24 September 2008

Long month, bright spot

First, it was the cancer diagnosis.

Then, it was some idiots at my workplace who decided it would be brilliant to take their Bid Day Bash off campus to a rural area two counties away. They d@mn near killed a freshman from alcohol poisoning in the process.

Last, my son was diagnosed with eczema. We suspected he had it; a rash that never disappeared confirmed it yesterday.

However, I love our pediatrician.

As she's looking at the poor boy's itchy armpits, she asks about flu mist. I dither, like I always do, then remember, my mom's going to be immunocompromised for months, duh. Yes, I say, we need the mist. My mom starts chemo next month.

Our ped immediate stops what she is doing, and asks, "How's she doing?" Oh, she's fine, I say. She follows up, looking right in my eyes, "How are *you* doing?"

That's the sign of a good doctor. My well-being immediately reflects on the kids, because my stress trickles down to them.

After saying that while the diagnosis was a shock, I'm okay now, she says that if we need anything, she'll make sure it happens. She's going to make sure we get in for the second shot of flu mist ASAP. She'll have a chat with the eldest at her checkup in a few months, just to reassure her that because Grandma has cancer does NOT mean she'll get it. Our worrywart needs to hear this from someone other than me.

I love our ped. She's one of the best docs we've ever had. So, Dr. K, if you stumble on this, I just want you to know that we appreciate everything you do for us.

21 September 2008

Cancer strikes us again.

Wondering where I've been? Well, grad school, thesis writing, freelancing and soccer season have kept me busy.

Three weeks ago, I added something heavier to the mix of stuff to do.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 58.

She's always been fairly obsessive about getting her mammograms. She had a good friend die after a long fight against breast cancer in the '80s. So when something didn't look right, she went to get checked three weeks ago.

One mammogram, one ultrasound, one biopsy later, she was diagnosed with early stage one cancer on her left side.

The good news: It is stage one. It wasn't in her lymph nodes when she had a mastectomy last week. It's a highly treatable form that was caught early; there's a 95% survival rate.

The bad news: She's going to have chemo. We're waiting on the path report and the oncologists' plan for what mix will work best and how long she'll have to take it.

So, to my girlfriends and other Mommy-Tracked mom readers out there: Go get your baselines done. Now. Today. Before the new year. And be vigilant. My mom's type does not present as a lump. Usually there is no sign. Unless you get it checked out, you could be a lot further along the stages than you'd like.

Add a pink ribbon to your social networking sites for us, and prayers, love and support are welcome. But we aren't going to let this get us down. It's not all bad news; a lot of it is quite good. It will not be much fun for the next few months, but it will be over with and dealt with soon enough.