July 21, 2011

Some things are meant to be~

So, today was the big decision day, in theory.  First appointment of the day was to meet the oncologist, then collaborate with a nurse navigator, and finally attend a pre-op appointment.  Within minutes of meeting the oncologists nurse, I knew this was not going work for me.  I gently encouraged Curtis to leave the exam room to contact the surgeon to let him know we need to move to plan B.  As we departed the oncologist’s office, I was in a full-on panic.  I did not have a shred of confidence that she would help me live.  I later learned the results of my MRI, it revealed a third mass.  It appears even the cancer in my breast is an overachiever.....

Enter my Dream Team: Pam Kress, nurse navigator and Dr. Phillip Sutton, surgeon, immediately calmed my panic.  You know that saying, “right place, right time”, well it materialized in an enormous and unexpected way today!  It was an amazing turn of events.  An oncologist was consulting with the surgeon at his office; Curtis and I were invited to come and meet her.  Unfortunately she turned out not to be in our medical insurance network of physicians.  However, she generously offered to review my case and consult with her esteemed colleague, at no charge, to develop a treatment recommendation for me!  She further offered to continue consulting with the new oncologist!  AMAZING does not even begin to describe this turn of events.  It is not often that we meet individuals who become personally invested, or what I refer to as, dialed into their patients.  Next stop, pre-op appointment; the nurse was a native Oregonian from Coos Bay.  Her spirit emitted kindness, compassion, a desire to go above and beyond with a twist of Oregon love.  Equally, the group of women in the surgery center lab brought a joyful giggle to me and engaged in comforting conversation.  Finally, while I awaited a chest x-ray, I had the opportunity to converse with a remarkable woman who shared her journey.  As we spoke, we instantly connected!

On the ride home, I remarked to Curtis how comforting it is to be surrounded by so many individuals who are invested in my health and me.  Who concretely and authentically desire a positive outcome for my journey through breast cancer.  Friends, family, and complete strangers are fighting the good fight with me!  The encouraging, kind, and heartfelt words from everyone create a positive environment and I thank you for this.  Today was a fantastical day.  I am hopeful.