Bad News and Bubbly

Good news first: some of the nodes in my neck have actually stabilized.

The bad news is that the CT scans show several enlarged lymph nodes in my chest, between my lungs, and a couple of small lesions on my lungs. Also one or two tiny places on my liver that we “need to watch.”

Hearing the news in my oncologist’s office, my husband and I were devastated (read: crying our faces off) and left the meeting shaky and disoriented (read: stunned and wanting to scream at the universe.) We dried our tears, donned our sunglasses, went to a patio and ordered champagne. Eff you cancer, said we.  This is the best we could manage this afternoon, and I think we did it well.

What this all means is that I’m off the clinical trial, ending my love affair with HDAC-inhibitors before it could really begin. But I still have a lot of options.  I am to begin a new chemotherapy immediately. I will continue with Herceptin. I can even still do the 60K “Weekend to End Breast Cancer” walk on September 12/13 if I feel up to it.  And I intend to feel up to it.

For now though, I don’t feel up to anything, except taking a nap to rest my cried-out eyes, and then maybe jumping on a plane and running away to somewhere hot and sunny and beachy…  But how can you run away from something that’s inside you?  You can’t.  You just have to stand and fight.

So I will fight. But first, that nap.



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

14 responses to “Bad News and Bubbly

  1. Gemini Girl

    Oh Leanne, Your day really puts every other kind of bad in perspective. I am so pissed off for you, and so angry on your behalf.

    I’m trying to find constructive, useful, whatever words, but all I can think of is: have the nap, drink more champagne, then find a beautiful beach to relax on. Love and be loved.

    We can’t run away from the dragons inside us, but we sure can make their dragon lives difficult and miserable!

    Love, Gemini

  2. Susie Q

    Hi Leanne,
    You are so loved, by so many. I totally admire your strong resilient spirit. Cry some more and drink some more…and find a beach…even if it’s on TO Island. I’ve only started reading recently and am so moved by what you have been going through. I totally believe in the power of the mind and spirit. YOU WILL HANDLE THIS. YOU WILL BEAT THIS. I’m so glad you have your wonderful husband and beautiful daughter by your side. Be strong, carry on. It will happen. I’m praying for you.
    Love, Susie Q

  3. Laura

    Hi Leanne,

    Wow, I def. agree with Gemini on how your day puts other kinds of bad in perspective…It’s just so unfair. 😦

    Anways, if I may I really want to recommend a book to you. Because I’m a firm believer in preventing/treating disease through nutrition, I highly recommend a book called “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. While his overall recommendations are more then likely different then any of the other advice you’ve probably heard, every claim is well cited and backed up by various well recognized, long term studies. I recommend this book because it’s every tiny bit of nutriotional information that I have read in a magazine here, or seen in a documentray there, etc, all wrapped up into one extremely infomrative book. (It’s kind of the same idea as the book Skinny Bitch, only incomparable in most respects) And most importantly, every claim he makes is complete with an explanation. You can buy it at Chapters for about $17. I know it may seem silly of me to be recommending a book right now, but I only do so because I belive that eating right (and no, I’m not referring to the standard Canadian food guide), will help build your immunity and give you strenth to get through your treatments.


    Laura 🙂

  4. franny

    My goodness you have been through it all in such a short period time. There is a cocktail of yummy chemo out there that will smash the shit outta this Cancer.

    My daughter and I continue to include you in our prayers day and night.

    You will beat this Leanne, I know you will. God bless you Leanne.

  5. Erella

    Hi Leanne,

    I am checking in with you.
    This news sucks, but I am pleased that the champagne with your honey brings you an element of pleasure.

    You’re astonishing.
    That you’re even considering the Cancer walk, is a victory.
    More power to you.

  6. Jane

    Gemini Girl pretty much took every word out of my mouth… so I’m now speechless. But when I do the walk on Oct. 4th, I won’t be doing it for me… I’m going to do it for you.

