January 5, 2015

Today was the first day back at work since the holidays, and the first chance I had to tell my staff and colleagues about my breast cancer.   I was not afraid to tell them; after all, I’d already decided to be very open about my cancer, and I knew that they would all be supportive.  I felt badly about giving this news to one staff member whose father was just diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer – I’m sure it feels like cancer is all around for this person.  And I felt equally bad for the person who started crying.  You two know who you are:  for the first, I’m sorry to have added to your emotional burden and for the second, ♥ to you for your sensitivity.

Today was also the day that I posted my status on Facebook – which means I’ve let the genie out of the bottle now!  I’ve always planned to be very public about this:  if my diagnosis and treatment can help even one person be more diligent to do her breast self-exams and get her annual mammograms, then my job is done.  Naturally, I’m extremely touched and humbled by all the outpouring of love, support, prayers and encouragement – you all rock, my friends!

Onto more mundane things.  I have an appointment with Dr. Priya, my medical oncologist on Monday.  For some reason she feels the need to discuss more specific treatment now that we know that I’m HER2 positive.  It’s fine – I have a few questions which have come up since our first consultation, such as:  will I have hair loss for the entire year because of the Herceptin?  Am I candidate for Perjeta?  Will I get a port for the Herceptin?  Is it recommended that folks who visit me get a flu shot?

My pre and post op appointments have been set.  My pre op appointment is on Jan 27, so my last day at work will be Jan 26 for at least a month.  My sister will be able to take me to my post op appointment on Monday, Feb 2.   It takes a village.  It really does.