Some of you may notice that I haven't been participating on the garden web as much as I had before. This wasn't because of the mass exodus of several months ago. I still like the garden web. I wasn't even going to mention this because even though I am pretty free with information about myself I also have a private side that I like to keep just that, private. But last November my wife and my lives changed forever. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I'm not the kind of person who publicly broadcasts my problems unless it is pertinent to the conversation. I'm not the kind of person who asks for a blanket "Please pray for my wife" although we have received several prayers from several people and have graciously accepted them. The reason I am bringing it up now is to remind all of the women reading this post that breast cancer is real and it happens to people you know. I don't want to scare anyone but it can happen to you. One out of eight women will developed breast cancer in her lifetime. The majority of these women are over 50 and 60 years old, but we have met several women who were in their thirties who have/ were fighting this disease. So don't think just because you are young that you are immune. Do monthly self-examinations and get a mammogram when it is the appropriate time.
My wife's story is one that I hope none of you repeat for yourselves. She had an examination from her doctor six months before her diagnosis. The doctor said not to worry about the lump that she had found. It was just a fibrous mass. My wife believed her and didn't tell me anything about it. If she had I would've had her go for tests immediately. Instead the tumor grew to 4 cm and was starting to show by the time it was decided that this thing had to be looked at further.
Chemotherapy was started immediately and lasted for five months. The tumor shrank from 4 cm to 1 cm. There was a rest period for her to gain her strength from the chemo. There were actually multiple tumors in her breast so a mastectomy was her best chance of survival. She had a modified radical mastectomy almost two weeks ago. A modified radical means removal of the breast and lymph nodes if any cancer was detected there. Two of her lymph nodes had tested positive so the whole cluster had to be removed.
Surgery went very well and my wife is now recovering. She is doing very well considering what she has gone through. The cancer is gone and now it is time to get back to our lives again.
PS - I don't really want to discuss the gory details of the procedures online. If any of you would like to discuss some of the specifics I would be more than happy to do so. Please send me a private message though.