A Phone Call No. 11

“Hi Heather, This is Sandra from Dr. Hwang’s office at the Breast Care Center.”

“So you’ve got a date for the re-excision? To clean up that one margin from the lumpectomy?”

“Yes,” Sandra says. “We’ve managed to change to an earlier date as you requested. Your surgery will be March 8, at 2:30. I’ll send you some paperwork to confirm. You’ll need to come in the Friday before for blood work and the other surgery ‘Prepare’ appointments. Can you be at the hospital at 8 a.m.?”

“Sure,” I say out loud.

Inside, I think, “Ugh. 8 a.m.! Why do surgeons and executives love early morning appointments so much?”

I’m just beginning to feel like myself, post-chemo. Now begins the countdown for surgery number 2.

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About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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2 Responses to A Phone Call No. 11

  1. Alex Owens says:

    Hey Heather, I’ll be thinking of you and hoping all goes smoothly and uneventfully. Hope to hear from you soon!
    –Alex

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