Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy February 29. It's Leap Day and with one phone call from a Dr., I leap into a new chapter in my life.

As they say in the movies, flashback to the day of the biopsy. I didn't know what to expect. Would they do a needle biopsy? Just stick a needle into the lump in my breast and extract some cells to look at under a microscope? I was not so lucky. They made a small incision and snipped out a chunk of tissue about the size of a green pea. As they dropped it into a clear solution in a small jar, I asked if I could look at it. I'm not sure what I expected, perhaps something black and ugly and gross to look at but it wasn't. It was creamy white with a little bit of red on it and although I only had a second or two to look at it, it might have had a little bit of dark around the edge.

Fascinating stuff. My apologies if you are gagging on your lunch right now. If you have a queasy stomach, perhaps you shouldn't read any further.

It took a few stitches to close it up maybe three or four. And then they shipped my precious little body part off to the lab to be analyzed. As per their instructions, I called in a few days for results, only to find out that the cells had then been sent off to UCLA in Los Angeles. They told me to call everyday to find out if the results were in. This morning when I called, I was told that they have results and that the doctor would call me back in the afternoon.

He sounded so somber. I suppose that's his normal modus operandi when giving the bad news to his patients. So, I am told I have a large tumor in my left breast. He wants me to see an oncologist next. He suggests chemotherapy first to be followed by either a lumpectomy or mastectomy. I will be looking into and discussing other options. I'm not sure that chemo and surgery are survivable for me in my weakened state.

Tomorrow I will go and get the stitches out, and I hope to get more information. I don't know specifically what kind of cancer or what stage of cancer or anything except a very large tumor. I'm hoping to get an appointment with an oncologist within the next week or two.

My wonderful sister Sharon, a five-year breast cancer survivor, has suggested a couple of good things for me to consider, including support groups. I'll be looking into those things over the next few days and weeks.

And so it begins...


Ian Abrams said...


Lou, you know I'm with you in my thoughts.

Is there anything I can supply? Reading matter? Student slaves? A lock of Barack Obama's hair (rumored to have talismanic powers)? Vitamins? A first edition of "The Inventions of the Idiot" by John Kendrick Bangs (1909, no dust jacket, slight foxing rear cover)? Complete DVDs of "Upstairs, Downstairs"? Two oxygen atoms once breathed by Julius Caesar (I don't have the paperwork)?

Just let me know... And stay cool.


Lou said...

Hello Ian! How nice to hear from you. Thank you so much. If I had my druthers, I'd say all of the above. Actually, I'm doing fine for now. I have 15,000 books in my store to read and a subscription to Netflix to keep me busy in between. And how are you doing?

Would rather stay warm. It's fracking cold out here in the desert.

Take care, Lou