A Quick Update, Breast Cancer-Wise - Ellen's Tastes Blog at Allrecipes.com - 267872

Ellen's Tastes

A quick update, breast cancer-wise 
Feb. 18, 2012 12:46 pm 
Updated: Feb. 23, 2012 4:50 pm
The surgery I had last September was done on my left breast which is the same breast I had surgery and radiation on in late 2000-early 2001. Statistically, a lumpectomy followed by radiation is the same as getting a mastectomy. So (needless to say) I was disappointed when I learned I had another breast cancer in the left breast. 

(My initial thoughts were: would the second breast cancer have formed on the scar tissue left by an actual mastectomy — as has been the case for many other women? Would an initial mastectomy have limited my options for treating the second occurrence? Would the second breast cancer not have formed at all if I'd opted for a mastectomy in the first place rather than the statistical equivalent? If breast cancer begins in the breast, why (and how) does it occur after the breast has been removed? Surprisingly, there aren't any definitive answers to these questions. There are excellent theories, but nothing concrete.)

All that aside, when there's surgery on a breast that's had radiation, the healing is different. I knew that going in. What I didn't know was that the breast tissue itself would also be altered. In my case, it's become more dense. In fact, so much so, that it feels heavier than it should. And, possibly because of an over-zealous work-out during last Thursday's water aerobics class, I noticed bruises had formed above the scar of my first breast cancer. That lead to a quick email to my surgeon who replied that it's cause for some concern. 

As it happens, hubby and I are snowbirds, currently in Florida and my surgeon is in Massachusetts. Thus, I quickly found a breast cancer surgeon in Florida and arranged for the reports and films to be sent to him in time for my appointment next Thursday. 

The bruises are disappearing now, which is comforting. My body is telling me everything is fine. Intellectually, I'm smart enough to know I need to have it checked out before I can give my body full say-so. For now, I'm at peace with this (God knows why), and will let you know what I learn. All prayers are welcome ;)

Rosebud, this might be why you've had me in your thoughts lately. I appreciate your care and the care of everyone else who's been following this journey with me so far. I ask that you not fret or worry. I've been blessed with a genuine conviction that, no matter what happens, I'm exactly where I ought to be, experiencing what I should be. With that thought alone, I can make it through anything.

Big hugs to all.
Feb. 18, 2012 1:10 pm
Good luck to you. I hope that all is well and the bruising means nothing. You have the right attitude to get you through this. My friend is still trying to heal from a second surgery after radiation treatment for breast cancer. She is about to have a skin graft because her second surgery never did heal completely. You girls have to go through a lot to live! We are pulling for you and please let us know how the dr. visit turns out.
Feb. 18, 2012 2:24 pm
Wow.... you have a great attitude. Sending prayers to FL from TN. Keep us posted.
Feb. 18, 2012 5:33 pm
You have my prayers always.
Feb. 18, 2012 5:56 pm
Prayers from me in Texas to you! God Bless and keep you.
Feb. 18, 2012 6:03 pm
My mother opted for a double mastectomy. she has no problems with it, she said they only slowed her down. she is 80+ now and never had any reconstruction. she also had cancer back in the 60's and back then chances of surviving back then was slim to none. I think she only survived because she is a fighter.
Feb. 18, 2012 6:19 pm
Ellen, I think about you every day! Thank you for the update and I will, along with everyone else, keep you steadfastly in my prayers. You're an awesome example of a fighter!
Feb. 18, 2012 6:32 pm
I live in Florida - Jacksonville - where are you snowbirding? Central or the west coast? There are some great doctors in Florida, especially oncologists. I am adding my prayers to the others - look up Ellen, for He is looking upon you - and He cares!
Feb. 18, 2012 7:14 pm
Keeping you in my thoughts. Keep us posted.
Feb. 19, 2012 3:14 pm
Your courage and grace as you go through this is amazing. I think of you often and when I do I say a prayer and Thursday I will say an extra one. Please do keep us posted, we care.
Feb. 20, 2012 1:31 pm
Ongoing prayers that your strength and faith carry you through whatever God has planned for you.
Feb. 20, 2012 3:29 pm
Thank you all. Rest assured: I know I'm in the best possible hands there are in the whole entire universe. He's a big bloke and I like him a whole lot. I think you know who I mean ;)
Feb. 21, 2012 9:50 am
Hi Ellen! Good to hear from you. Thanks for the update. I hope you got the site I sent to you in your other post. Looks good. You're right, you're exactly where you're supposed to be. We all are! I'm off to your other post. See ya!
Feb. 21, 2012 6:13 pm
You're in my prayers. I had a "touch of breast cancer" just over a year ago, and am now dealing with the aftermath of throat cancer in my hubby. Thank God for early detection in both cases. The thought of a recurrence is never far from my mind, though. Keep up the good attitude and keep us posted.
Feb. 23, 2012 4:59 am
An update on my update(!): I learned the doctor I'd gotten an appointment with is not a specialist in breast cancer and, surprisingly, there ARE no breast cancer specialists in Sarasota, FL. There are surgeons who treat it, of course, but at this point I need someone who spends their days dealing with the subject. Fortunately, we're an hour away from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, which is where I'm now scheduled for tomorrow. I might not learn everything I want to know in the first appointment, but at least I'm headed in the right direction. @pointersister, there are some good references on cancer (including efforts to prevent recurrences) here: https://www.facebook.com/BreastCancerBandits. This is a page I started not long ago. I wish you health and peace with your journey.
Feb. 23, 2012 4:50 pm
Ellen, I am holding a good thought to my heart for you for tomorrow and always of course, but especially tomorrow. I'll say an extra prayer tonight. Be well my friend. Keep us posted please. I am concerned for my new friend. -Patricia.
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About Me
I've loved cooking since I was a kid, and still have my first (very battered) cookbook. Other than cooking, I adore interior design, writing, and playing bridge. Oh... and tasting new wines (or old favorites).
My favorite things to cook
As I've grown older, my tastes and philosophy have changed. I now use organic ingredients whenever I can, and I prefer using unprocessed ingredients.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Well, my mother (bless her) had 8 people to feed, so she made foods that were easy to prepare. My favorites were her baked ribs with barbecue sauce; english muffins topped with cheese, tomato, and bacon, and then broiled; and spaghetti noodles with tomato soup and cheddar cheese stirred in. I wouldn't make these dishes today, but they're full of fond memories.
My cooking triumphs
Adding orange juice to diced tomato sauce • Adding Cointreau to fresh fruit salads or a chocolate sauce • Adding tequila and bittersweet chocolate to chili • "poaching" salmon in orange juice, sprinkled with Old Bay and tarragon • adding cidar vinegar and soy sauce to vegetable soups • adding fresh mint to steamed red potatoes • knowing how to bail out a botched dish (example: over-steamed broccoli mashed with bleu or swiss cheese isn't nearly as bad as over-steamed broccoli on it's own).
My cooking tragedies
Over-steaming broccoli and most any other veggie... and a lasagna that was so loaded with oregano, no one could eat it.
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