  7. Anita

    I hope you find a warm, white beach where you can stand and fight as waves lap against your feet and margaritas cool your hand.

    So sorry the news wasn’t better. You really are inspiring, even when you’re sipping champagne and crying.

    You put me to shame by even talking about doing the walk. I did the weekend to end breast cancer a few years ago with my husband, and we whined about our blisters pretty much the whole way 🙂 It’s an inspiring weekend, though.

    Don’t let the bastards get you down! You can do this! (but there’s no harm in waiting until after that nap).


  8. Mary Lou

    Leanne, you are truly an inspiration and your strength amazing! Like others have said, have your nap, have some bubbly and hug your husband and little girl.

    My prayers are always with you.

  9. Katie

    Oh Leanne. I’m so sorry about the crap news. Thank you, once again, for sharing it with such honesty.

    I’ll be walking on September 12 with a group of amazing ladies, friends and family of my mom’s best friend who is also fighting this horrible disease. But having followed your blog for several months now, I will also be walking for you. You can beat this!


  10. Anita

    I almost forgot…

    …you look that cancer in the eye, take a deep, cleansing breath…

    …and tell it to blow it out your third eye!

  11. Laura

    Leanne, I have been reading your blog and following your journey. I am so incredibly sorry to hear that you didn’t receive the news you were hoping to hear. I am glad to hear that your spirits are high and you’ve still got your boxing gloves on. This fight isn’t over yet. . .!

    I’ll keep you in my prayers. Do whatever you need to do to keep your spirits up? Need permission to take a vacation? You’ve got it! A complete day to yourself doing only your favourite things? Coming up!

    Hang in there. We’re all rooting for you.

  12. Hindy

    Leanne, you are an absolutely amazing, beautiful, wise and brilliant woman with a heart the size of Texas. Keep fighting gal. I believe in you. So do your many friends as well as strangers who have now become your friends through your brave, sometimes funny, always honest blog. Keep them boxin’ gloves on and keep landing those punches till this monster is knocked out. Luv ya!

  13. danielle

    to Leanne: you are a great writer. I was diagnosed Feb 26, the day after my daughter’s 5th birthday, with DCIS, estrogen-receptor positive, high grade 6cm tumor. I guess that’s the good (haha) kind as I am still alive but as I read your blogs I had to identify with the hospital hating, “sisterhood”, how life is changed forever, I don’t like being called a survivor and in fact I don’t even like talking about it, and as for cause, I put it down to random gene fault (because I was the healthiest person I know) and one’s destiny is what it is, which is why some hard core smokers live to be 95 and babies die. I have appointments this month with my physio (removing lymph nodes really screwed my arm), GP for annual pap (haha, what a laugh to get cervical cancer too that would be) and spine problem, oral surgeon to look at a possible tumor on my tongue, oncological surgeon to discuss the results of my CA15 retest, genetic counselor to see if I have the gene and will have the other one off and/ or ovaries, and plastic surgeon to please tell me when I can have the expander out, and maybe a nipple next year?
    I went to the Cancer Society 24 hr relay with my drainage tube just out and, while it was touching to see people running and candle-lit bags for those who’d died, the one thing I have to tell the people above and your well-wishers is that you cannot know until it happens to YOU. I don’t want your pity. I’m sure my fiance who died at 30 of germ cell cancer didn’t want mine but I didn’t know what else to give. We do need friends, for listening and tasks we can’t do. I hope one day they will find a cure. This is a much shorter version of a 9pg rant I wrote when I was diagnosed. I do thank my friends who had been thru it too, for answering my questions, but I just wish none of us had to go there in the first place.

  14. Jodi

    You up yet? Thinking of you. If you’re doing the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, is there some way to cheer you on? Walk/run (oh god) part way? Celebrate you and your amazing tenacity?

    Deliver some bubbly at the end?

    Let me know. Kisses.

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