First Email Update

January 31, 2013

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to send you all a little update.  I had round 4 of chemo yesterday. Halfway done!

Some of you will already know this info, but I figure there’s no harm in receiving good news twice:

I met with the oncologist again on Monday and she confirmed that the tumours are shrinking, which is great news. The original size of the breast tumor was 9cm x 7cm (Can you believe that? it’s insane! I couldn’t feel it because I had been breastfeeding, and this particular cancer appears to be very aggressive/fast growing. The only good thing about that is that it also appears to shrink relatively quickly too). After 2 treatments it was 5x5cm and now it’s 4×3 and 1/2cm. Much, much better. She can no longer feel the tumours that were in the lymph nodes in the neck area. (Of course, this doesn’t mean they are no longer there, but it does mean that they are much smaller.) I will have a CT scan next week that will give us a much better sense of what’s going on. I will meet with the surgeon the following week to find out more about what that will entail.

Round 3 was a bit harder than the earlier rounds, so I’m hoping this isn’t a trend. All my hair is gone now, but I’m happy to report that I’ve so far kept my eyebrows! (Some people lose their eyebrows in addition to their hair.). You know your reality has really changed when you find yourself saying, “Thank goodness I still have eyebrows!”

Otherwise, I feel okay. I’m trying to focus on all the positive things in my life: happy baby, wonderful husband and an amazing support network of awesome friends and family.  On good days, I’m still managing to work on the dissertation. It actually works as a great distraction from everything else, and helps me to feel productive.

For our friends and family in Toronto – I would love to see you all, but it’s a bit tough right now. My immune system is compromised, so I am limited in where I can go, and I feel tired a lot of the time. We are trying to be especially careful because of the crazy flu going around. Still, hopefully we can squeeze in some visits sometime soon. I know it will lift my spirits.

I also wanted to thank everyone for the phone calls/emails/cards etc. They really warm my heart. Even though I may be slow to reply, know that receiving your positive thoughts and energies really brightens my day so feel free to reach out. (But don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from me right away.) And let me know what’s going on with you too. It’s nice to hear the news (big or small) going on with you.

Also, to all my lady friends, remember to do self-exams, and talk to your doctor about your family history and about mammograms! Early detection is key.

Lots and lots of love,

About Naomi

Writing about health/wellness and motherhood at and academia and research at
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