nellie.. I was saddened by your news, but on the other hand the decision you made was the right one. I pray your recovery will be speedy and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.. Get well soon, your artistic muse is awaiting, and so are your fans:)Sending big soft hugs
xoxo
maggie

Teodo said...


Nellie you are a very strong woman and in this post I read all your strength of will and character.
With your parents near you there are also my strength and my thoughts
ciao ciao Linda

Margherita said...

Sending you heaps of positive and uplifting thoughts. Keep going along your amazing path with love from all the artists who follow you.

Deborah McLaughlin said...

Nellie, you've been a source of inspiration for several years now, so I wish you a speedy recovery. There are many people out here thinking of you and praying for you. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Nellie I also chose a double mastectomy to avoid radiation and have not regretted it. I hope your experience is similar to mine. Pat K, the quilter whom you allowed to use your shoebox pattern.

Gail Baar said...

Sounds like you are in a great place to recover. Our thoughts are with you!

natalie nessi said...

Don't lose hope. God has his own reasons why He let you experience that. He knows that you'll be able to conquer it and be a better person. Trust him and don't forget to have faith.
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McIrish Annie said...

I know how hard that decision is to make. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your recovery is as quick and painless as it can be. Take care of yourself and hurry back.

June Calender said...

Good news that things seem to be well under control and you made the decision that felt best. The care and love of your family and friends is a blessing. I wish you rapid healing and the rest of your life cancer free.

Amy Munson said...

Take care Nellie, happy to hear you are surrounded by friends and family to help in your healing. I look for to being inspired by your art for many years to come.
Cancer is such a nasty disease. Turning 40 this year has brought on a wave of preventative maintenance visit to the doctor for me. My first mammogram as well as a colonoscopy (family history of colon cancer). With a clean bill of health I am thankful that it is the mammo that is once a year and not the colonoscopy prep ;)

Rian said...

Dearest Nellie. I hated to read that you have been going through such an ordeal, but I know your spirit is stronger than anything the Universe throws at you. There was a time in my life that losing my breasts would have been an unthinkable tragedy of major import...but today I would gladly exchange them for more years of healthy life. Be well and stay well.

ECKDesign said...

I hope that you get to feeling better soon. God Bless....

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

More love and admiration from me too. That photo is perfect.

Trish said...

Good to know how you're doing, even if the last few weeks have been no picnic! I wish you continued recovery and healing...physically, mentally, spiritually!

Debra Spincic said...

I am slow to find out about your recent medical situation but feel sure you made the right decision.

Rest and take care.

Michele Matucheski said...

My thoughts are with you, Nellie. You are not alone in this. There's a great group of women who've already been there. In my family, BC is kind of a right-of-passage.

Radka said...

Hi Nellie, I have come to you via a link in Nadia's blog.
I went through a cancer scare and two weeks of hell until I knew the results earlier this year, luckily it turnout to be nothing,but I think I would had made the same choice. It is every woman's nightmare, my thoughts are with you. I wish you a good recovery, it sounds that you are very well cared for by loving people.
I have been looking at your blog, you are a fantastic artist.
Best wishes,
Radka

yvette said...

hoi Nellie, here too via Nadia...I hope you heal well..body and mind

scrolling down your blog I'm so happy to have "found you"

Michele Bilyeu said...

I am just now reading this, and my heart is full for you. But, it is filled with the most positive thoughts, healing energies, and pride in you for sharing this healing journey with all of us. So many women have walked this path, or had daughters (like me) or sisters, or friends walk them, too. Many, many blessings for a light and creativity filled future and many gifts to fill up your heart in all ways. ((hugs))

Debbie said...

Nellie, I'm such an admirer of you. Your work, your courage and your willingness to share. Wishing you a successful surgery, easy healing, and a long life. A fellow artist, Melanie Testa, shares a similar journey and wrote an amazing article about living "flat" , Here's the link:

http://www.rolereboot.org/life/details/2012-08-i-chose-to-live-as-a-flat-chested-woman-after-breast

waikiki family vacation said...

Aww, that was really something. I love your post. Hope for your able recovery physically, emotionally and spiritually. Live up your dreams, cherish every moment. You'll get well.