Many who read this may already know me, but for those who don't here's a brief bio. I am a 44 years old and the youngest of ten children, all living, and our parents are deceased. A 21+ year retired Army veteran, who holds a two-time title of Soldier of the Year amongst several other honors that I proudly display for my children. Obviously, a very happy mother of two beautifully talented young men ages 20 and 22. I consider myself fairly educated holding a Bachelor's degree and working on my Master's. Everything has been moving along so nicely and without incident until this past week.
On Tuesday, June 2, 2009, the nurse where I had a biopsy done, called and said the doctor was ready to talk to me, and my stomach went haywire. That feeling of dread – wow, it has never been so prevalent in my life. All I heard was, “Arla, I’m sorry to tell you that you have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and you need to see a surgeon as quickly as possible.” I’m sure we were on the phone for four or five minutes, but I heard nothing else. I could feel me try to speak, but no words came, just tears. I lost my own mother to a mean cancer, and watching her slip away, well, it was just ugly. For me when I found out, my thoughts was oh my God, I am scared to dea….. yeah, no, my bad….. Oh my God, scare me healthy, please…. Please scare me healthy.
I’m too young for this and I feel like I’m living someone else’s life as I continue to read more information and talk to specialists. For heaven sake, I don’t even have grandchildren…
June 5, 2009 - I’m a fighter and this mountain, I WILL climb and I will be better for it. I have to. As I sit here and write my body shakes and my heart aches. I’m not cold, I’m not hot, I think I’m just afraid of what other bad news tomorrow will bring. Today, I was told that this is the bitch, the meaner aggressive kind. Yeah for me. Monday can’t get here quick enough as my phone will ring and the VA will tell me when to come in for the consult. Let the fight begin.
My older sister Sherry, damn, she must be a saint. She would probably go to the ends of the earth to help me, and yet she too must be scared. Of us 3 girls, she’s the only who hasn’t gotten this and she’s 10 years older. My personal thoughts on her safety are this – she had a breast reduction several years ago. Is it possible that doctors took out what has caused this to Pam and I? When Pam fought this 18 months ago, I thought she was strongest woman I'd ever met, and I was so proud to be her sister. Anyway, I don’t know this happens. What I do know is that my mind never sleeps anymore. I am in this to win this and I know that the more knowledge I empower myself with, the better choices I hope to make.
My little dogs, Reina and Chy, they never want to leave my side. Do they sense my fear? I think so. Having my two dogs is an absolute joy for me. I can tell them things that I know they can never share (aha!) with anyone else.
My promise to myself, working out twice a day as I have obviously isn’t the answer, but I’m sure it will give me the strength I need to conquer this. Food, well, I hope I will choose more carefully. I will admit I haven’t always done that and the Army didn’t care too much either. They gave me stuff that I don’t think my dogs would touch. But I am very grateful for the three things I did get, my (ex) husband, and my children. They taught me what love and life truly is.
I hope this blog will serve to help me deal with what comes my way in the near future, but more importantly, I hope it finds its way into someone else's home. I hope to keep this uplifting, yet, I will share both the ups and downs so as not to give more credit to this ugly cancer that grows inside me. Wish me luck.