Thursday, June 25, 2009

Triple Negative

After going through an ultrasound on the left breast and learning they were unable to determine if the mass is cancer, they now want to do another biopsy. Why? As I asked myself (considering I'm going to HAVE to lose it anyway) - because the doctor does not want to take lymph nodes if he doesn't have to. OK, fine. So, on 1 July, my son's 23d birthday, I will undergo one more final biopsy prior to surgery. My surgery date has been pushed back to around the last week of July pending the results of this next biopsy.

Does it matter? Well, for the purposes of whether its a single or double - no, it doesn't. For increased survivability odds, it needs be the double because I am what they call a triple negative - or as I immediately thought - a triple whammy. I am negative in all three of these areas: Estrogen, progesterone, and Her2Neu (whatever that is). It would be much better to have one positive in the three. What I understand is this - it is the motherload of breast cancers. Its a mean b**** (so says my team leader), and we will fight fire with fire. How refreshing.

So after they take my atomic girls, they will immediately work on the reconstruction by inserting expanders and about 4-6 weeks later, start a heavy dose of chemo. There was so much information given that my head is still in a tizzy. One thing my surgeon said was to let my body get plenty of rest before the surgery because recovery is harder for a triple negative. Fricken wonderful, eh? Oh well, I figure I have to assess this as I would any military mission - annihilate the enemy and come home alive. AND - I mean that with all due respect to all soldiers - they remain part of my family. As my picture of the sniper in my office says, "If you have but one shot at an opportunity, make it count." Amen to that.

So, as my sister and I were driving home we stopped for a Coke. In addition to the drinks, I asked for a Grouper and a specific Pick-3, to which the lady behind the counter slumped over and let out this big, heavy sigh....Uh, oh - wrong day for me, or in this case, her. I guess I hit that gray area when I said, "I'm sorry, but am I imposing on you?" and she said "No, I'm just having a bad day" - I started laughing and Sherry said her immediate thought, was Oh S*** here it comes..... and it did. "Bad day? YOU are having a bad day? Lady, let me tell you something - YOU are having a good day? Are you ok - seriously - are you ok?" Her response, "I have a headache" - She had a flippin headache, I'm glad that's all it was. However, I continued to ramble on "Trust me, YOU are having a good day, I on the other hand, am not having such a good day! I just found out that I have the worst breast cancer a woman can have and they are going to cut my girls off! THAT'S a bad day - so when you think you are having a bad day - you remember this conversation, ok!" To which the young man behind the counter said, "I'm sincerely sorry" God bless him for reeling me back in. I think my point at that moment was to let her know that SHE was just fine - give her a damn aspirin and tell her to count her blessings. Anyway, on my way out, I said, "Bet your ass you'll have a good day now, huh?" Well, Sherry and I laughed for 10 minutes because of the look on her face, and then the following thought hit me....oh, sweet Jesus - I hope they erase that tape.....

I guess it could be worse.....


  1. You go Girl..........I will tell you now.... "I'm having a good day!!!!" I will say a BIG prayer for you today, for your quick recovery and aradication of this beast inside you.......and also for all those who THINK they are having a bad day!! Everytime I think I'm having a bad day I will think of you and quickly change my tone!! Hang in there girlfriend.... All my thoughts are with you....Donna

  2. Arla,

    Yeah, it was not funny at all when it happened, but we managed to lighten the load by laughing on the way home. She never knew what hit here when you lit into her. However, I knew something was going to happen when you cocked your head and looked at her. Hmmmm

    Like Leslie said, you will have GOOD days and BAD days and yesterday was a really bad day. We are ready to fight this beast and I'll be at your side seester!


  3. You go girl. I'm sure you'd trade "just a headache" a headache everyday at some point during the day. Thing is - you were the one having a good day. You are here, you are strong, you are alive, and soon, you will be well. EVERY DAY is a good matter the news, no matter the results - you will not only come out of this as a fighter (which you already are), you will be even stronger "We never know how strong we are until being strong is our only choice". I can just picture you telling that woman about "her bad day"...LOL. I LOVE IT.

    Girl I love you, I'm thinking of you all the time, I'm praying for you ALL THE TIME. Jime (Jimbo's dad) has added you to the prayer list at his church.


  4. Bad Day, they don't know the half of it-do they? I laughed my ass off reading this, I can see you now telling her like it is. I really think we all need to sit back and look at other's lives before we complain about ours. Just the other day I was whining because things at work went bad and got even worse before days end. Then I get on here and check out how you are doing, my brave sister-in-law with a ball of fire under your butt. You make me smile and I am so proud of you in how you are handling all of this. Keep fighting the beast and remember we are right here for you always.
    Love ya, Cher

  5. LOL - yes, well, I guess it was organized chaos. I didn't yell, I quietly scolded. My friend Kellie told me something yesterday on the phone - "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." Wow, huh? Thanks for all the comments you all leave, it inspires me to continue my writing. Love ya's!

  6. I absolutely loved this story. :0 This is a reminder that everyone needs constantly. You never know what someone else is going through and on that day God chose you as a messenger, to give that girl the reminder that we all need. Arla, you have the greatest attitude. You are inspiration to me, and I'm sure a lot of others. Even on the bad days keep finding ways to laugh. It's the best medicine, you know.