Saturday, May 25, 2013

A post about my health...

I never planned to go public with this because I thought it would be all over by now, but at each juncture it gets more out of control. So, I've decided to share this crazy story.

In February I had my annual mammogram. A week later they called to tell me I needed to have it redone, and that I had to schedule it for a time when the radiologist was there. Because that would mean taking a day off from work, I opted to do it on the first day of my Spring Break. Also, I had major lung surgery 30 years ago, and I suspected that whatever they were seeing was scar tissue from that surgery as the adhesions have been bothering me more lately. During that second mammogram they also did an ultrasound, and that's when I began to suspect something might really be wrong. They found a mass. Of course it was impossible to tell anything about it from the ultrasound, other than the fact that it didn't look anything like a cyst. They scheduled me for a biopsy the following week.

During the biopsy, usually if the needle is inserted and the mass deflates then it is a cyst, and they take a fluid sample to test. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and in fact I heard the doctor say the word necrotic tissue. This also led me to believe it was left over scar tissue. They took a tissue sample, inserted a marker, and I was done.

Three days later the doctor called to tell me they'd found pre-cancerous cells. I panicked, as you can imagine. The following week I called a surgeon to make an appointment, and through scheduling conflicts and all, the appointment wasn't until the end of April. During that appointment I was informed that it was an intraductal papilloma, and that in 95% of those cases there's no cancer involved. I had to have what sounded like a fairly complicated procedure to remove the tissue, and that was scheduled for mid May.

For that procedure I had to go back to the imaging center, and during a mammogram they inserted a needle in the spot where the marker was left. This was worse than it sounds, being trapped in the mammogram machine for almost 20 minutes! A wire was attached to the marker and pulled through the skin, and I was admonished to move as little as possible on the ride back to the surgery clinic. From that point on it was pretty straight forward. They put me under local anesthesia, and removed the mass. It then had to be sent back to the imaging center to ensure the marker was removed, and I stayed under anesthesia while that happened. I had two days recovery, and on the third day I had the most pain, but I'm pretty much back to normal now.

The pathology reports were ready yesterday, and because we all thought I'd get a clean bill of health, my husband didn't go with me to the appointment. My son took me over, but he wasn't in the room with me when I got the news...I have cancer. It's an encapsulated carcinoma, and apparently it's very rare to have one in the breast. In fact, the surgeon has never seen it before, so he says he needs to meet with his colleagues to discuss it. Even in the lab where they analyzed the results the conferred with one another according to the report. We agreed that we'd either talk with him on the phone, or make another appointment before we decide exactly what to do. There are 2 options, the more radical of which is a full mastectomy.

Just like when I write m/m romance novels, I can't do anything normally. I write a historical romance, and while the history is fairly accurate, the homosexual history is not. Thus, The King's Tale is a hybrid that is either scorned, or loved. My health has always been that way too. When I was in my early twenties, both of my lungs collapsed spontaneously. Fortunately not at the same time, but it was something that was very rare. So now, while the prognosis for this type of cancer I have is good (it says that right on the pathology report, and the doctor said to me, "If you had to get cancer, this is the kind you'd want to get!"), it's still something out of the ordinary. My husband made me cry yesterday when I told him I can't do anything normal, he said "That's why I love you!"

I don't mean to dwell on this, so I won't update about it again until it's hopefully all over. That was the reason why I had kept my silence until now...I was hoping it would be "nothing."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

News on Reviews...

First of all, let me share a terrific five star review for Red Sunset from Top2Bottom Reviews:

And secondly, I was remiss in mentioning that The King's Tale & The King's Heart received a high honor from Two Lips reviews, both are marked as Recommended Reads!