Tag Archives: lymph nodes

Cancer Spots and Parking Spots

On the way to the hospital this morning, as we navigated the morning rush hour / rainy day traffic, my husband and I were saying that we would just for once like to leave one of these meetings with some really good news. Just a little luck, that’s all we wanted.  Sometimes it feels like we’ve been so beaten down with bad news and raw deals that just a tiny bit of good luck would send us into paroxysms of glee and gratitude.  We’d be so giddy that people would cross the street when they saw us coming.  

So, because the universe has a sick sense of humour (and has obviously bugged our car) when we arrived at the normally chaotic, totally un-parkable hospital, we found the world’s most perfect parking spot waiting for us right in front of the entrance to the breast clinic elevators.  Imagine – in the pouring rain, armed with a broken umbrella (I pulled it out of the stand in two pieces this morning) we beheld this beautiful, glorious parking spot – I swear it almost glowed. It almost made that chorus-of-angels sound. We had to laugh: just our luck that the answer to our prayers for good luck would come in the form of a great parking spot.  

Well, I’m very happy to say that the good luck didn’t end there today.  Ladies and Gentlemen: I have great news, good news and no news!!

First, the great news: The CT scan showed no spots in my brain! My notoriously low blood pressure is the cause of my dizziness and I can take a break from worrying about nasty things growing in my brain. I know some of you won’t be able to resist the airhead jokes (you know who you are… Shawn Coppen) so I’ll beat you to it: Finally, we have proof that there is nothing in my brain! And that’s fine with me.

Next, the good news: The lymph node tumours have either shrunk or stabilized!  Those one or two lumps in my neck are indeed getting smaller (okay, so maybe this counts as great news!) and the others haven’t managed to get any bigger.  Stabilization is almost as good as shrinkage, because, as my oncologist explained, Tykerb/lapatinib gradually stabilizes tumours over time and then begins to shrink them, hopefully all the way to oblivion.  So for now, stable is just fantastic in my books.

And finally, in the no news department: Well, it seems there was an error. The analysis of the chest CT scan was compared to an old scan from last year, rather than my most recent scan in August, so it’s no good. My oncologist has ordered a re-analysis against my most recent chest scan, so we can see what’s going on with the spots between my lungs. Reassuringly, my doc says her initial reading is good, but she will call me tomorrow when she has the complete analysis.  No news – while not as thrilling as “no new spots,” “shrinkage,” or “stable” – is still good news.

So, I’m massively, tearfully, hugely relieved.  And, oddly, also deeply thankful, though I’m not precisely sure to what or whom. But the gratitude I feel is strangely palpable; I can literally feel it emanating from me.  Also, I find I’m physically exhausted. Like, knackered.  I guess all the tension that I have been carrying has finally been released and my body wants me to let it rest now.  Which I will gladly do, as soon as I post this.

Tomorrow is another day – for chest scan results and parking spots – and let’s just hope the luck continues!



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

happy birthday, happy mother’s day

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day — and my daughter’s 3rd birthday. 


Around this time last year, a few days before her second birthday, my husband and I had just learned that the cancer was found in my lymph nodes, following a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy.


We were stunned, terrified, practically catatonic.  We decided not to share the news with anyone until after Georgia’s birthday, but everyone knew something was up. We really wanted things to be “normal” for Georgia, but we weren’t up to planning a big birthday party, so we thought we would just have a few kids around for cake.


That’s when our friends, and Georgia’s godfather in particular, stepped in and took matters into their own hands: they rallied together and threw a magical surprise birthday party for Georgia in our backyard.  Decorations, balloons, cupcakes… Our family and friends all around us… It was beautiful.  I’ll never forget the kindness of that gesture; it was a miracle I made it through the day without constantly bursting into tears.


So, this year in the weeks leading up to Georgia’s party all I could think of was how lucky I am to be here, with my health returning, through the worst of treatment.  How lucky I am to be healthy enough to plan my daughter’s party. In fact, I was so into it that my husband accused me of being even more excited than Georgia… I don’t know, can anyone be more excited than a toddler on her birthday? 


Possibly.  It was a great day.  Georgia was off-the-charts happy — and I can’t remember the last time I felt so grateful to be alive. Happiest Mother’s Day ever.





Filed under Living with Breast Cancer