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February 16, 2023

*Where have we been? A Life Update*A little over a month ago I (Deb) was diagnosed with Invasive Carcinoma breast cancer during my annual routine check-up. Each year I have a mammogram and MRI. The MRI caught a suspicious lump, and over the holidays I had a biopsy. It came back positive for breast cancer in the New Year. Since there is a history of cancer in my family, my doctor decided to run a genetic test before deciding on surgery and treatment. My test came back positive for the ATM Gene which raises my chances of cancer spreading and coming back. With the knowledge of my family history combined with genetic testing, the best conclusion for treatment is a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. It sounds like a lot, but after meeting with my doctors and plastic surgeon, I am feeling really confident. The surgery is happening at the end of the month, and after it's all taken away and rebuilt, I most likely won't have to worry about breast cancer ever again. My doctor said I may not even need radiation. Plus, I'll have a new perky chest. :) It can be scary getting a cancer diagnosis, but as my doctor said "This is why we test each year." Because it was found early, my cancer hasn't spread outside the breast yet and can be treated swiftly. If you have any family history of cancer, talk to your doctor about having a yearly exam and possibly genetic testing. Dave has been amazing as usual keeping me occupied and keeping my spirits high. I won't lie, I've woken up at 3 am with little panic attacks, and he is right there with me, making coffee, putting on relaxing music, and turning on the sauna for some stress release.Now that I know surgery is soon, I am feeling calmer and ready to tackle this and move on. We didn't plan on being home for the winter, but luckily it's been balmy outside here in Ontario. It's going to be 13 degrees (55F) today! And the doctor said I should be able to travel within a couple of months after surgery.I can’t wait to get back in action doing adventures and exploring the world with Dave. There is still so much more to see and many more mountains to climb. I’m ready to conquer the world.
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