Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I'm afraid I've been silent for a number of weeks (or maybe just a few weeks... a few days?). I've written a bunch of posts but haven't posted them. The thing is, less than a week ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's been quite surreal. And I haven't known what to write. I don't really want this to become a "breast cancer blog." On the other hand, I don't NOT want to write about it. So I haven't known quite what to do.

It's all very strange because all along, I've known that I would get breast cancer. My mom got it when she was just about the age I am now. I had my son late. Being an Ashkenazi Jew puts me at higher risk. Somehow, I just knew.

And I was right.

So now I/we (because it is happening to my family as well) are going down this new road... I have been to the Beth Israel/Deaconess in Boston more times in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life... Today I met with 3 docs who are going to be my lifelines. It was a long day, but a pretty positive one, overall. I met with a medical oncologist, a breast surgeon, and a radiation oncologist.

So now I know that I have invasive ductal carcinoma, that I am estrogen and progesterone receptor positive (which is good), HER2 negative (which is good), that my tumor is about 2-3 cm large and is operable and I can have breast conserving surgery (a lumpectomy). If my sentinal lymph nodes come back okay, I am eligible for a genetic test that might show that I can do without chemotherapy, which would be excellent. My greatest fear is the nausea that comes with chemo (I was a very nauseous person when I was pregnant with J). I still have a few things to deal with, such as genetic testing for the BRCA1 and 2 mutations and what those results might mean, but overall I'm feeling more positive than I have in weeks. And I writing here. And that, in and of itself, is a good thing.


Unknown said...

Such grace . While visiting your blog lately has been random , I now will have a positive thoughts for daily on your journey.

christina(apronstrings) said...

i thought you were going to say that you were headed to washington and thus had been busy......
not THIS. i don't know what to say. other than THIS is SCARY.
It sounds like all news, besides the big c diagnosis, is good. but still. fveckity feck feck.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog and felt a connection somehow...what a shock, I'm sure to you even though as you say you suspected it would be. My prayers are with you and will be so .... hang in there and keep on writing if nothing else to help you with the ups & downs. Hugs from a friend in CT.

Sarah said...

Oh Adena. What a lot of information to hit you all at once. My prayers will be with you, your family, and your doctors. Do what you need to do so we can go on Escape 09, okay?

Leigh Ann said...

Thinking of you. Send on your Hebrew name, if you'd like, and I'll say mi sheberachs for you till the proverbial cows come home.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're writing, so sorry that this happened and so with you.

RivkA with a capital A said...

A mother in Israel referred me to your blog.

I davka started my blog with my second cancer diagnosis (may you never know about such things).

I also have cancer in my family -- both my mother (twice) and my grandmother had breast cancer and were totally fine after their surgeries. So breast cancer did not seem particularly scary to me the first time.

Now, I have metastasis (STAGE 4), and I am HER2 positive. This time, everything is different.

I started my blog because of my cancer, as a way of keeping friends/family up to date.

As time went on, the blog developed beyond the cancer thing. As dealing with cancer became part of our routine, the blog reflected more and more universal aspects of our life and how cancer fits into it.

Some weeks, I will write a lot about cancer issues. Some weeks, you might not even find the word cancer in any of my posts. Since I have chemo once a week, there is usually some reference, if only as an aside.

You can visit me at: