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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