Monday, November 22, 2010


We met with the oncologist on October 21, 2010 for the 6-month check up and to review the 6-month MRI/mammo results.

Cancer breast:
Decrease in the enhancement at the lumpectomy site. Resolution of small fluid collection at the lumpectomy site. Category 2/benign. Recommendation: Normal follow-up!!! (exclamations were not dictated by the radiologist)

Non-Cancer breast:
No abnormal mass or significant enhancement is seen. Category 1/negative. Recommendation: Normal follow-up.

Moved to having annual mammograms!!

Final-E Finally! The two years of a grey/black “probably benign” cloud hanging over my head is gone.

Did I instantly start doing the happy dance? No. Come on, who do you think is writing this blog? Once a year mammograms? Are you crazy, doc? This is an aggressive cancer! It was the same feeling I had at my last radiation treatment. No one was watching this b*tch closely. It’s the typical “I’m out of treatment, now what do I do?” feeling.

I know I have stepped away from blogging. Why you may ask (or not, but you are here reading, right?) Well, I found that I couldn’t be upbeat and positive all the time with this “probably benign” crap (from here on out known as PB crap) hanging over my head. I tried. I did happy thoughts, yoga breathing, acupuncture, exercise, lost weight (31 pounds thank you very much), talked to God, read His promises and compared my little PB crap to others whose cancer came back or who were living life with Stage IV cancer.

And here’s what I found. It’s OK to go to the ‘dark side’. That’s what I call the times when I feel that I have no control over my life. The key is to just not stay there. I spent too many days at that stay vacation place while trying to hold together my work and home life. Not a good thing.

What I discovered was that if my life was balanced, the stay vacation in the dark side didn’t last very long. And if it did, I spent a lot of energy fighting that demon with taking control of my diet, exercising and getting the right amount of sleep. A key was not to beat myself up for being in the dark side – a challenge for someone who has depression (and anxiety only recently discovered – thank you Sue!) and had other undiagnosed health issues. Another key is to not beat myself up when I wasn’t consistent in this fight.

Here’s something I picked up from somewhere on the Internet:

Survivorship is a continuum with no closure; we face different issues at different times.
With the Final-E!! conclusive diagnoses of severe Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (Idiopathic Hypersomnia) and Fibromyalgia, this blog will now focus on ways to live life while sleepy, in pain and in a brain fog.

If the focus of the blog was my IH/FM health, it would be something like this:

I woke up many times last night because of pain in my [shoulders, hips, knees, feet, blah, blah, blah]. Sleep was not refreshing and I am now [in a brain fog, so sleepy, unstable to drive, blah, blah, blah]. How can I make it to work and function 100%? (can you hear the stress in my tone?) I hope to get out of the house today; will have to wait to see what the body and mind allows me to do, blah, blah, blah, blah.
While I do not recommend going on a dark cloud stay vacation for two years, I am energized to use the knowledge gained to live life with a chronic condition and live life despite a chronic condition.



  1. Hi Renee

    I am so glad that this 'probably' benign business has been put to rest. 2 weeks ago I had my scary mammogram and ultrasound. My mass is a blood clot. I hope they are right!!! This survivorship business is not easy and then there are other things happening in ones life to complicate things. I assume your daughter's custody battle isn't helping the stress. My daughter has been falsely accused of dog abuse now as she didn't take her dog to the vet fast enough (she didn't think it was in pain)She has a court date next week and the defense is expensive.

  2. PB Crap...i know it well!! Glad you are back from the staycation from the dark side. had my own scares a few months ago including another about PTSD! i hear you loud and clear sister! sending love from Los Angeles...