What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).

So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.

I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making THE Appointment

Today I do finally hear from my OB/GYN, but only to say the words again, Infiltrating/Invasive Breast Cancer, that he cannot interpret it any further, but that I have been referred to Dr Elboim, well known breast specialist and surgeon in Sonoma County. And, I need to make an appointment with him. So I immediately call Dr. Elboim’s office at Redwood Regional Medical Center and get their voice message and many options of buttons to push to be redirected to the line I need. But I’m not sure which line I need. Am I a new patient (I’ve seen him before for unrelated issues), am I scheduling surgery, or am I calling to talk to the nurse breast specialist, or some such thing. Heck if I know -- just give me a live person. So I connect to the line I think I need and leave a message. About an hour or two later I do the same thing and leave another message.

Sarah arrives later in the morning with scones and a couple of books, one on Nutritional Healing, which is about the size of 2 phone books put together. And she brings her lovely smile, and some much needed company. What a wonderful daughter she is. I’m feeling better, but still so anxious. By now I’ve already researched Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma a bit.

Around 4:30pm, Alura calls to check in and we talk about “things”. She is always so practical and logical, asking very direct and sensible questions. What a wonderful daughter she is! I’ve told her about my frustration in getting my first appointment scheduled and she says, “Mom, call the number again and press 0.” Hello, why didn’t I think of this? So as Alura is researching Dr. Elboim online while we are talking, I ask her for his Santa Rosa number, rather than the Sonoma phone number I was given by my doctor. Since it is late in the day, I anxiously call again. The number Alura provided gets me through to a radiology office downstairs from Dr. Elboim but they eagerly offer to transfer me. And they do!

A man answers, but not with an official greeting as one would expect from a receptionist at a doctors office. After apologizing and saying I am trying to reach Dr. Elboim’s office, I ask, “Is this Dr. Elboim?” And he says, “Yes”.

Well missy Alura, your trick worked, even better than you thought it would. Dr. Elboim quickly hands me off to one of his staff and we set up an appointment. But as she is saying, “My next appointment is Wednesday, ...”, I’m thinking she is going to say January 19th, which is next Wednesday, and how can I possibly wait a whole week to learn more and get going on this horrible news I have received. Instead, she says, January 26th. “JANUARY 26TH! no way!!!!” I think. Of course I start to cry, practically sob. She is very apologetic and says she will call me if there are any cancellations, and to call in if I have any questions.

TWO WEEKS AND A DAY!!!. How can I wait this long? What will the cancer do during all this time. I am beside myself, but have sweet Sarah sitting there with me, who is another very level headed daughter during all my anquish. Sarah calmly says, “Mom, why don’t you call your doctor and ask that they fax you the pathology reports so you will have some more information to research”. We then do just that and the report is faxed to us by Dr. Amara’s office within minutes.

We end the day with the 3 of us having a nice dinner together.


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