The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and THIS WEEK, WE ARE GOING PINK HERE ON INCREDIBLE WOMEN!
I'm a Breast Cancer survivor - it's not a title I ever wanted. It's not a "club" I ever wanted to be part of. BUT... I am. This "club" - this sisterhood - is actually an incredible thing. Because I'm a "member", I've been privileged to meet several wonderful women who are survivors as well. One of those women is a good friend, Janie Squire - my first "Incredible Woman" here on this blog. Through Janie I was introduced to Lynn Woodard - who is also a Breast Cancer survivor (2 times!). She's got a wonderful blog that I've enjoyed reading. I've been waiting a whole year to interview Lynn, so that her interview would be posted during October. So, this week I'm really happy to introduce you to Lynn Woodard. I know you'll be amazed by her story, and by Lynn herself. (Lynn has shared some of the posts from her blog in answer to some of the questions.) Enjoy!!!
KARA: "What were you diagnosed with, and what treatments did you have?"
LYNN: "The battle begins... Breast cancer again - November 2008! Someone once said that it is scary to go into a battle when you know nothing about your enemy,not their strategies, their weapons, defense and so on. I really believe that is true, and that is why we have felt such incredible fear lately. We knew that we had to fight cancer again but... didn't know any details of size, growth, type or anything else, so finally tonight we got the long awaited call. I am so tired that I will try to make this short and hopefully be able to at least inform you of what we are up against. I need to remember that you don't need or probably want to know ,all the numbers and figures that they gave us tonight and so I will try to summarize it.
We received good and bad news tonight, but we felt more good than bad. I guess with all the surprises and stats that we had, we thought the worst was ahead of us, so in some ways, it seemed a bit hopeful. (haven't said that word of a while) So here at the notes and I will try to explain them.
*The lump node that they did the biopsy on and were almost sure was positive for cancer WAS NOT. (GOOD)
*The two tumors were smaller than they originally measured (GOOD)
*Both tumors are what they call ICTIS cancer, that just means that they have spread past their cell was and have infiltrated the breast tissue (BAD)
*The number of how fast the tumor is spreading, is lower than they expected it to be (GOOD)
*The possibility and probability of losing the breast is high (BAD)
KARA: "How did your cancer diagnosis affect your family and friends?"
LYNN: "Jeff, of course, was my rock as usual. I would have never made it this far in life without him. What an amazing man he is. Amy, John, Brad and Krystal already knew about the previous tests and concerns of the past 3 weeks but we hadn't worried Lee and Lauren with it ...just in case there was no need. It was hard telling Lee and Lauren, they both really cried hard and I could see that fear crept back into their eyes. I was up till 11:00pm trying to reassure Lee that things will be alright and that we will never be given more than we can handle.
Almost 7 years ago when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I remember crying and being depressed all the time,for the first few days and the kids did the same. It didn't take me too long to remember that I was the mom, the heart of the home and that I needed to some how pull myself together. I asked Amy (my oldest daughter) yesterday if she was really alright. Her reply was classic "I'm ok MOM, if you are ok?"
And so I need to be ok, for my sake, for my families' sake. We have fought this battle before, and I am sure we can do it again. I wish that I wasn't so TIRED. It is much harder to fight when you are this exhausted but... we will."
Please come back for a few minutes each day - I'll share 2 questions/answers from my interview with Lynn each day. See you tomorrow.