Monthly Archives: October 2014


I’m going to spare you the details but I had a proceedure today at MGH to check me out further for any issues relating to my Mother’s colon cancer. My mom died very young from the disease and I’ve always been followed closely. My surgeon suggested I get checked bf my breast surgery and I am happy to report that all was good! I knew all that green juice and veggies were good for something! I am so relieved that the test is over and I am all clear! I have to admit that having developed breast cancer has rocked my confidence and made me pretty concerned that something else could show up.
I am happy to report that I am back to dealing with the original issue, and will take the next few weeks to prepare for surgery and whatever steps we take from there.
I am thankful for my doctors and surgeon from MGH and Dana Farber. One step at a time. This step is to keep life as smooth and normal as possible for my family.
Thank you for all the words, support and prayers. Hoping for no more appointments until closer to the 20th!
Have a great weekend and I love you all!

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By |October 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

What’s the plan?

Thank you all so much for the overwhelming love and support. I can’t even express how each word has landed in my heart!
Well, its been about 7 days and I can’t even believe this is happening! Matt and I spent the day in Boston yesterday. I had a consult with the plastic surgeon that will work with my surgical oncologist. She is an amazing surgeon and comes highly recommended. That was the lighter part of the day…. even with all the gore of how this will all go down, I am confident that in the end, I’m going to be very happy with the results. Dana Farber was definitley a harder appointment. We met with a medical oncologist at Dana Farber. He went over my biopsy results, pending surgery and next steps after the surgery. We definitely have a clearer picture of how this will all go down and chemo seems to be lurking in the wings. Matt and I are powering through this to get as much information, confirmation, and guidance as we can. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing husband!
My surgery is scheduled for Nov20. It will be about 5 hours and I will be at Mass General Hospital. It can take up to two weeks for all the pathology to come back so I will be home healing and waiting for next steps. I know that I will be in the hospital for two nights and can’t do anything for 6 weeks. I will be traveling back and forth to Boston quite a bit. My father and Liz will be here to make everything run smoothly as well as make an endless supply of comfort food for all!
I was scheduled to attend a yoga training in Utah on Nov 6-15. Ive been waiting for this training for a year! I decided I would wait for my surgery date to see if I could still pull it off. As much as I want to be the girl with her middle finger up to cancer, and head out to Utah, I feel like the place where I will get the most strength is home with Matt and the kids. I have amazing family and friends that are truly loving me up! I also have some outrageously inspiring friends who have traveleld this road before me…they are making sure I don’t miss a thing!
My faith and my yoga practice have given me a gift to keep reining myself back into the present moment. I keep coming back to right now and taking each thing as it comes, not focusing on what will be next. I am in good hands, I have a lot of faith and I have some kick ass guardian angels!
Tomorrow I have a proceedure that I need to get out of the way before any of this happens and I would love a little prayer that it is completely uneventful! I also have a dear friend that was diagnosed the day after me! If the prayers are flowing, send her some love too!
I will keep you posted!
Love, Carlene

By |October 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Breaking the news…I HAVE BREAST CANCER


I went for a routine breast MRI last week. I am followed a little closer than normal because of some risk factors that I have. For 5 years I have been getting breast mri and mammogram 6 months apart. Each visit has come up with something new, not cancer but “some area of concern” or “something to watch”. I had no reason to think that last Thursday would be any different. It was. They called me back and after mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy, I have Invasive ductal carcinoma grade2, estrogen and progesterone positive, HER2 negative (best breast cancer to get I’m told!).

I have an amazing team at Massachusetts General Hospital and feel so comfortable with all the medical advice we are getting. That said, we are also going to Dana Farber for another opinion as well as a second place to view the pathology that comes back after my surgery. Based on my risk factors, the chance I have of recurrence and our doctor’s recommendation, I will have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. It is about a 5 1/2 hour surgery where the surgical oncologist does her thing then the plastic surgeon comes in and does hers. I am told it is about a 6-8 week recovery from the surgery. Once they take the tumor and any lymph nodes for testing (up to 2 weeks) they will make a recommendation about chemotherapy and radiation. This point is where the second opinion will be comforting. Once MGH has tested and looked at all the breast tissue, tumor and lymph nodes, they will send it off to Dana Farber for a second look.

Matt and I meet with the medical oncologist at Dana Farber next Wednesday. As of right now, I do not have a date for my surgery. There are so many moving parts to come together that it makes my head spin. I am hoping to have a date either later today or Monday. The sugeon says this type of cancer is slow growing and I am not in any immediate danger. I am on tamoxifen which slows the growth as well.

Over the last 3 days, I have met with nothing but professional, caring, amazing people to help me navigate this road! Matt is right by my side, asking a million questions, five different ways! Chloe and Jack are digesting the news and really just going thru the appropriate stages of learning something like this. It is hard for them, so many questions and unknowns. My father and stepmother are headed this way for Thanksgiving so I know I will have an amazing amount of help! I appreciate everyone’s notes, messages, hugs and support. It is all very surreal. I feel like I’m going through a dream. I taught my first yoga class today after finding all this out and it was so great to be back. There was so much support and love and yoga did its magic on me as I taught.

I am so lucky to be in this place right now… Boston hospitals are the best in the world, my husband, kids, family and friends are OFF THE CHARTS supportive, I have a yoga practice that keeps me in reality, not spinning off into a made up land of what ifs and I have my two guardian angles (Mom and Jackie) that guide me every day! Believe me, this is overwhelming and takes my breath away at times but overall I feel that this is a big bump in our road and we will handle each moment as it comes.

I love you all, every last one of you for caring enough to read this post and offer your support. I guess we all take turns in life offering and receiving, I have a really hard time with the recieving so maybe that’s my lesson.

Love Carlene

By |October 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|