Sunday, May 15, 2016

Squished and Cleared

Thursday was mammogram day. Always a pleasure. I made certain to not put on deodorant and wear a cotton shirt for my 10:15 am appointment. It was a busy morning at work, so I was running around trying hard not to sweat.

I managed to not be stinky by the time my appointment came. The volunteer who called my name to bring me into my appointment was likely about 80 years old. When I stood up she looked surprised and asked me to verify my birthday a couple of times. She realized I was a repeat offender when I told her I hadn't put any deodorant on for the test.

I put my pink johnnie on and sat in a room full of anxious women. What I realized was I was not one of them. I was not anxious. After having all of my testing in March I felt pretty confident that this was just another box to check off. I was not looking forward to it, but I was not concerned (which is unusual for me).

They called my name, I have a new to me mammogram tech and I tell her that I have markers in both breasts. She is reading through my sheet and states "I see you didn't check of the family history or any genetic markers, how...why....just some bad luck..." and she trails off at the end of the sentence. I think my age and history has thrown her off a bit. She is not the friendliest of techs, continually telling me to move my feet and getting frustrated with where I am placing them. I really wanted to tell her "look, I have my face pressed up against a plastic shield, I have my barely size "A"s inside your vice (which at one point had 13.5 pounds of pressure to flatten them), could you just say please!". But I didn't, mostly because I can't really breath, never mind make sentences while they take pictures. Friendly or note, she got great shots on the first try; only 3 vice grips per side. The radiologist cleared me to go and I went up 4 floors to see my surgeon.

My surgeon walks in and says "Can you believe it's been 3.5 years since I did your surgery? That's crazy". That fine surgeon is an understatement. Let's keep those years piling up. I tell him that myself and my oncologist had been worried about some thickening at my scar. He does the physical exam and tells me that it is just natural surgical changes. He lets me know that if I do feel like it is getting bigger than to come back and see him and he'll biopsy the site. However, he feels like he doesn't need to see me until next year. How's that for piece of mind? I'm pretty excited.

As per usual I was sore the next day from being in the vice. One of my colleagues sent me this in honor of the day:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bake Saling!!

This past week was one of my absolute favorite days at work. Bake Sale Day. As dietitians my lovely colleagues and I love to bake. A lot. And then when you add in for a cause, we get a little nuts. Above is a photo of me hamming it up at 6:45 am as we were setting our table up. 

Here is a wide shot of our table and all it's glory: 

That is a lot of great stuff. We were again raising money for the Lahey Health Cancer Centers. Our online email weekly newsletter ran a little story on me and my breast cancer journey through Lahey and helped promote our bake sale to the hospital. It was really great of them and many people through out the day stopped by to congratulate me on continuing to be a survivor and a couple even asked me if I was Sara. It was great. 

However, two visitors to the table really touched my heart. 

The first told me she was a survivor out of the Lahey cancer center and how proud she was to see us out there. I told her I was a survivor too and we exchanged congratulations. She bought her baked goods and left with a giant smile on her face. We each had a reminder of the gratitude that comes with being a survivor. That, and she had also bought one of the giant chocolate chip cookies I had made. 

The second visitor was my absolute favorite. She was decked out in pink and black with a baseball cap. She had just the slightest hint of peach fuzz underneath. She came to the table and asked what time we were there until. I told her 3. She said "Great, I'll be back after my treatment". I waited patiently for her to return. When she did, I asked her how her infusion went. She told me "I"m used to it by now. This is my 3rd cancer, and unfortunately this time it's not curable". She then went on to tell me how she used to do bake sales to raise money for the cancer center herself and how much she missed doing them. She was grateful that we were out there and was hopeful to see us again. 

She is the reason we were out there. She was the reason that I decided at 5 am to throw an additional batch of cookies in the oven because I felt we needed just a little bit more. Even though I had already made 3 dozen donuts, 2.5 dozen peanut butter cups, and a couple dozen each of blueberry muffins, oatmeal raisin cookies, giant chocolate chip cookies and very carrotty carrot cake cupcakes I knew I could squeeze in a couple dozen more. 

My colleagues fully understand how important this fundraiser is. You can see the amount of work and effort put in. And we raised $1,084. With baked goods. I'm still floored. 

Go Team NED (No Evidence of Disease)!