Monday, December 3, 2012

Recuperating and Reflecting...

My procedure went well.  The best line was "After you see Da Vinci you'll be wearing a Mona Lisa smile".  'Nuff said!

This whole experience started with an abnormal biopsy, complex hyperplasia with atypia, a precancerous condition though borderline.  Afterwards my surgeon announced no cancer was present.  I am very lucky and grateful, needless to say.  I feel like I got a pass to carry on for now, to cherish our family time during this holiday season with great adventures planned in the New Year. 

Four months ago we shared with you a most wonderful celebration; Kyle and Wendy's wedding, my nephew and new niece, in Medford, OR.  This was such a joyous time of family, friends, and fellowship, with folks from near and far. Many we had not seen for several years, including a large contingent of Kyle's buddies from southern California who used to gather at our home in Half Moon Bay, a mid-point between Medford and LA.  These are 40 somethings, my kids' ages, so vibrant in the prime of their lives, happily sharing their own family news and work endeavors, getting caught up on each other's goings-on.

That's when we met Kellie, Scott's wife of 22 years.  Wow, has it really been that long?  They have two daughters, one in college, and one in high school.  They just remodeled their home so Kellie's mom could move in with them.  She has health issues and they wanted her close by.

Around Thanksgiving Scott announced Kellie had come down with pneumonia, and he, the good husband, was making her turkey soup.  Five days later Kellie passed away from metastasized breast cancer.  She had recently had a mammogram which was negative.  

This absolutely breaks my heart.  There is just no way I can understand how this happens.  Cancer is certainly understandable in certain environmental conditions, smoking, too much sun, and I know, genetics. Howard was diagnosed with colon cancer 6 years ago, had surgery, and no further treatment was necessary as lymph nodes biopsied were negative.  He goes in once or twice a year to have basal cell skin cancer spots removed though he refuses to wear sunscreen.  Both of my parents died of smoking related conditions: my dad lung cancer, my mom congestive heart failure yet I smoked for many years.

So many friends deal with this dreadful disease on a daily basis.  Scans. biopsies, waiting, becomes a way of life.  Most continue to lead a normal life with such strength, grace, and optimism for the future.  Something just has to be done.  More money, more research, don't know the answer....
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