Monday, August 29, 2011

Search for Tomorrow

This soap opera ran from 1951 to 1982 on CBS.
When I was a little girl, my days were spent with my "Grandma McCracken".  Grandma was of no blood relation, but a relation by choice.  My Mom or Dad would take me to Grandma's house in the morning, and pick me up in the afternoons.  She would sit at her dining room table (which was situated so she could see into the living room) in one of her "house dresses", and I would sit or sprawl on the couch.  I loved the couch, because if you sat in the right place, the chilly air from the air-conditioning window unit would blow directly on you.  As you can imagine, she spoiled me, though I prefer to call it "overly-loved". 

Thirty-plus years later, when I think of my days with Grandma McCracken, I think of buttered rice, cake batter (no beaters for me, she gave me my own small bowl of batter), and soap operas.  Some days, we spent running errands in a twenty-mile radius, lunching at coffee shoppes (she with her coffee and me with my hot tea), or visiting with her friends, but generally we were always back home in time for the "Soaps".  Right after the "Mid-day Report" on WCTV,  the stories began.  I remember watching Search for Tomorrow, Young and the Restless, As The World Turns and Guiding Light.  Referring back to my old soap opera watching days with Grandma McCracken, I think a fitting title for this episode of my life would be "Search for Tomorrow"!

Tomorrow is my doctor's appointment with Dr. Martin.  It's the biggie!  The appointment where I find out the official results of my tests, hear my treatment plan, ask my questions, and schedule my surgery.  Jeff is finishing up training out of town, so Mom and Dad are going to the appointment, also.  (I think it will also give them peace in meeting the man who will operate on their "baby".)

I've been researching, emailing other breast cancer survivors, and reading to compile my list of questions for tomorrow's appointment.  This is what I've come up with.  (If you can think of others, please email them to me!)

Shelby's Questions (AKA "Search for Tomorrow")

  1. Cancer Type:  Invasive Ductal
  2. Location:  Right Breast
  3. Tumor Size:  2 to 3 cm
  4. Grade:  2 (medium growth)
  5. Stage:  ???  (I'm guessing possibly Stage IIA, based upon my research)
  6. Hormone Receptors:  Estrogen 100% +, Progesterone 90% +
  7. HER 2 Status?
  8. HERS2 Status based upon what tests?
  9. Lymph Node Status?  (So far, he has said none, but I want to be certain.)
  10. Second opinion for Insurance status?
  11. Length of surgery?
  12. Reconstruction at same time of mastectomy?
  13. Length of Time in Hospital?
  14. Recovery time?
  15. Recovery advice?  (Drains, I know, but what else?)
  16. Chemotherapy details?
  17. What type?
  18. Begins when?
  19. What side effects?
  20. PET scan of entire body when?
  21. What about my daughters?

Please pray for my strength during tomorrow's appointment.  I also pray that my parents and I have a peace about the treatment plan, that all of my questions are answered, and that surgery is scheduled in a way that accommodates all parties involved :)

Tomorrow is as real as it gets, folks!  Presumably, when I walk out of Dr. Martin's office Tuesday afternoon, I will have a date and time to have my breasts removed, and my search for answers will be over.

TTFN, (Literally, only for a while longer!)


Laura said...

My thoughts and prayers will be with you tomorrow...Lots of Sprinkles...

Anonymous said...

please let me know what i can do if you need anything once your parents go back home. keep me posted on surgery dates. praying for you! i am only about 30 min from you.
jennifer andrews

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Shelby,
I wanted to email you but can't find your address this morning. Know that I have been reading your blog for a week or so now and will email you later from home with my personal thoughts. But especially this morning, I wanted you to know that you are in my prayers. I am lifting you, your family, and your doctors up before our Lord and Savior. As we headed into our day like yours will be today, a friend shared her favorite verse with Julie, so I am doing the same for you. "For I, the Lord YOUR God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you 'FEAR NOT, I WILL HELP YOU.' Isaiah 41:13. May God bring you comfort and strength today and throughout this journey.
Thank you for adding sprinkles to my life!
Love, prayers & hugs,
Stephanie Bryan

Kelli said...

Shelby I am praying for the best possible outcome!!!!!!

tracy said...

i will continue to pray for you. (and since your parents are going with you, i know your in good hands

Anonymous said...

Shelby, after reading your blog, I am so ashamed I have been putting off my mammogram due to what I thought was inconvenience. I am going to call Dr. Weinshelbaum's office first thing in the morning to schedule my appointment. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Susan said...

Shelby, my prayers and best thoughts go out to you now. I'm praying for your peace and healing. I'm also praying for your entire family that they will receive the grace and strength to help you through this.

Susan Clay